2015 Trends - Our Tips for Hospitality
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Hospitality has always been one of the fastest-paced industries. Not only do we need to stay abreast with the ever-changing facets of the technical and digital worlds, we also need to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing demands, preferences and expectations of our customers. 2015 is sure to see some changes and improvements to the way we currently do things. Led both by changes in technology, the way customers shop, and their eating and dining preferences, these are our predictions (in no particular order) for the trends for restaurants, cafes and bars in 2015.
More Enhanced and Engaging Loyalty Programs
Customer loyalty programs are nothing new to many businesses, but they are evolving. The key change to loyalty programs in 2015 will be a move away from card-based systems to mobile-based programs. For example, rather than swiping a physical card every time a customer eats with you, your loyalty program will instead implemented through a mobile app – a digital platform that collects customer purchases from you, and provides your customer with immediate and any-time updates on their points and rewards available from you, directly from their mobile device.
Social Media Frenzy
Social media has certainly taken over the way we do things – from image-sharing, promoting, customer reviews and more. In 2015 we’re sure to see more in this space.
  • Social Wi-Fi: Rather than having your customers connect with your Wi-Fi through a secret code or login, businesses will start to move towards Social Wi-Fi which allows customers to login through their social networks. Doing this enables you more access to your customer – get their feedback during the login process, ask them to follow you on social media, encourage them to sign up to your loyalty program; using Social Wi-Fi gives you an opportunity to build a better database of customers for ongoing marketing.
  • Customer Reviews: Social reviews are already very much in the spotlight for hospitality businesses, but this trend is sure to increase further next year. Make sure you’re ready – how do you respond to bad comments or reviews? How do you maximise good reviews? These are just a few things to consider and have in place, ready to respond to your social reviews.
  • Stay Alive on Social: Most businesses are now on social media (and if you’re not, you should be!). Make sure you stay active – share photos of your food and drink, promote specials (e.g happy hour, lunchtime specials etc) and keep regularly sharing information to keep your business in the minds of your followers. Also ensure you’ve added your business location on Facebook so your customers can check-in.
Mobile Integration
Mobile is the way of the future (for now, anyway!). These are just a few ways mobile will start to become more integrated into the way you do business next year. Think about how you could incorporate some of these ideas into your business:
iBeacons: By using iBeacons, your business will be able to begin targeting and marketing to customers within walking distance to your store. Why not let them know its happy hour, or give them a discount code for a dinner special? Use iBeacons to sell to your customers before they have even 

About Dominic Cain
Dominic is the Co-founder & CEO of Find My Rice, the world's largest Hospitality directory, dedicated to connecting the industry through the first globally-integrated platform. He is passionate about finding better ways to connect the industry he loves giving every producer & manufacturer access to a global market from Paddock to Plate.

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