5 ways the pandemic has changed the hospitality industry
What will the post-COVID hospitality industry look like?
Let us take a quick look at everyone’s favourite topic – COVID-19. This pandemic has changed the world forever, but what exactly has it done to the hospitality industry? We have highlighted 5 ways the industry has changed (or how we expect it to change).
A Cautious Start
Reflecting the behaviour of previous restriction easements, the UK has seen customers flock to beer gardens and outdoor dining this week. BUT the population remains cautious. Recent studies suggest that the majority of us still do not feel safe in restaurants or hotels.
It could take months (if not, years) for guests to feel truly comfortable again, and we might see some corners of the hospitality continue to struggle until populations feel relaxed again.
No More Touching
To manage the continued risk of COVID-19, we must reduce the touch points within our restaurants, lobbies, and communal areas.
Virtual check in, online menus, cashless payments – reducing contact is the way forward. But we must be careful, we need to be sure to continue to provide personal relationships and attentive service to our customers.
Tech and Innovation
Yes, very similar to above. But technology must be used for more than safety reasons – after a financially difficult year, efficiency will be so important. Using technology in the right way at the right time can allow businesses to really thrive and provide customers with the best possible experience.
The pandemic has increased the uptake of technology in hospitality and continues to demand innovation for novel issues that arise.
Many staff have been out of work for over a year, so training and development will be more important than ever to ensure that staff can provide exceptional service at pre-pandemic levels.
What about those who have continued to work? Due to the unprecedented decrease in labour, staff have been required to take on new responsibilities and adopt new skills. Different skillsets have been demanded from the same individuals. Moving forward, employers may look to recruit well rounded individuals who can adapt to any future situation.
A Whole Industry shift
Has the whole industry changed?
Government schemes have been useful in funding businesses throughout the last year, but they have unfortunately not protected us all. The hospitality is made up of predominately small businesses, some which have closed and others which may be very cautious about opening. We could see larger chains, who have the capital to make necessary changes and can take the risk of incurring losses upon opening increasing their dominance.
We are yet to see exactly how this will pan out.
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