Summer is heating up and new market trends are beginning to emerge. Franchises can cash in on some of the season’s hottest crazes and the shifting demographics in order to really connect with their customers and their employees. Take a look at what trends you need to be aware of in this Friday Franchising News:
Demographics Shift and Restaurants Hire More Second-Career and Senior Employees
According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the teenage quick-serve workforce has decreased and older workers are projected to fill the gap. It’s not uncommon for adults to have more than one career, and many can find fulfilling work in the restaurant industry as a second career and while returning to college. It’s no wonder older adults are turning to restaurant jobs: the industry is expanding and jobs are plentiful across the US, restaurants provide flexible hours for parents and those returning to school, and many adults already have previous restaurant experience. Older worker tend to excel at customer relations because of their years of experience dealing with people and difficult situations. The NRA’s 2016 Restaurant Industry Forecast projects that by 2024, restaurant workers ages 35-44 will increase by 3.5% and workers over 65 years old will increase by 5.1%.
Pokemon Go Drives Sales at Small Businesses
As Pokemon Go users run around their towns in search of Pokemon, local businesses can cash in on this opportunity to drive huge amounts of foot traffic to their stores. Smart businesses are using the in-app purchases like Lures to increase the generation of Pokemon in the area around their business. Businesses near Pokemon Gyms can get creative in their real-life marketing in the form of giveaways, keeping score of which team is currently in control of the nearby Gym and offering discounts to members of that team, and being active in Pokemon Go social media hashtags. Other businesses have gotten really crafty, taking their business on the road to where the Pokemon roam. A mobile business can set up camp in parks and near PokeStops and Gyms to capitalize on the all the foot traffic.
Hotels Redesign the Front Desk With Customers in Mind
In an effort to be more user-friendly, Hyatt Hotels has spent two years developing a new system to speed up the check-in process and promote more clerk-guest interaction. While previous methods required 143 key stroke on a computer to check guests in, the new process will take a mere three. The system is being tested in six Hyatt hotels and is expected to be in Hyatt Hotels worldwide in the next year. The redesign is meant to drive clerks interacting with guests more rather than the entire check-in processes being focused on a computer screen rather than the guest. The streamlined process will also be easier to teach, meaning the hotel can focus on personality rather than technical skill when hiring.
Robots are on the Rise in the Food Industry
Fresh Healthy Vending is implementing a robotic machine that dishes out fro-yo for customers to then customize with their preferred toppings. The robotic arm first removes a cup from its holder, places the cup in the yogurt dispenser, dispenses a flavor, and then moves it along to the toppings. The yogurt robot was unveiled at the International Franchise Expo in New York in June. The new robot will join the ranks of ordering kiosks, kitchen robots, and chat bots that have been popping up in other restaurants around the world. For some, robots are a cost saving mechanism, but for Fresh Healthy Vending, the yogurt robot is a show stopper, a novelty item that attracts attention and that the kids love.
User-Generated Content is a Business’s Best Sales Tactic
Customers are businesses’ best sales people. User-Generated Content uses a psychological response known as social proof to validate or discredit a product. When we see that someone else likes a product, we are more likely to buy it. The world of social media makes this all the more easier for a business to promote User-Generated Content. Businesses can lean on their audiences to tell their own stories through images and videos, creating sharable User-Generated Content. Another way businesses are promoting this is connecting the offline and online world through their stores by adding QR codes to in-store products that link to customer review pages, displaying brand-related hashtags throughout the store, and encouraging customers to share content right then.