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IoT is Coming, Jon Snow…
Posted: 05/21/2019

Hospitality is prime for the coming advent of the various devices that make up the Internet of Things. Estimates show the industry now represents 17.5 million rooms worldwide and savvy guests are demanding more personalization and an overall improved guest experience along their connected travel journey and belief is that IoT can bring this to reality. 

The forces driving local search rankings are constantly changing. But recent studies suggest that in 2019, four key factors make up the local search algorithm. 
 
The most significant factor is Google My Business (GMB). If you’re not on it, get on it now.

The robotic revolution in the hospitality industry might seem to have taken a step back. This January, the famously quirky Henn-Na Hotel in Japan fired half of its 243 robot staff. The robotic workforce reportedly irritated guests and frequently broke down.

Think about the moment when you first enter your hotel room. Look around: Does the room tell you anything unique about the hotel where you are staying? Or is it all beige walls and double beds with white covers, and you have to walk back outside and look at the sign on the hotel’s facade to even remember where you are?

Hotel guests commonly bring multiple devices with them during their stay. However, many hotel environments don’t provide easy access to charging outlets. This situation can lead to a guest feeling more than inconvenienced. A recent survey found almost 90 percent of people "felt panic" when their phone battery dropped to 20 percent or below.



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How to Incorporate Digital Marketing into Fine Dining

01/24/2017

Since the recent growth in fine dining casual dress codes, environments, added value and culinary enhancements are among the ways in which fine dining restaurants have changed to meet their customer's’ needs.

As times have changed and most restaurants have migrated toward a digital marketing approach, it has been challenging for restaurants to keep up. Establishments of this caliber depend on the idea of exclusivity, that is something quickly lost by the use of digital marketing since all channels are meant to be public. Restaurateurs might be wary to try this new form of marketing out of fear of losing touch with traditional roots and losing the one aspect that sets the experience apart.

Similarly, the lack of personal touch that comes with digital marketing on top of the lack of exclusivity are the two main reasons that fine dining restaurants might be hesitant to incorporate digital marketing. In order for fine dining to remain a force in the industry, adapting to the new era and incorporating digital marketing is essential.

One way this can be done is through the tasteful use of social media channels. Even though their market is limited, many different types of guests can be found at fine dining restaurants. There are the wealthy guests, the foodies, the tourists, and guests who come only for special occasions. A fine dining restaurant’s goal should be to reach this diverse demographic of guests through different sources. To target the older market, restaurants should invest in traditional marketing techniques such as newspapers, food magazines and reviews. However, this would only touch a fraction of customers. Restaurants also have to focus on new media channels such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Using aesthetically pleasing photos of a restaurant's food, the dining room or the chef can influence those following their accounts to choose their restaurant. The way a fine dining restaurant will posts pictures will be much different than the way casual restaurants do.  Fine dining restaurants can still emphasize the experience of their restaurants through images that entice the viewer to seek out the exclusive experience for themselves.

User-generated content sites like Yelp, which have tremendous power in the world today, is another way to remain competitive. There are millions of users on these sites who actively engage on them throughout their day. But there are several fine dining restaurants that will not promote themselves on Yelp for fear of what guests might say. According to Yelp, almost half of the reviews posted on the site are five-star reviews, and even if they aren’t five star reviews, almost three-fourths of the reviews posted on Yelp end with the reviewer recommending the establishment to the public.

Another interesting fact is that nearly half of Yelp users make a salary of $100,000 or more a year. These users arguably have a larger disposable income and can afford to eat out more often at upscale establishments. Being an active participant on Yelp has not only been proven to have a strong influence on restaurant sales, but it can also help create loyal guests. Responding to reviews shows that the restaurant appreciates its customers and wants to take that second chance to turn them from critics into repeat customers.

Digital marketing is not just the present way to engage with guests, but it is also the future. All restaurants have to work in incorporate it somehow in order to stay relevant in this ever changing industry. Fine dining especially has to put its traditionalist ways behind and embrace the idea of digital marketing through social media and Yelp to remain a force in the industry.

About The Author
Boston University: Rafi Pell, Tessa Ohebshalom, Zifan Li and Maura Feltault




Rafi Pell, Tessa Ohebshalom, Zifan Li and Maura Feltault
 
Special thanks to Leora Lanz's Digital Marketing for Hospitality class at the Boston University School of Hospitality Administration for providing this series for our readers.
 
This is the second article in a total of five articles this series.

 
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