How to use social media for increased F&B footfall

Hilton Doha director of operations Julien Besancon shares top tips with delegates at the Qatar Hospitality Summit

Hosting the F&B workshop
Hosting the F&B workshop

F&B lends itself to the opportunities of using social media platforms to increase footfall as well as spread awareness, according to the F&B workshop moderator Hilton Doha director of operations Julien Besançon.

With so many F&B options in Doha’s market, and so many more in development, hotel outlets need to find inventive ways to generate new business.

Besançon said: “Before, we used word of mouth — and still do — but now we have different platforms to spread awareness.” These help operators spread awareness and reach more people than ever before, thereby leading to cost savings and instant feedback.

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He cautioned operators not to panic if F&B outlets are not immediately successful. “When restaurants are failing, some places tend to bring in a brand, but that doesn’t always work. A brand without awareness will not work,” Besançon said.

He explained: “First we need to know who are we targeting, what age, what nationality. Following this you will select which platform. Who is going to manage the page? What type of communication style will you be using on the platform?”

The main guideline, he said, was to be fun and creative.

He also highlighted using video as being beneficial to outlets. and said promoting the basics of the outlet might seem simple, but can provide results. WhatsApp is also taking off in Doha, and he shared an example of sharing videos through WhatsApp to the team’s database — thereby reaching thousands of people.

Besançon concluded: “Instead of looking at the hotel next door, look at hotels in New York, London, and Singapore and get inspired by them.”

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