Hilton is rolling out a new service that is likely to attract generation hashtag (individuals born between 1991 and 2005) with its unique ‘Waitographer’ service. The development appears to be part of a wider strategy from Hilton to become more appealing to young adults.
Waiters at Hilton hotel restaurants will now be certified, mobile photographers. The training will give them the skills to take the highest quality pictures of both guests and meals. The move is likely to appeal to GenZ and millennials, the most prominent demographic users of social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.
The move signals an intention to attract younger adults to the Hilton brand
The Waitographer service will undoubtedly be popular with social media users. Platforms such as Instagram enable users to share photos and experiences and have become notoriously popular with young adults. According to a study from the London School of Economics, over 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35. This has led to the term ‘Generation Hashtag,’ and the Waitographer service from Hilton indicates that it is looking at attracting a younger generation to its hotels.
The link Hilton has made with restaurant experiences and photography is understandable. According to social media management company Hoot Suite, gastronomy is one of the most photographed subjects on Instagram, with hashtags such as #food and #foodporn among the 50 most popular used on the website so far in 2022. Furthermore, in GlobalData’s 2022 Social Media in Tourism Thematic Report, Instagram is projected to be the most widely used social media website by 2025.
With well-trained Waitographers, users will post glossy photos of their chosen menu items and experiences within the Hilton restaurant. Typically, these users will use hashtags and geotags, which will create a buzz on social media and additional exposure for the Hilton brand. In addition, more prevalent influencers may also have the potential to make posts go viral, which is essentially a form of free marketing.
Waitographers are part of a wider strategy to appear more relevant
In recent years and particularly during the height of the pandemic when social media usage was at its highest, Hilton bolstered its marketing campaign by using another platform popular with young adults; TikTok. Moving away from its previous image of glamour, wealth and class, Hilton has utilized some of TikTok’s most popular influencers to help promote its hotels and facilities. Rather than focus on the intricate details of Hilton’s service, these videos are short, snappy and focus on the individual (seemingly a young adult) enjoying certain aspects of the hotel. As many TikTok users idly scroll through videos on the platform, this type of content is perfect for garnering extra attention.
Ultimately, this is now a pivotal point for the Hilton brand. Its strategic push towards the younger generation is light years away from its previous marketing strategy. Nevertheless, its gravitation toward generation hashtag could be precisely what it needs to stay competitive in a saturated hotel market.