Eat on A Tweet: Designing F&B for the New Generation
By Scott Acton CEO & Founder, Forte Specialty Contractors | August 26, 2018
Millennials have become the fastest growing consumer segment in the hospitality industry.
According to Hospitality.net and a survey by Oracle, millennials' use of mobile devices in hotels and restaurants is massive; more than 39 percent of millennials order F&B services through their mobile devices, one-fifth have used their smartphones to check into a hotel and 52 percent of millennials want to use their mobile devices to capitalize on loyalty programs. Now, with more hoteliers catering to this growing and influential demographic, hospitality brands big and small are catering to this demanding group by putting a greater emphasis on technology and creating more immersive-oriented experiences.
Interestingly enough, however, despite millennials' connection to technology, they haven't lost the need for the human touch. Hospitality brands can't expect to flourish only with technology and without superb customer service. Millennials very much desire the experience they are paying for coupled with the convenience of technology. According to a J. Walter Thompson Intelligence Study, 56 percent of millennials define themselves by their experiences more than other qualities, and 78 percent of them choose to spend money on a desirable experience over buying something tangible. Another 72 percent desire experiences that stimulate their senses as emotional memories are triggered by their senses. Despite what seems to be a dysconnectivity from the physical world while scrolling through their social media feeds, millennials' desire for engaging in meaningful experiences off their phones and connected with their friends is their end game.
So, what does all this mean to those in the hospitality industry who are trying to serve the needs of this demographic, and how will it change the industry moving forward?
At Forte Specialty Contractors, along with our partners who represent some of the largest brands in hospitality, restaurant, retail and nightlife, we are at the forefront of creating immersive, authentic experiences that engage guests in every part of their journey. These world-class brands have engaged us to help them create that "wow factor" by helping them design best-in-class experiential-oriented venues that appeal to discriminating millennials. One clear takeaway we have learned? A one-size-fits all approach definitely doesn't work and millennials will sniff out a brand's inauthenticity in a second – including making that brand culpable on social media. Brands simply don't have the time or money to get it wrong with this generation.
What are millennials seeking in their hospitality experience and what is the best way for hospitality brands to wine and dine the millennial demographic?