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Trends In The Hospitality, Restaurant, Pub & Café Sector

Welcome to Natalie’s Blog…


I can’t help but be impressed by the great technological change currently underway in the HORECA sector which is exploiting the popularity of smartphones, mobile devices and the Internet to revolutionise the customer experience.

You may have experienced it yourself recently in some of the hotels, restaurants, pubs and cafes which are using technology to offer exciting, memorable and ‘shareable’ customer experiences that create discussion, earn loyalty and give them competitor advantage, making them stand out.

Innovative uses of new technology in the Horeca sector include:

* Hotels investing in high speed WiFi, apps for hotel services, music streaming and in-room tablets for controlling the lighting, air conditioning, entertainment systems, room service etc.

* Restaurants and pubs investing in technology that allows customers to order food and drinks either before arriving in the venue or from their table in the venue, and allowing payment by app too.

However, the results of a survey undertaken by CMS Law of over 5000 ‘millennials’ in 18 countries surprised me and it might surprise you too as it dispels several myths and stereotypes. The results suggest a generation of digital natives don’t always value high tech over the human touch… infact 78% say they prefer the human touch throughout their whole dining experience and stay!

Millennials have significant spending power and already account for 28% of revenues for hotels and 29% for restaurants but it is vital the HORECA sector avoids making wrong assumptions about what millennials want by overestimating the value they place on automated processes using apps and tablets, in turn alienating not only existing customers of all generations but also the millennials they are trying to attract.

For example… it is worrying that while 28% of restaurants expect to make a considerable investment to implement 3D virtual entertainment in their restaurants within the next 24 months it seems from the CMS Law survey that only 16% of millennials thought 3D virtual entertainment would improve their dining experience!

Not all millennials are the same… their experiences, location and other factors all heavily influence their choices and preferences.

The research by CMS Law suggests many millennials want to use technology where it gives convenience (such as allowing them to avoid queuing at a bar to order drinks) and where it gives additional value (such as a discount for ordering online) but they also still want to place a food order in a restaurant or check-out of a hotel with a real person.

It seems clear to me that to stand out from competitors and earn loyalty HORECA businesses must use technology appropriately to continue to do what they have always done, but better!

Delivering exciting experiences that leave a lasting memory, thus distinguishing them from their competitors, means combining technology with a continuous commitment to providing great customer service and value for money.

Tips For Increasing Customer Loyalty…

The ‘human touch’ remains the backbone of the HORECA industry. Technology should not be viewed as a replacement for a genuine friendly welcome and it is the small things that matter and provide the thoughtful touch…

At Delvaux we have adopted this winning approach over more than thirty years supplying 1000s of hotels, restaurants, pubs and cafés by using technology to personalise and brand delicious chocolates and sweets for HORECA businesses of all sizes in all locations, wanting to ‘surprise and delight’ their customers.

There is no better way to create a ‘personal touch’ for a guest or customer than providing a personalised luxurious chocolate, juicy sweet or refreshing mint as a welcome, thank you and ‘come back soon’ gift, and as a way of promoting services, special offers or branding.

Personal(ised) chocolates and confectionery are an ideal way to provide…

* A welcome gift on a pillow in the room

* A welcome gift with the in room service

* A welcome bowl of sweets on a conference table

* A thank you gift with a coffee and tea

* A thank you gift with the bill

* A thank you gift with room service

* A thank you gift with food deliveries to the home

* A ‘come back soon’ bowl of mints or sweets at reception

We can print your logo, colours, tagline and/or messaging on our individually wrapped chocolates and sweets… perfect for thanking your customers and encouraging them to ‘come back soon’, building brand loyalty, repeat business and recommendation.

Our branded Neapolitan chocolates, Petit Chocolates, sweets and mints (personalised with your logo, messages, special offers etc) represent that essential ‘thoughtful touch’… helping to ensure each of your customers feels appreciated, special and cared for, throughout their visit.

Investing in technology is ‘on trend’ but the human touch is essential too. Personalised Neapolitan chocolates, Petit chocolates, chocolates, sweets, fudge, humbugs and mints are the ideal inexpensive tool for your employees to use to engage with the customer – the perfect gift for saying “thank you” and “we look forward to seeing you again soon”.

Contact us now to discuss how we can help you and your employees to deliver the perfect customer experience, speak to me or Richard (Sales Manager) on UK freephone 0800 371 428 or email us at:

(Natalie’s Blog, 8 August 2018)

Meet… Natalie Atkinson (Managing Director, Delvaux Ltd)

Natalie is the Managing Director of Delvaux Ltd, a family-owned business originally founded in 1985 by her mother Monique as a division of Rombouts Coffee. Natalie leads the ‘delicious marketing ideas’ team at Delvaux, experts in helping Delvaux’s clients to use personalisation and gifting as ‘edible advertising’.

Since Delvaux’s early days supplying petit fours to Restaurants and Hotels and supplying retailers such as the House of Fraser, Conran and Harvey Nichols with luxury chocolates, glace fruits, nougats and nuts, Delvaux has developed into a thriving independent business supplying personalised chocolates (Neapolitans and Petit Chocs) and confectionery in individual wrappers printed with messaging, logo, special offers and promotions etc.

Delvaux has been in business for over 33 years supplying 1000s of businesses, associations, charities, institutions and individuals with millions of personalised Neapolitan and Petit chocolates over that time. More recently Delvaux has expanded under Natalie’s direction with the addition of Mints, Fruit Sweets, Salted Caramel Fudge, Jelly Beans and Jelly Sweets and Chocolate Coffee Beans to the product range.

[If you have any questions please call us on UK freephone 0800 371 428 or International telephone +44 (0) 1932 571180, alternatively please email us at]
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