News 02.06.2022

Need to Know

Abstract tableware elevates at-home dining, NoMo hotel introduces NFT reservation packages and the restaurant industry feels the pinch of inflation.

Gohar World brings surrealism to the table

Gohar World. Photography by Roe Ethridge, US
Gohar World, US
Gohar World, US

US – Artist and sister duo Laila Gohar and Nadia Gohar are channelling their creative flair into a collection of abstract tableware. Launched under the eponymous brand name Gohar World, the brand’s initial release includes a collection of surrealist linen, candles and table accessories.

Flipping the script on conventional dining products, the collection features unusual items, from a satin bag for storing baguettes to a chandelier that displays eggs. In a bid to preserve the familial craftsmanship associated with traditional homeware, Gohar World also draws on creative techniques such as mouth-blown glass, intricate needlework and hand-dipped candles.

Through this collection, the brand aims to elevate at-home dining experiences, while promoting playful and unconventional eating rituals. ‘No object or piece of furniture has been as meaningful to family and community as the dining table, where simple acts of hospitality – laying out a tablecloth, opening a bottle of wine, cutting a cake – become rituals,’ says a brand statement. By focusing on the community and connection that can be found in setting a table, the brand is embracing the tenets of Home Eatertainment.

Strategic opportunity

Hospitality brands should capitalise on the growth of elevated at-home dining by offering tableware and decor collections for guests to invest in and use with friends and family

Ikea encourages customers to hack its furniture

Updatables by Ikea and Space10's Everyday Experiments, Denmark Updatables by Ikea and Space10's Everyday Experiments, Denmark
Updatables by Ikea and Space10's Everyday Experiments, Denmark Updatables by Ikea and Space10's Everyday Experiments, Denmark

Denmark – For years, the independent Reddit community IKEAhacks has been chronicling how the multinational company’s furniture is repurposed by its owners. Now, Ikea is developing its own in-house platform dedicated to extending and improving the lifecycle of its products.

Rather than discarding furniture that no longer meets one’s tastes and needs, the Updatables project empowers owners to tinker with their items and adapt them to their modern-day needs. The project consists of an app and furniture collection that shows users how objects can be repaired or improved using augmented reality (AR) technology. According to a press release: ‘Instead of sitting silently in the corner, the application would allow your furniture to tell you how it could be improved or customised.’

By encouraging consumers to update outgrown items instead of throwing them away, this initiative aims to reduce waste and promote circularity. Redrawing the traditional boundaries between company and consumer, this project is similar to Google's recent investigation into the nature of notifications.

Strategic opportunity

How can the fashion industry take a page from Ikea and use QR codes to give their clients tips and tricks about how to upcycle and update clothing?

This hotel accepts bookings via NFT

New York – The NoMo SoHo hotel is targeting alternet investors with the introduction of non-fungible token (NFT) reservations. Launching with a range of curated NFT packages, guests can choose between booking three- and six-night stays. It will initially be releasing 300 NFTs, starting at 0.41 ETH (£375, $456, 434), before potentially expanding into other digital assets.

Here, booking via an NFT package is similar to using a promotion code, benefitting guests by offering them the chance to secure a competitive room rate. At the same time, such bookings benefit the hotel by allowing it to fill rooms in advance. ‘Our NFT offerings will provide NoMo SoHo a competitive edge and more importantly, flexibility for each of our discerning guests,’ explains Alex Sapir, chairman of Sapir Corp Ltd, the owners of NoMo SoHo hotel.

This initiative points to a future when more leisure and travel services will seize the opportunity to provide a tangible experience in return for virtual assets. Already, we’ve seen hospitality group CitizenM enticing NFT holders with the chance to fund a real, physical hotel.

NoMo SoHo, US

Strategic opportunity

Brands working in the hospitality sector should take cues from this initiative and similarly find ways of benefitting NFT holders. Consider offering curated food or drinks menus specifically for customers paying with NFTs

Stat: Diners prioritise affordable meals amid inflation

The Community Spirit, Casa Lumbre, by Wieden + Kennedy, Mexico
The Community Spirit, Casa Lumbre, by Wieden + Kennedy, Mexico

Cost is becoming one of the most significant concerns for restaurant-goers as rising inflation causes diner priorities to shift. When faced with a financial squeeze, however, research by sales and marketing agency Acosta reveals that one-third of US consumers are choosing to trade down rather than forego dining out entirely.

Although food inflation is at its highest level in 40 years, and many consumers are cutting back the number of times they dine out as a result, many consumers are still keen to visit restaurants. According to the survey, food quality is still the top priority (53%) when dining out, but meal price is quickly becoming more important, with 41% of respondents citing it as their primary concern.

While consumers are visiting less expensive restaurants, looking for discounts, or ordering fewer items, the fact that they are not altogether abandoning dining out is encouraging for the food industry. But the research suggests there will be more pressure than ever for restaurants to figure out their Retail-flation Response to ensure customers that their services are good value for money.

Strategic opportunity

In addition to food quality and portion size, how can restaurants ensure that their businesses is good value for money? Don’t underestimate the role of interiors and surroundings in offering a sense of escape during turbulent times

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