With a positive upturn in sales in the Hospitality industry as 2011 ended Brands hit 2012 running in the first quarter. With the first quarter results now in they are now back at the forefront ready for an all-out assault on Q2! In this industry it is all about measuring results. One of the most profound statements ever shared with me in this industry was €what is measured is treasured!€
The United States is the largest most technologically powered economy in the world! That technology has found its way to the Hospitality industry as well. With the use of geo-demographic segmentation tools and geo-demographic modeling to imitate and predict consumer behavior Operators now have a plethora of information available to modify operations to meet the needs to manage every controllable aspect of operations. For anyone unfamiliar with geo-demographic segmentation tools they essentially are tools that show you how the birds flock together and when and where they fly, €consumer profiling€. These tools are powered by Census information, lifestyle information, consumer credit reporting to determine buying and spending patterns all catalogued and analyzed with algorithmic tools similar to those used in search engine indexing and rankings.
As with any industry knowledge is power. For the Hospitality industry and more specifically the Food Service Industry knowing how the area around you unit is populated in the AM vs. PM dayparts, knowing what type of consumers are flocking to or from your geographic area with such specific data at your fingertips knowing how far they are willing to drive to get to you and how long they are willing to give you to get the order right and have them on their way can sculpt every aspect of every decision made on a daily basis.
With all that being said, technology has its place in this industry but the bottom line is this. The Hospitality industry is a people industry and without that human factor being a part of the overall experience for the customer they won't return! Getting a customer to walk in the door the first time is easy! Getting them to come back repeatedly is the hard part! The most important piece of technological equipment every operator is equipped with is their ears. Just listen! It really is that simple, listen to what your consumers really want and give it to them. Consumers don't have any trouble spending their hard earned dollars if they feel the value is present. Value being defined in this industry as quality and service! There must be a bond of TRUST between the consumer and the outlet. Today's consumers have more choices than ever what sets you apart from the others that makes them want to choose you? In the fast food segment one brand stands out in front of many others with a simple response they offer to every customer with every request, €It will be my pleasure€ Kudos Chick- Fil- A it is always a pleasure to dine with you