Serving Fresh Marketing Updates, Trends, Buyer Behaviour and Strategic Intel for Hotels, Restaurants and Hospitality Brands.
In this week’s Hospitality Highlights Newsletter
Top Marketing News
- Share Instagram Story Comments
- TikTok’s Establishes eCommerce Fulfillment Network
- New DM Features in 𝕏
- YouTube Introduces “For You” Videos on Channel Pages
- LinkedIn Enhances Relationship Management in Sales Navigator
Restaurant and F&B News
- KFC Teases Return of Festive Favourites Menu
- Sweetgreen Embraces Full Automation
- Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s Expand Relationship
- Burger King to Close Underperforming Restaurants
- McDonald’s Steps into Footwear Fashion
Hotel and Travel News
- Travel Experiences in High Demand
- Airbnb and Booking to Benefit From EU Agreement on Short-Term Rentals
- Ultra Luxury Innovations
- Dom Pérignon Debuts Fine Dining at Le Bristol Paris
- Icelandic Volcanic Eruption: Potential for Flight Disruptions
Let’s Check In!
Share Instagram Story Comments
You can now share your favourite comments to Instagram stories, highlighting your most important interactions with your wider audience. This new feature aims to build on community interactions and spark conversations.
This will be a fantastic way to highlight your brand champions and top community members. Add this task to your Daily Instagram Activities checklist to drive engagement and strengthen community-building strategies.
TikTok Establishes eCommerce Fulfillment Network
TikTok is venturing into eCommerce by establishing a warehouse and fulfilment network to boost its operations and is offering holiday season discounts.
The social media platform aims to enhance the selling experience for merchants and brands. Challenges remain for TikTok, including security concerns and the need to gain consumer trust.
Good news for restaurants and hotels that sell their own products and branded merchandise, as this offers a fantastic new way to expand your e-commerce efforts.
New DM Features in 𝕏
Social media platform 𝕏 is rolling out several new features for its direct messaging function. Users accessing 𝕏 via the web will now have access to a Bulk Delete feature, enabling the quick removal of multiple message requests.
Premium Android users will soon be able to upload 10-minute videos in DMs, with this functionality later extending to iOS and the web.
A new feature allowing the download of videos from direct messages is being introduced, along with the option for users to return active conversations to the message requests folder.
The new features offer several benefits. The Bulk Delete feature will help you manage unwanted messages, resulting in a more organised messaging experience. The ability to upload 10-minute videos in DMs could help share more extensive and detailed content with your customers, such as room tours or a conversation with a chef about allergies. I can see this being a great help for guests with accessibility needs who have questions.
YouTube Introduces “For You” Videos on Channel Pages
YouTube has added a new “For You” feature similar to TikTok’s “For You Page.” The feature displays a personalised stream of videos on channel pages.
Channels will be able to customise the recommended videos based on each visitor’s viewing habits, allowing creators to curate content within a 12-month.
This update differs from the 2021 personalised recommendation tool, “New To You,” as it focuses on creator channel pages rather than viewer homepages.
YouTube really is important if you want to get in front of Millenials and Gen Z. With this new development from the platform, you’ll be able to create the personalised experiences these generations crave. Look back at your content in the last 12 months and identify videos for your feed.
LinkedIn Enhances Relationship Management in Sales Navigator
LinkedIn has integrated new AI-based features into its Sales Navigator platform to aid marketers in identifying promising prospects.
Account IQ uses generative AI to offer detailed insights into specific businesses, including performance metrics, strategic priorities, key challenges, and top executives, using a blend of LinkedIn’s first-party and third-party data.
Relationship Map visually represents buyer hierarchies within organisations, enabling users to understand staff dynamics, discover relevant outreach opportunities, and keep track of key personnel changes.
This update will certainly be helpful for your sales teams, allowing them to personalise their business development efforts.
Restaurant and F&B News
KFC has announced the return of its Festive Favourites Menu, responding to long-standing requests for a Kentucky Fried Turkey.
The company’s Christmas campaign, launched on social media and OOH, aims to build anticipation for the menu’s release. KFC will spend the next week showcasing the numerous requests for a turkey option with the Colonel’s signature seasoning, culminating in the menu reveal.
This strategic move mirrors the company’s commitment to meeting customer demands while capitalising on the excitement surrounding its limited-time Christmas offerings.
Limited-time menus and specials during Christmas are great for restaurants for several reasons. They create a sense of urgency and scarcity, encouraging customers to try the seasonal offerings while they have the chance. This helps drive customer interest and engagement.
Look at introducing high-margin additions like seasonal cocktails to boost your profits.
Sweetgreen Embraces Full Automation
Sweetgreen is embracing automated restaurants, aiming to deploy more robotic make lines in new and existing units in the coming year. The first store with an automated kitchen has proven successful, with the salad-making robot producing up to 500 bowls, plates, and sides per hour, leading to increased throughput, portioning consistency, and order accuracy.
The company reported improved restaurant-level margins and narrowed its net loss in the third quarter, showing progress towards profitability. In 2024, Sweetgreen plans to focus on loyalty programs and menu innovation, such as introducing protein plates, to drive revenue growth.
Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s Expand Relationship
Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s are in advanced discussions to expand their collaboration following successful trials of Krispy Kreme doughnuts at McDonald’s locations in Kentucky.
Krispy Kreme’s Q3 earnings report confirmed ongoing talks with McDonald’s to broaden their partnership, potentially including an expanded menu offering at McDonald’s drive-thru locations and beyond.
Restaurants can learn from Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s collaboration strategy by identifying complementary F&B brands to establish strategic partnerships. Consider collaborating with local bakeries, wineries, or speciality food producers to introduce unique menu items or limited-time offerings.
Restaurants can use collaborations as a platform to test new products or offerings. It minimises risk by allowing customer feedback and operational adjustments before a full-scale launch.
Burger King to Close Underperforming Restaurants
Burger King is closing weaker stores and remodelling others as part of its comeback plan to strengthen its foundation. Despite positive early results, including improved franchisee profitability and same-store sales growth of 6.6%, the chain has experienced a 2.8% decline in its unit count over the past year, with the closure of nearly 200 restaurants.
Executives believe these measures are necessary to revitalise the brand’s asset base and build a modern, competitive system. The company has allocated $33 million of its $150 million marketing budget for technology and improved operations in its comeback effort, which will roll out over the next few years.
In the face of market saturation and increased competition, improving existing outlets rather than expanding could be beneficial. This strategy could help maintain brand standards, improve customer experience, and enhance profitability.
Modernising outlets and making operations more efficient through technology could be key differentiators for QSRs in the future. While every brand’s approach will differ, Burger King’s strategy provides valuable insights for other players in the industry.
McDonald’s Steps into Footwear Fashion
McDonald’s has partnered with Crocs to release a footwear line featuring iconic McDonald’s characters and menu items.
Featuring four shoe designs, matching socks, and Jibbitz charms, the collection is available on Crocs.com and select retailers for between $70 and $75 each.
These plans will contribute to Ronald McDonald House Charities to assist families with sick children and improve access to medical care.
This collaboration between McDonald’s and Crocs represents a unique opportunity for the industry. Restaurants can expand beyond food into fashion and accessories. If well-executed, the concept of restaurant-themed fashion can create a new revenue stream and deepen customer loyalty by allowing diners to express their affinity for a brand in a new way.
The price range of $70 to $75 for these products suggests a potential market for high-quality, restaurant-themed merchandise. It might encourage other restaurants to consider similar collaborations with fashion brands or the creation of their own line of merchandise.
Hotel and Travel News
Travel Experiences in High Demand
Travel choices will be shaped by experiences in 2024, signalling a move toward more intentional and experiential journeys.
Skyscanner‘s survey of 18,000 global travellers reveals a growing demand for experiences such as food, concerts, art, and hiking. Interest in destinations like the Cayman Islands, French Polynesia, and Japanese cities like Osaka and Tokyo are gaining traction.
Given the shifting travel preferences towards more experiential and intentional journeys, hotels should consider tailoring their offerings to meet these new demands. You could focus on creating unique, local experiences such as bespoke culinary events, art and culture tours, hiking excursions, and music festivals to attract travellers.
Airbnb and Booking to Benefit From EU Agreement on Short-Term Rentals
The European Union is set to establish light touch rules for Airbnb and Booking, contrasting recent strict regulations on Big Tech. The aim is to create uniform regulations across the EU to address the patchwork of national laws.
The final rules will require short-term rental companies to provide usage data and nights stayed, with penalties for non-compliance. Despite opposition from some quarters, Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk views the EU-wide rules as a pivotal moment, expressing hope for collaboration with cities and governments to support sustainable tourism while protecting housing.
Hotels should respond to this news by reevaluating their strategies to compete with short-term rental companies like Airbnb.
It would also be valuable to track the implementation of these new EU regulations and understand how they affect the market dynamics. Establishing relationships with local authorities could help hotels maintain a level playing field.
Ultra Luxury Innovations
Deepak Ohri, known for revolutionising rooftop dining, is embarking on a new venture after successfully turning rooftop spaces into high-end bars and restaurants globally.
Having succeeded in Bangkok with award-winning restaurants and bars, he is now shifting his focus to creating a series of boutique hotels with a maximum of 20 rooms each, featuring unique experiences and innovative offerings.
Ohri’s vision includes highly sought-after locations, such as vineyards and coffee plantations, and promises disruptive innovations in the ultra-luxury space with a strong focus on food and beverage. The new venture, financed by family offices in Asia and Europe, will be unified under “Attitude,” with each property showcasing a distinct culinary focus.
Hotels can take inspiration from Ohri’s upcoming venture spotlighting food and beverages to enrich culinary offerings. Collaborate with local award-winning chefs or devise distinctive dining experiences.
Another noteworthy strategy is Ohri’s focus on unconventional locations, like vineyards, indicating that exploring non-traditional locations can provide guests with unique experiences and settings.
Dom Pérignon Debuts Fine Dining at Le Bristol Paris
Luxury Champagne house Dom Pérignon is collaborating with Hotel Le Bristol Paris to introduce an exclusive, limited-time fine dining experience.
The culinary journey, co-curated by Eric Frechon, Le Bristol Paris’ triple Michelin-starred executive chef, and Vincent Chaperon, Dom Pérignon’s chef de cave and cellar master, offers a showcase of fine dining, vintage wines, and adventurous pairings at Le Bristol Paris’ private courtyard garden.
The experience includes small bites and exclusive cuvées at Le Bar by Dom Pérignon, followed by a multicourse menu featuring dishes like pan-seared wild turbot with white truffle and caviar de Sologne, all served with Dom Pérignon Champagne.
Attendees are guided through an immersive, private dining experience with one-way mirrors, ensuring privacy while creating an alluring ambience. The experience concludes with a dessert course paired with Dom Pérignon Vintage 2002 Plénitude 2 bubbly.
Icelandic Volcanic Eruption: Potential for Flight Disruptions
Travellers are warned of potential flight cancellations and delays due to a possible volcanic eruption in Iceland.
While Keflavik airport continues to operate normally, experts from AccuWeather advise monitoring developments, as volcanic ash could impact air travel in Europe in the coming weeks due to changing upper-level wind patterns.
Experts believe the impact will not be as severe as the 2010 ash cloud crisis, cautioning travellers, especially during the upcoming United States Thanksgiving holiday, to closely monitor Iceland’s developments, as even slight differences in volcanic eruption specifics could result in significant changes to air travel.
Hotels affected should proactively communicate with their guests about the potential for flight disruptions due to the possible volcanic eruption in Iceland. They should advise guests to closely monitor the situation and stay informed about any flight cancellations or delays.
Hotels can offer flexible booking and cancellation policies to accommodate any changes in travel plans that may arise due to the volcanic activity. Hotels need to reassure guests that they are closely monitoring the situation and are prepared to assist them in the event of any travel disruptions.
Keeping guests informed and providing flexibility during this uncertain time will help maintain guest satisfaction and loyalty.
That’s a wrap for the week!
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any feedback or suggestions for future topics.
Here’s to Your Success
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Last Updated on 16 January 2024 by Dawn Gribble