By: Ashley Erickson
The Suncoast chapter of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FLRA) had a great hospitality networking event at the Holiday Inn in Lakewood Ranch on Wednesday morning. After some coffee and mixing and mingling, the speaker, Dave Reid who is the Chief Operating Officer for World of Beer, spoke to the group about marketing to the generation that everyone is talking about: millennials. His talk, called “Connecting Your Business with Millennials,” gave a great overview about how and why the hospitality industry should be focusing on millennials and how they make their purchasing decisions.
We hear a lot about millennials in the news, and some of the statistics Mr. Reid provided were fascinating. Millennials are the wealthiest and largest generation ever. By 2020 they will make up 75% of the workforce. They are expected to have a monumental spending power of around 200 billion dollars a year. If you want to have a successful modern business, you need to attract the millennial market. No company can ignore their enormous purchasing power. Their buying habits are completely different. When it comes to evaluating a potential purchase, or making any buying decision, the millennials have a new set of requirements. Simply advertising your product or service using older methods won’t be enough. If you want to tap into this lucrative market, you need to understand what resources they are using. Social media is everything to millennials. They have grown up in a much more digital world than any other generation. 80% of millennials look online before making a purchasing decision. Millennials trust reviews made by strangers online more than people they know personally. It is essential to have an online presence and be aware of what others are saying online about your business.
Although this talk was geared towards hotels and restaurants, it is good information for any business who is trying to appeal to millennials. One of the biggest takeaways is utilizing technology. Everyone knows that millennials are always on their smartphones. It is the best way to market your business. Utilize social media, encourage customers to post photos and reviews online, create an app, have an interactive website. Your customers then in turn can become your best advertisers by posting, tweeting, Instagramming, and blogging about your business. The more creative ways you use technology, the better. Many hotels now have “keyless” room keys allowing guests to use their smartphone instead to bypass the front desk check-in and go directly to their room.
Mr. Reid did a really nice job giving an overview about the millennial generation as compared to others. The point he was trying to make is that you need to market directly to millennials, and the traditional rules of marketing don’t really apply. His speech was humorous and engaging, filled with stories about his 35 years in the food service industry. It was an interesting perspective as he personally saw the shift that happened when social media came about.
One important takeaway from Dave Reid’s speech? Fast, Free, Wi-Fi. If you have a restaurant or a hotel, you must have fast and free Wi-Fi. How else are the millennials supposed to Instagram?
Restaurant Industry Veteran to Share Industry Insights on Millennials at Sarasota Breakfast
-Hospitality Industry Executives to Attend Event on Wednesday, July 12th –
(Sarasota, Fla.) – The Suncoast Chapter of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is excited to feature Dave Reid, Chief Operating Officer for World of Beer Franchising, Inc. A 35-year industry veteran, Reid will offer his enlightening presentation “How to Connect Your Business with the Largest and Wealthiest Generation Ever” at the hospitality networking event scheduled for Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at the Holiday Inn Sarasota-Lakewood Ranch.
Reid has worked every position in the restaurant and hospitality industry, from the dish room to the boardroom. A former Chairman of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Reid worked 21 years previously as the Executive Vice President of Miller’s Ale House Restaurants, overseeing 70 locations, with over 6,000 employees in 10 states. Reid has received a Doctorate of Foodservice award from the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers and was named one of the “Faces of Hospitality” for the state of Florida by FR&L Magazine.
Media is invited to attend this event, details are as follows:
WHAT: FRLA Suncoast Chapter Presents “Connecting Your Business with Millennials”
WHO: Dave Reid, COO, World of Beer Franchising, Inc.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
9:15AM Registration & Networking
6231 Lake Osprey Drive
Sarasota, Florida 34240
$20 per person – Member
$24 per person – Future Member
$400 – Event Sponsor (Includes 4 attendees, opening welcome, company name/logo on signage and materials)
About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
FRLA is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Our mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s $108.8 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.4 million employees – making it the state’s number one industry. We offer regulatory compliance and food safety training needs (RCS Training and SafeStaff®); industry developed career-building high school programs (FRLAEF); sponsor the only event in Florida exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry (FR&L Show, September 10-12, 2017 in Orlando); and we safeguard the needs of the hospitality industry by providing legislative advocacy. We represent and serve more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org and find us on Twitter @FRLAnews, Facebook and YouTube.