Several Fleet Streeters attended this year’s Restaurant Marketer & Innovator conference, which delivered plenty in the way of insight and inspiration. For anyone who wasn’t able to make it, here’s our top takeaways:

1. Why do coffee shops close at 4pm?

A brilliant talk to kickstart the conference by the colourful and energetic behavioural scientist, Rory Sutherland. He pointed out how easy it is to be led by trends in the industry but it’s critical to think logically about customers and their experience. We were asked ‘Why do coffee shops close at 4pm, when traditionally the time to drink tea or coffee is 5pm?’ alongside the story behind ‘The Mysterious death of John Lewis in Tunbridge Wells’. Both of which served to remind us how the human mind works, its simplicity and to give some best practice tips for hospitality businesses.

2. Don’t forget the Golden years

Too often people over 65 are not in the thoughts of operators, marketeers and the like.  How wrong we are.  Latest research from KAM has shown that spending on hospitality by the older generations has increased by more than 75% in the past 15 years and, while they may visit less often than a younger audience, they do spend just as much on their visits – focusing on quality rather than quantity.  On average, diners over 65 spend around £158 per month, which works out to a potential extra £2bn for the industry if we get the offer right. So, think about your offer during different day parts, about your menu and portion size and give older customers the experience they deserve.

3. It’s time to TikTok

Without doubt, the phenomenon of the short-video platform that is TikTok has become a regular in over 2bn users’ everyday lives over the past few years.  With an average of 114 minutes of daily viewing per user, it is no wonder that brands around the world are quickly reviewing its benefits and hospitality should be careful not to be left behind.  From self-promotion to paid partnerships, there is an abundance of opportunity for hospitality businesses and it’s a great way to engage directly with customers to build loyalty and drive footfall.

4. Purpose with purpose

Doing ‘good’ as a business can seem like an intimidating process, but there are many ways in which businesses can implement small changes that drive the wider purpose-lead agenda. These adjustments can be just as impactful to consumers as big changes and they can strengthen loyalty, and convert customers. Purpose-led businesses also attract and retain long-term staff more than ever before. Value what you have (from people to suppliers) and only shout about what’s authentic.

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