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? 

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.