No matter the industry, marketing plays a significant role in keeping that industry alive. Marketing is the core of making a business flourish or fall into disarray; the perfect marketing strategy can launch a business into stardom, and a poorly-managed marketing tactic can cause even the strongest business to go into meltdown. The hospitality industry, for example, is ripe with new and successful marketing tactics such as a coffee subscription with your regular order that makes it cheaper overall, or a group discount with your restaurant booking.

The bottom line is that it is all about the customer. The food and beverages industry is entirely dependent on the customer’s preferences, opinions, and purchasing dependability. And seeing as the industry revolves around the customer, so should the marketing tactics of any food and beverages institution. Here are the two biggest and most important reasons why your marketing must evolve solely around your prospective and existing customers.

First and foremost, marketing in the food and beverage industry must cater to the current trends. It is a widely-known fact that customers of any industry tend to flock towards the latest trends in a bit to have tried them for themselves. Catering to the curiosity in your potential customers will always yield success – while the trend lasts. Constant market research into the next big thing in food and beverages will not only keep you ahead of the game, but allow you the opportunity to build your business’ reputation (and yours by association) quicker.

Additionally, the trends do not always work for very long. Instead of investing wholeheartedly in the trends, invest a little and then make it your mission to interact and communicate honestly and openly with your customers to find out what is working and how they feel about it. Customers want the hospitality industry to speak to them and to give them what they ask for. The aim of the game in hospitality is to appease entirely to the customer’s taste buds. In this way, listening to the customer has never been more integral to a business’ success – if the customer does not enjoy what you put in front of them, they will not want to pay for it.

Before they even walk in the door, individuals are your customers. Rather than catering specifically and exclusively to those that order from your store, make it a priority to cater to everyone in the area – even before they walk into (or up to) your establishment. Consumers are not likely to give their business to a restaurant, café, or pop up food truck if they are not offering something that customers genuinely want. This is an age-old fact, but it is one that has been gaining more traction as time has gone on.

For this reason, it is more important than ever to be entirely inclusive rather than figuratively exclusive. The food and beverage businesses that market for the many rather than the few are the ones that make it in the long-term.