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 January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.