The hospitality industry has been on a wild ride over the past few years resulting from the global pandemic. However, a few emerging trends stand out for long-term impact, as well as for the opportunities they may bring.
Remote work is here to stay. 26% of U.S. employees now work remotely as of 2022, with 36.2 million employees in America expected to be working remotely by 2025. For these “bleisure” (business + leisure) travelers, hospitality venues are seen as temporary offices that minimize both distractions and the post-pandemic health concerns that come with working in a busy office. This opens the door for hotels and resorts to adapt public spaces and sleeping rooms to suit the needs of this emerging audience. This includes high-speed Wi-Fi and charging stations along with app-controlled beds and desks that fold down from the wall. To see how your operation can innovate with new customer-oriented offerings, consider an employee engagement & recognition program to reward your team for coming up with cost-effective ideas and solutions.
Although reasons for booking are up, hotels and restaurants are still struggling with employee turnover rates, ranging from 78.9% pre-pandemic to upwards of 130% in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Turning The Great Resignation into The Great Recognition is a key strategy for the hospitality industry.
In addition to an effective onboarding plan and competitive compensation, companies that offer employee incentives and rewards for meeting goals and going above and beyond the call of duty create a competitive advantage. Ensure you have a structured program in place for each department to recognize good work immediately to improve job satisfaction. People thrive on appreciation, and making it easy for recognition and rewards to be given will truly help keep hospitality businesses thriving.
Another factor impacting the hospitality industry is consumer desire to enjoy authentic, local experiences. 48.5% of people say that they travel to open their minds to new cultures and experiences. Immersing guests in the local culture with nearby sights, sounds, and flavors is a great way to capitalize on this trend. To cater to these demands, restaurants can offer more local dishes on their menu. Hotels can collaborate with local tour operators, travel agents, and other local businesses to offer easy access to live music, sightseeing, art classes, sports venues, and more. Hosting events with businesses within the vicinity of your hospitality operation(s) can create synergies to help serve up these unique cultural experiences that today’s consumers are craving.