The hospitality industry has experienced unprecedented change over the past year. As a business owner, we encourage you to view this as a unique opportunity to embrace technology and in turn optimise the customer experience. Consumer behaviour has shifted, with most reacting positively to new technology. In fact, 83% of customers stated they prefer to use a mobile device when ordering food and drinks (Suban Abdulla, 2021). Adoption of technology is the obvious shift in the hospitality industry, but there are other trends that are impacting it too. Here we share 5 current trends that are shaping the hospitality industry in 2021.
1. Catering to millennials
Evidence suggests that millennials are the most willing group to immerse themselves in dining out now that it is possible again. As restaurants and bars welcome back customers indoors, a number of people will, understandably, be apprehensive about engaging in social activities straight away. Whilst businesses are taking the necessary precautions to keep us all safe this unease is inevitable given the hardship of the previous year.
However, with a disproportionate percentage of millennials booking in, it gives a chance to cater to this demographic and to then bring other generations along with them.
What we know
Millennials are considered to be early adopters of technology and so you should do your best to incorporate this into your offering. Using QR codes and table ordering is a great way to do this! See our blog on 5 free marketing resources to find out more on things to help on this.
Millennials are also typically spontaneous and enjoy social interactions too. As so, it is important to make the dine-in experience one that is unique and genuine. The payback of this is repeat custom and free promotion through social media and online reviews.
2. Technology Time
Said millennials are often tech-savvy and frankly we as a nation are much more capable with technology given its recent importance in keeping us all safe. QR codes, table ordering and other app based services are now key to making sure your business can compete and grow. See our services for a free consultation on this.
It is pertinent to educate yourself on the new ways you can incorporate technology into your business but it can incur time and labour costs. If it is something you are looking to learn more about, this article by foodable offers an interesting insight into the future of technology in the hospitality industry and the benefits and drawbacks of technology for your business too.
3. Offering unique selling points
The important role of technology brings forth a new and exciting opportunity. Use your tech as a unique selling point! There are some really interesting introductions of technology that people will flock to restaurants to try.
There are numerous other ways to offer a unique selling point and to gain that elusive competitive advantage. Things that we have noticed that work really well are loyalty programmes and including the customer in the decision making process.
What do we mean by this? Your customers are what matters most, they are the ones who will order from your menu and as so, why not get them to have their say on what you offer?
You could encourage in house suggestions or even run a poll/competition online to suggest a new and unique offering! In an industry where quality is no longer enough to stand alone out, it is key to further differentiate yourself from the status quo and this is just one way to do so.
4. Personalising the customer experience
This point compliments the aforementioned notion that millennials enjoy customised experiences. Personalisation is a simple, proven way to increase customer satisfaction. Out with the traditional method of great in-house service, there are a variety of ways to personalise the customer experience.
Using services like mailchimp and zoho lets you send personalised emails to customers and gives you a unique insight into their preferences so you can further tailor your marketing to suit your demographic.
Try sending an email to a customer after they visit and offer a discount or other incentive if they leave a review. Encouraging this shows you are a transparent company who appreciate the feedback of customers. It’s a great way to engender customer loyalty.
5. Rise of the health conscious consumer
We can all agree that recent events serve as a reminder to the importance of taking care of ourselves and our loved ones. Whilst some things cannot be avoided, we can always make sure we are as fit and healthy as possible, which in itself brings a host of benefits.
With people being more conscious of their own health and what they eat and drink, it is a chance for restaurants to support this and cater to the health conscious consumer. A great and easy way to do this is to give in depth descriptions of each meal and how it is sourced-people value the origin story of their food more than ever and it can actually act as a chance to entertain.
For example, when buying coffee in shops now there are dozens of options. The country of origin is often the differentiator and the story surrounding how it is sourced acts as a selling point too. If you have an ingredient that has its own special story then make sure to communicate this to your customer, they’ll thank you for it!
Want to know more?
If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more like it, please feel free to sign up to our free newsletter below. If you need any help with online ordering services for your hospitality business then please reach out for a free consultation.