Today’s era of Social Media Marketing

Today’s era of the “connected customer” — the vast world of online reviews combined with growing social media use provides unlimited risk and reward for the Hotel world.

There are different ways in which men and women approach social media. Both groups look for contrasting elements on these platforms, and use them for varying purposes. Generally speaking, men tend to use social media in order to promote more business-orientated content. For example; 24% of US online male adults use LinkedIn, compared to 19% of women. That being said, women now make up close to half of business travelers, and are more likely to base travel plans on reviews. The current percentage of female business travelers in the US is up from 43% in 2003, approximately 25% in 1991, and less than 5% in the early 1970s, just over 40 years ago. Read More

When was the Last time you gave your customer Flowers?

Differentiation is the process of distinguishing a product or entire offering from others, making it more attractive to a particular target market. This involves differentiating it from competitors’ products and standing out on the competitive landscape through unique positioning.

Differentiation is a source of competitive advantage. Marketing or product differentiation is the process of describing the differences between products or services, or the resulting list of differences. This is done in order to demonstrate the unique aspects of your product and create a sense of value. Without question, differentiation must be valued by buyers. The term unique selling proposition refers to advertising to communicate a product’s differentiation. Read More

2015 TNI’s Food Forecast: The Consumer is now in charge of your brand

Author: Robert Ancill

Keywords: Restaurant Consultants, Food Trend Forecast

Mahatma Ghandi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world”, and in 2014, it just seemed that Americans finally took notice of his advice. A year where virtually all food trends were health-based; the themes of honesty, transparency and wellness that have acutely manifested since the recession, have now become steamroller trends that will unquestionably maintain velocity over the coming years. Read More

THE CHILDHOOD OBESITY QUESTION

The Childhood Obesity issue is a fascinating subject that appears to be somewhat mis-understood at core level. For instance, clearly an enhanced exercise regime will represent a huge advantage in dealing with obesity, however it will be far less effective if our children just go to McDonalds afterwards. For instance, did you know a 75-pound kid would have to walk 8 hours and 55 minutes to burn-off a Whopper with cheese?…and that doesn’t include the fries and Coke the kid probably would also buy.

If this kid added fries, it would add another 2 hours and 41 minutes of walking. And the Coke to wash it down adds another 1 hour and 21 minutes of walking. That’s more than 10 hours total of walking! Whew. Read More

9 Ideas for a More Successful Restaurant Web Site

Author: Robert Ancill

Keywords: Restaurant Consultants, restaurant websites, online restaurant marketing

According to The Next Idea Restaurant Consultants; what consumers want from a restaurant web site may differ from what you think.

At the top of the list was “current menus with up-to-date prices” – no surprises there. But also of high interest were: descriptions of dress codes, driving instructions, hours of operation, and information regarding special needs. For example, is the site wheelchair-accessible? And are large-type menus available? Read More

Turning the Clock Back With the Farm to Table Movement

There’s no better example than the rise of the farm to table movement to prove that the world is indeed round. As the reality of global warming and climate change hits home, weno longer want to be responsible for food on the table that comes with a big helping of carbon emissions – as in frozen foods shipped across the country or even across the oceans.  People now want organic and sustainably grown produce that is grown in nearby farms, if not in their own backyard.

Until the early 20th century, most of the food purchased and consumed was grown locally, within a radius of 50 miles or so. Then urbanization, technology advances and globalization shifted the balance from rural farms and the growers to large retailers who could ship in fruits and frozen foods from anywhere in the world. It killed small farmers and hastened up the growth of mega cities with massive transportation hubs and infrastructure.  Read More

Menu Engineering explained

KEYWORDS: MENU ENGINEERING, RESTAURANT CONSULTANTS, MENU SCIENCE
Menu engineering Is an interdisciplinary approach in the deliberate and strategic construction of menus.

Sometimes called ‘Menu Psychology’, the term menu engineering is generally adopted as a standard Best Practice within the Hospitality and Restaurant Industries. The objective with menu engineering is to maximize a concept’s profitability by leading the customer to certain purchases, and avoiding others, in addition to ‘engineering’ recipes to maximize profits at product and category level.

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Loyalty programs in restaurants: A primary customer engagement platform

With consumer eating out habits changing, competition is yet again expanding across previous borders. One of the primary marketing platforms, restaurants are adopting, is Loyalty programs.

Loyalty programs designed to reward loyal customers with unique and customized benefits and at the same time to maintain a long standing [mutually rewarding] relationship. According to a recent survey held on loyalty program memberships for restaurants, it was revealed that on average each family affiliates to, on average, 18 loyalty programs. Compared to 20 years ago where reward programs were mainly Air Miles, it is evident the importance of loyalty programs and the ever increasing popularity of this strategy.
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The Next Idea’s Eating Out Forecast 2014 and forward

It’s that time again – when we review the past year and predict how food and hospitality trends will appear in 2014 and beyond.

Forecasting future directions relies on a careful balance of correctly interpreting history and foundation, along with an analysis of the current consumer frame of mind.

One thing we know for certain–the traditional research methods are less relevant in our modern dynamic consumer landscape. Therefore, we continue to employ non-traditional, innovative research techniques in order to successfully forecast trends. One method thatThe Next Idea researchers have found increasingly important when compiling forecasts, is to take into account world events and global trends. Our theory is that by understanding the consumer mentality, (which is impacted by its surrounding world and events), we can more effectively forecast evolving expectations.  Read More

The Next Idea’s 2011 Food Forecast

Catering to the Consumer Mindset: Empowerment, Alternatives, and a Search for Balance

Amidst a mood of cautious optimism, The Next Idea releases its annual report on global hospitality trends. For 2011, the prevailing message reflects a melding of increased consumer intelligence, expanded empowerment and alternatives, and a demand for a balance between cost and quality.

Simply put, in a post-recession restaurant marketplace, consumers are increasingly calling the shots. Read More