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the Restaurateur

2014 Trends in the Hospitality Industry

November 03, 2014

Take note of new trends in the hospitality industry that could affect your business.

Hotels and restaurants have seen many changes to business practices in 2014. Like many other industries in this day and age, the hospitality industry has adopted many new business trends including an increased use of technology and social media especially in restaurants. Environmentally friendly practices and “Going Green” have also become very popular and major changes to healthcare regulations are having a big impact on businesses.

Dependence on Technology

Hotels and restaurants are working to attract the attention of "millennials" (between the ages of 18-34) with new brands and up-to-date technology. In both hotels and restaurants, millennials expect speed and precision when it comes to booking, WiFi, checking in, and ordering. With the expectation for accuracy and speed, it is no wonder why certain restaurants now use mobile tablets for menus, ordering and even payment. Frequent diner and loyalty rewards programs (which depend on card systems) are becoming increasingly popular in restaurants as well. As customers rack up points on their cards, restaurants are able to track visits and purchases, and provide incentives for customers to return.

Social Media

Social media lends itself well to the hospitality industry and the increased expectations of customers. People now expect to be able to view a restaurant's menu or a hotel's details online and most of the time from their mobile phone. Once something hits the internet, it can spread rapidly, so it is important to be aware of your restaurant or hotel's reputation on the internet. Businesses that want to market successfully must include an effective social media campaign in their business plan and maintain their reputation online. Online reviews hold great power and can influence future patrons decisions on where to stay and eat.

Going Green

The hospitality industry has adopted many eco-friendly policies and practices. In addition to offering more options for vegetarians, catering to gluten-free customers, and expanding children’s menus, restaurants have increased their use of local farm to table products. With less travel required to purchase local items, restaurants are actively working on reducing their carbon footprint. Hotels have also implemented eco-friendly procedures like organic cotton sheets and towels, and non-toxic cleaning products for housekeepers.

Health care coverage

The hospitality industry, like all industries, is dealing with new requirements under the Affordable Care Act. To make sure they are meeting the terms of the new laws, business owners should double check their health insurance plan and talk to a professional. The ACA now requires that health care coverage is to be extended to employees working at least 30 hours per week, a new and significant expense for those in the hospitality industry.

For more information on how to help your business stay abreast of industry trends, contact any member of our Hospitality Services Group.

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