Welcome to this week’s newsletter, where we share the latest hospitality news and trends.
In this week’s Hospitality Highlights Newsletter
New Instagram Features including GIF comments and Reels editing.
WhatsApp has introduced chat locks to keep conversations more secure.
Yelp has expanded its front-of-house tools to help restaurants manage their daily operations.
LinkedIn has started filtering connection and follower counts to give you a clearer view of your network—good news for those with 30k connections.
Conversational AI in the hospitality industry is changing how we interact with hotels.
Pairing wine and sun-dried tomatoes.
Trend watch:: Bubble cocktails.
Trends Report: Ayurveda, Digital nomads, and Metaverse trends
☕ Grab a coffee, and let’s dive in
Hospitality Highlights - Marketing News
❤️ New Instagram Features
Instagram has previewed new features at a product education workshop in Mumbai to help creators unleash their creativity and earn more from their Instagram content.
The workshop introduced new updates on Reels and content strategy. The new features include GIF comments on posts and Reels, Instagram Gifts, and new editing features on Reels, which will be rolled out gradually.
Hotels, restaurants and the hospitality industry can take advantage of these new features by showcasing their products and services on Instagram and engaging with their audience through Reels and GIF comments to provide more personalised service.
🔒 WhatsApp Chat Locks
WhatsApp has announced a new feature called Chat Lock that lets users protect conversations behind an additional layer of security.
This feature allows users to lock a specific chat in a folder that can only be accessed with a device’s password or biometric data. The chat is automatically hidden in notifications, making it ideal for individuals who share their phones with family members or friends.
Hotels, restaurants, and the hospitality industry could use WhatsApp to communicate sensitive information with clients, such as payment details, private bookings, and other confidential data. Chat Lock ensures that this information is kept secure, providing peace of mind to both businesses and clients.
🛎️ Yelp Expands Front-of-House Tools
Yelp has partnered with Toast and Reserve with Google to expand its front-of-house product capabilities under Yelp Guest Manager.
Its partnership with Toast provides insights from the point-of-sale system, while Reserve with Google allows diners to reserve a table or join a waitlist with Yelp’s restaurant partners from Google Search and Maps.
With these integrations, Yelp aims to help improve front-of-house operations and automate table status updates to free up staff. Restaurants can now set credit card holds with policies for weekends, holidays, or special events and set charges for no-shows and late cancellations. Integration and product expansions are becoming increasingly common across the restaurant tech segment.
🤝 LinkedIn Starts Filtering Connections
LinkedIn recently announced that it would no longer include “hibernated” and “restricted” accounts in the number of followers and connections listed on a member’s profile. This change is part of LinkedIn’s effort to provide its members with more reliable engagement and reach insights.
This change may help active LinkedIn users who have already reached their 30,000 connection limit to connect with other active users, potentially leading to more engagement and visibility.
💬 The Rise of Conversational AI in Hospitality
The hospitality industry can use conversational AI to improve customer service and operations. Unlike voice search and chatbots, conversational AI combines chatbots’ simplicity with the depth of AI to surface information that previously required poring through search results.
For guests, conversational AI means more efficient travel planning and instant communication with the hotel. For hotels, this means personalisation at scale, improved productivity, and streamlined customer service.
By embedding a conversational layer across their systems, hotels can provide better service to guests without investing in more labour resources. Conversational interfaces will transform chatbots into free-flowing experiences built on existing data to drive deeper impact.
🤩 Extraordinary Restaurants Around the World
When choosing a luxury retreat, an extraordinary restaurant is a must-have. Michelin-starred restaurants with stunning settings, superior cuisine, unique atmospheres, and excellent service are what guests look for.
Explore these restaurants worldwide, including 1919 at The Cottage in the Wood Malvern (England), Fernery at Grove of Narberth (Wales), Primrose Restaurant at Saint Andrews Gramado (Brazil), La Table de l’Orangerie at Château de Fonscolombe (France), and Gourmet Restaurant Prezioso at Castel Fragsburg (Italy)
🍅 Pairing Wine & Sundried Tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes are returning to the culinary world, with chefs such as Dominique Crenn and Eric Kim singing their praises. They offer a complex combination of fruity brightness and umami depth that neither fresh nor canned tomatoes can match.
Sun-dried tomatoes are easy to make at home if you have an overabundance of fresh tomatoes. They also lend themselves to creative wine pairings, such as a tangy Sangiovese, a sweet sparkling Shiraz, and a leathery Rioja Reserva.
For a concentrated pairing, Amarone della Valpolicella is a dry but luscious wine that complements the flavours of sun-dried tomatoes. Hotels, restaurants, and the hospitality industry can take advantage of this trend by incorporating sun-dried tomatoes into their dishes and creating unique wine-pairing menus.
🛏️ Extended Stay Brands
The demand for extended-stay lodging in the US is outpacing supply by almost three-to-one in most markets, according to The Highland Group.
As a result, major hotel chains such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, and Wyndham have recently previewed new extended-stay hotel brands. These companies are betting that the long-stay trend is here to stay, driven by factors such as federal infrastructure investment, the resilience of blended travel, and a housing crisis.
The hospitality industry can capitalise on this trend by offering fully equipped kitchens, larger rooms, and self-service laundry rooms to target guests looking for longer stays at mid-scale prices.
🍹 Trend Watch: Bubble Cocktails
Bubble tea has been a popular trend in the food and beverage industry for a while now, and the next big thing could be bubble cocktails.
Blackball, a Taiwanese company specialising in desserts and bubble tea, has launched BAL, which focuses on working with alcoholic drink brands. The company is looking to cooperate with spirits, beer, and cocktails brands to present its drinks in a new way.
The hospitality industry can utilise this opportunity by incorporating bubble cocktails into their menu offerings.
Each week, I answer your question and provide expert tips and advice to help you stay ahead of the game.
What are the basic concepts of social media platforms & social networking?
Social networks are websites and apps that allow users and organisations to connect, communicate, share information and form relationships. People can connect with others in the same area, families, friends, and those with the same interests.
Social networks have some standard features, including user-generated content, the ability to create a profile, and the ability to form lasting connections with other users.
These connections allow users to find other users and form webs of relationships, and algorithms often recommend other users and brands they may want to connect with.
Social networking serves multiple purposes, including sharing, learning, interacting, and marketing. It’s an excellent way to connect with others who share their interests and expand their social networks.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs suggests that social networking addresses our social needs for love, belonging, self-actualisation, and esteem. Connecting with others and sharing our experiences gives us a sense of belonging and validation.
Social networking can help us learn and grow, interact with others, and promote our personal or professional brand.
Types of Social Networks
- Social Connections: This type of social network is where people stay in touch with friends, family members, acquaintances or brands through online profiles and updates or find new friends through similar interests. Some examples include Facebook, Myspace (it still exists) and Instagram.
- Photo and Video Sharing: Various social networks provide video and photography sharing services, including YouTube and Flickr.
- Blogging/Community Building: Tumblr, WordPress, Medium, and LiveJournal are social networks that allow users to create and share content, build communities, and interact with other users.
- Disappearing, aka Ephemeral Content: Snapchat and Instagram Stories are examples of social networks that allow users to share temporary content that disappears after a set time.
- Shoppable Content: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest are social networks that allow businesses to sell products directly through social media posts.
- Social Media Live Streams: Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and YouTube Live are social networks that allow users to broadcast events, performances, or personal updates in real-time.
- Discussion Forums, News or Informational: This type of social networking allows users to post news stories, informational or how-to content and can be general purpose or dedicated to a single topic. Some popular examples include Reddit, Stack Overflow and Digg.
- Professional Connections: These social networks are geared toward professionals and are designed for business relationships. Some examples include LinkedIn and Xing.
- Closed/Private Community Platforms: These social networks focus on allowing the user to communicate directly with each other in one-on-one or group chats. Some examples are WhatsApp, WeChat and Snapchat.
- Bookmarking & Content Curation Network: Pocket, Flipboard, and Pinterest are examples of social networks that allow users to save articles, videos, and other content to view later or share with others.
- Consumer Review Networks: Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Reviews are social networks that allow users to share their experiences and leave reviews of businesses, products, and services.
- Inspirational Social Media platforms, like Pinterest: Instagram and Tumblr, are examples of social networks that allow users to discover and share inspiring content such as quotes, art, and photography.
- Educational: These social networks offer remote learning, enabling students and teachers to collaborate on school projects, research, and interact through blogs and forums. Some popular examples are Google Classroom, LinkedIn Learning, and ePals.
Putting it all together
Designing a seamless social networking experience and creating an effective marketing strategy can be overwhelming for brands. However, one of the most powerful tools in their arsenal is the development of buyer personas. These are detailed representations of a brand’s ideal customer based on thorough research, including demographic details, interests, behaviours, goals, pain points, and buying patterns.
By creating a buyer persona, brands can fully understand their target audience and tailor their messaging to resonate with them on the most appropriate channels at the most opportune times. This can result in enhanced brand loyalty, increased sales, and a more streamlined customer experience across multiple channels.
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Each week I bring you the latest insights and exploding topics
Ayurveda is a growing trend because of its holistic approach to health and wellness, including natural herbs and remedies.
Hotels and restaurants can capitalise on this trend by offering Ayurveda-based dishes and drinks on their menus and promoting Ayurveda-based wellness programs and treatments to their guests.
💻 Digital Nomads
The rise of remote working has led to an increase in the number of digital nomads who work remotely while travelling the world.
Digital nomads are a lucrative market for the hospitality industry, as they typically earn between $50,000 and $99,999 annually.
By providing reliable Wi-Fi, comfortable seating and food and beverage discounts, hotels and restaurants can attract digital nomads looking for a space to work away from home.
The concept of the “metaverse” has been marketed as a new immersive and shared space that could potentially revolutionise daily life. Still, several experts have expressed scepticism about its potential impact.
There is no consensus on the metaverse and a lack of general interest. A report by Pew Research Center suggests that immersive virtual environments are unlikely to impact daily life by 2040 significantly, and many experts believe that the “metaverse” is a marketing confection with no basis in reality.