2018 saw more hospitality businesses get savvy on Instagram, food delivery services becoming popular in the workplace and superfood creeping into even more dishes.
So what’s in store for 2019? Here are H&L’s top social trends that we put together with feedback from our marketplace.
Healthy food not just for healthy restaurants
Once upon a time (a few years back), we all had to head to the latest, local, specialist healthy café/restaurant to get fresh, wholefoods, paleo, raw, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian etc etc. Consciously healthy eating, using food as our medicine instead of cramming supplements into our diet, has only been a mainstream thing in Australia for perhaps the last 5 years.
With becoming a more conscious society when it comes to our health and wellbeing, we expect good healthy nutritious food at all the eateries we visit. Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Grain Free, Low FODMAP , are being seen more often on the menus of our favourite restaurants.
Taking this one step further, buying local and knowing our food source, fresh wholefoods, an understanding about the relationship between gut health and wellbeing, are topics that anyone responsible for creating food for others needs to get up to speed on.
You don’t need to be an expert, you just need to be familiar and gradually start incorporating some of these trends into your menus. It shows your patrons you care enough to stay up to date.
Food delivery services
In Australia, food delivery services are currently at $600 million predicted to grow to $2.4 billion by 2025. We love our food delivery service! At work, home and tertiary institutions, people enjoy getting online and choosing the cuisine of their choice – and in Australia we have so many to choose from.
Be prepared for this part of your business to grow. Make sure you have the right processes in place to handle an increasing influx of online orders. A seamless online ordering system with the right POS is important to your operational efficiency. https://hlaustralia.com.au/our-blog/237-make-online-food-ordering-seamless-with-your-pos
The experience matters the most
We are smarter shoppers now, voting with our dollar and understanding value for money better. And we are more interested in the experience rather than the “hype” of the restaurant. If the experience is a good one, then we are more likely to return to the venue and tell our friends about it as well.
In 2019, experience matters. A great dining experience starts at the booking stage – online or on the phone - and goes all the way through to farewelling your patrons from your venue.
Happy staff who enjoy working at your venue, who are well looked after (and grateful for it), will go the extra mile to look after your customers and make them feel warm and welcome in your venue.
It starts from the inside out. When your operation is largely running well and your staff are happy, then your customers will get the benefit of this and share the experience with their friends.
Sustainability and community responsibility
As social and consumer consciousness continues to grow, we will continue to vote with our dollar and choose to spend our money with businesses that are on the same wavelength. If your business is not yet on the sustainability bandwagon, then you have no time to waste!
Recyclable coffee cups and containers, or BYO mugs, no plastic straws, buying local produce, buying from ethical farmers – all these are trends that are here to stay. What do you do with food waste? Organisations such as OzHarvest https://www.ozharvest.org/ are set up to take surplus food to those in need. We know that there are now many alternatives to make a business more sustainable, your customers will return if you embrace this and go with it.
And, remember to keep your customers informed about your journey of becoming a more sustainable and community focused business on your social media channels.
Knowing your customers using technology
Use technology to track and store information about your clients. Not only does it give you valuable information to use for future marketing such as email or text campaigns, https://hlaustralia.com.au/our-blog/235-5-tips-for-effective-text-campaigns-for-pubs it also allows you to personalise and tailor your service to your customers. They will love it.
Imagine how they would feel if you knew their dietary preferences, the fact they are vegetarian, that they only drink white wine or their birthday without much more effort on your part.
A good POS will track information such as this and improve customer loyalty https://hlaustralia.com.au/our-blog/236-using-your-restaurant-s-pos-system-to-improve-customer-loyalty – it’s all part of a great experience. All it needs is a little bit of staff training to add your clients profile information.
More user generated content
User generated content is any bit of online content generated by your customers such as tweets, videos, photos, testimonials and reviews. Research has shown that more than 90% of people trust user generated content more than advertising, and it is free for you!
Encourage your customers to leave reviews, take photos and post their experiences on social media. You can run competitions and ask your customers to post photos so you can choose the “best meal photo of the week”, and look for hashtags (#yourrestaurant) to find posts about your venue. When you do, share the content and acknowledge the person who generated the content on your own social media pages.
H&L will keep you stay ahead of trends and on top of your business
The team at H&L help our clients stay ahead of the game with our experience and knowledge in hospitality. Call H&L on 1300 797 638 about our powerful point of sales system used by many successful hospitality businesses in Australia. Also, check our blog for more tips and information to help you run your business.