Serving fresh marketing updates, trends, buyer behaviour, and strategic intelligence for hotels, restaurants, and hospitality brands.
In this week’s Hospitality Highlights Newsletter
Top Marketing News
- Facebook and IG Reels Outperform TikTok Clips in Driving Views
- Instagram Makes It Easier to Remove Spammy Followers
- In-App Spending on TikTok Continues to Rise
- YouTube Now Lets Creators Pause Comments on Videos
- Meta Makes End-to-End Encryption a Default on Facebook Messenger
Restaurant and F&B News
- Nostalgia, Loyalty, and Value Took Center Stage in Restaurant Marketing
- Burger King Turns Hangovers Into Discounts with Facial Recognition
- KFC Adds Honey BBQ and Spicy Mac & Cheese to Its Wraps Lineup
- Taco Bell Is Testing Frozen Coffee and Shakes
- How “Healthy” and “Sustainable” Labels Could Boost Plant-Based Choices
Hotel and Travel News
- IHG Survey: Many Travellers Seek Post-Family-Holiday Holiday
- Hilton’s New Hotel Brands: What Trademark Filings Reveal
- Japan’s Mitsubishi Estate Plans 10,000 Homes for “Digital Nomads”
- Skyscanner Releases Its 2024 Trends Report
- Hyperloop One Is Shutting Down
Let’s Check In!
Facebook and IG Reels Outperform TikTok Clips in Driving Views
A new report reveals that Instagram Reels drive more views, with longer Reels outperforming shorter ones. Brands see more median views for longer Reels, surpassing TikTok for view counts.
Facebook Reels also outperforms regular video uploads with over triple the median views. The shift from Stories to Reels is set to continue with Meta’s emphasis on Reels as a key engagement driver.
Hotel and restaurant marketers should consider incorporating more Reels into their content strategy to leverage this trend. Evaluate your current content mix, shifting emphasis from Stories to Reels where relevant.
Instagram Makes It Easier to Remove Spammy Followers
Instagram has unveiled new tools that empower users to combat spam and control content visibility. These features include enhanced automated detection to identify fake followers and spam-filled content and the ability to remove such items in bulk.
Instagram will notify users of content violations and is experimenting with hiding views from accounts deemed as spam and editing out suspected spam through advanced comment filtering.
Maintaining an authentic, clean, and welcoming online presence can benefit hotels and restaurants, as this will enhance consumer confidence and trust.
In-App Spending on TikTok Continues to Rise
A recent report reveals a 15% year-over-year increase in TikTok in-app spending to $3.8 billion, with significant contributions from the US and key Western markets.
TikTok is anticipated to focus on promoting food delivery purchases in 2024.
Hotels and restaurants can gain a competitive advantage through TikTok’s growing in-app spending by partnering with influencers to showcase food delivery services and create engaging content to reach wider audiences, tapping into the app’s evolving eCommerce potential.
YouTube Now Lets Creators Pause Comments on Videos
YouTube creators can now pause comments on their videos, giving them more control over engagement.
This new feature prevents new comments from being posted while allowing existing ones to remain visible. It’s part of YouTube’s efforts to improve comment moderation and create a more positive user environment.
The company has also reorganised comment settings and added more specific moderation options. This means creators have greater flexibility in managing their comment sections.
To maintain a positive online environment for hotels and restaurants, consider using this feature. Use the pause option during a PR crisis, busy periods, or when you are unable to moderate comments.
Meta Makes End-to-End Encryption a Default on Facebook Messenger
Meta is implementing end-to-end encryption as the default for calls and messages on Facebook and Messenger platforms, ensuring only the sender and recipient can decrypt messages. This move aims to enhance user privacy and security.
While welcomed by privacy advocates, concerns about potential abuse have been raised. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg highlighted the importance of this feature following past data scandals. The rollout may take time to reach all users.
Consider updating your privacy policies to reflect this change and communicate with customers about these platforms’ enhanced privacy and security measures.
Restaurant and F&B News
Nostalgia, Loyalty, and Value Took Centre Stage in Restaurant Marketing
In 2023, restaurant marketing centred on nostalgia, loyalty programs, and value. Consumers responded well to nostalgic campaigns, like McDonald’s Adult Happy Meal.
Many chains revamped loyalty programs to attract and retain customers, with Domino’s and Subway leading. Value messaging, social media trends, and niche merchandise collections also played a significant role.
Tapping into nostalgia, promoting loyalty programs, and offering value offers are key marketing strategies for success in the restaurant industry in 2024. Keep an eye on social media trends and explore unique niche merchandise collections for your venue.
Burger King Turns Hangovers Into Discounts with Facial Recognition
In December 2023, Burger King Brazil introduced a “Hangover Whopper” campaign.
The promotion used facial recognition technology to measure a person’s “hangover level” on a scale of one to three and offered a corresponding combo coupon for the Whopper Jr. Double, Whopper or Whopper Double.
The promotion was launched in Brazil, allowing customers to access the campaign through their app and microsite, which included coupons for the Whopper range.
Restaurants can take inspiration from this innovative and playful approach to create engaging campaigns for special occasions and local events.
KFC Adds Honey BBQ and Spicy Mac & Cheese to Its Wraps Lineup
KFC has introduced new Honey BBQ and Spicy Mac & Cheese chicken wraps. The wraps, aimed at younger consumers with a limited budget, are available for a limited time and have contributed to a sales boost for the brand.
According to CEO David Gibbs, value offerings have been successful in engaging low-income consumers. Customers can also receive a free wrap by creating a KFC app account and making a minimum purchase of $1.
Consider exploring promotional deals and limited-time offers to attract younger consumers who enjoy chicken to-go and complex heat, 2 of this year’s main food trends.
Taco Bell Is Testing Frozen Coffee and Shakes
Taco Bell is testing new frozen drinks – Coffee Chillers and Churro Chillers – at select California locations.
The Coffee Chillers offer iced coffee with cold foam in Mexican Chocolate, Caramel Churro, and Spiced Vanilla flavours, while the Churro Chillers feature a sweet shake with cold foam and churro crumbles in multiple flavours.
The company aims to cater to the growing demand for frozen coffee and shakes, with its CMO expressing the brand’s commitment to innovation.
2024 will see growth in the trend of speciality frozen beverages. Introduce unique frozen coffee and shake options to appeal to consumer preferences and bolster your menu offerings.
How “Healthy” and “Sustainable” Labels Could Boost Plant-Based Choices
US-based researchers found that relabeling vegan and plant-based foods as “healthy” or “sustainable” significantly increased consumer interest.
The study of 7,341 participants showed that such labelling led to a 44% selection rate, compared to 20% when labelled vegan. This approach can help shift focus from the negative connotations of “vegan” to the benefits of meat and dairy-free options.
Restaurants can capitalise on this by relabeling plant-based dishes on menus and buffet options as “healthy” or “sustainable.”
This small change could significantly influence guest choices and promote more sustainable and healthier dining options.
Hotel and Travel News
IHG Survey: Many Travellers Seek Post-Family-Holiday Holiday
IHG Hotels & Resorts‘ survey reveals that 71% of holiday travellers desire a separate holiday after a family holiday. 55% of travellers opt for hotels for respite, seeking space, relaxation and a chance to be themselves.
Connor Smith, VP of IHG, explained this was an opportunity for hotels to provide a sanctuary for travellers. The top reasons for choosing hotels over other forms of accommodation include space, relaxation, and access to amenities.
Hotels can capitalise on these insights by offering relaxation packages, quiet spaces, spa services, and personalised touches that can enhance guests’ post-holiday stay experience.
Hilton’s New Hotel Brands: What Trademark Filings Reveal
Hilton is exploring multiple potential names for its new extended-stay hotel brands, including Livsmart, Adapt Suites, and Belong Suites.
The company’s trademark filings indicate its plans for a long-stay apartment hotel concept, tentatively called Project H3. Hilton has faced challenges in trademarking the H3 brand and is considering alternative names.
CEO Chris Nassetta mentioned a potential new hard luxury lifestyle brand in the works, aiming to be developed within the next year or two.
Hotels should monitor consumer feedback on existing extended-stay offerings and adapt their services accordingly.
Japan’s Mitsubishi Estate Plans 10,000 Homes for “Digital Nomads”
Japan’s Mitsubishi Estate plans to target digital nomads by offering 10,000 rental homes for foreign highly skilled workers.
The properties, furnished and managed by a subsidiary, will be available in Tokyo through a licensing agreement with Blueground Holdings. With an anticipated increase in the digital nomad population, Japan aims to attract such visitors through new special visas and residence statuses.
Hotels that want to target digital nomads can respond by adapting their services to cater to the needs of remote workers, such as providing flexible accommodation and workspace options, offering long-term stay packages, and incorporating technology-friendly amenities.
Skyscanner Releases Its 2024 Trends Report
Skyscanner’s Travel Trends 2024 report reveals a focus on cultural exploration and budget-friendly luxury experiences. Lesser-known European destinations like Vigo and Leipzig are trending alongside value-for-money locations such as Faro and Algiers.
Travel behaviours include “gig tripping,” set-jetting inspired by TV shows, and a rise in “luxe-for-less” seekers. The future of travel aligns with sustainability and the increasing use of AI in trip planning.
Hotels can respond by promoting unique cultural experiences and affordable luxury packages. Embracing sustainability and integrating AI for personalised travel recommendations can elevate customer experience.
Hyperloop One Is Shutting Down
Hyperloop One, a company once focused on building a high-speed freight link between Europe and China, is shutting down after facing financial troubles and failing to secure a working hyperloop system contract.
Originally aiming to transport cargo and passengers at aeroplane-like speeds, the company laid off employees and is now selling off its assets, including test tracks and machinery.
Stay informed about shifting transportation trends and developments, such as the rise and fall of Hyperloop One, to anticipate potential impacts on travel patterns and tourism.
Last Updated on 9 January 2024 by Dawn Gribble