The hospitality industry, one of the worst affected by the pandemic and its various lockdowns, has had to evolve to remain relevant for longevity. Businesses in this industry are finding themselves adapting to a more digitised and sustainable way of operating. Let us take a deeper look into what these trends are and how you can adapt your businesses to ensure that you remain relevant and find even more success.
Adapting your business for “Bleisure” (Business and Leisure)
Remote and hybrid working is here to stay so adapting your business for this type of customer will be lucrative for you. With most people preferring the flexibility of working from home and others reluctant to go back to the office full-time, this leaves you with a great market to cater for.
Modifying your hospitality venue to work as makeshift office spaces or work hubs for customers is a great example of accommodating bleisure clients. Additionally, you can add ample plug sockets (don’t forget USB plug sockets) and free high-speed wifi. If the funds allow, you can also add office pods to your hospitality venue if you don’t have enough space to create an office atmosphere.
The purpose of this is to allow your customers the best of both worlds; they can enjoy their time at your business while also fulfilling the expectations that come with their professions.
Lean deeper into the Experience Economy
First used in a 1998 article by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, Experience Economy is an economy in which many goods or services are sold by emphasising the effect they can have on people’s lives. This requires businesses to create valuable experiences and memories for their customers, it needs to go beyond feeling merely transactional.
Your customers are looking for purposeful interactions now as many are becoming conscious of the effects of travelling, like pollution, and this conscious customer is keen to also invest in the lives of the people who live there. Travellers are keen to support local businesses and this could mean you hire and train more locals to become tour guides or make exhibitions where you sell products and services created by those who live in your town.
This is a trend that is always evolving. More customers want to spend their money in places that show themselves to care about the environment. As previously mentioned, many are now conscious of the effects of travelling and making this change where you can, is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability.
The most obvious change to make here is to avoid using disposable plastics and shift towards a more sustainable solution. Use bulk dispensers for showering gels, shampoos and conditioners instead of those small plastic bottles. You can take this a step further and use locally-sourced shampoos, conditioners and shower gels.
Digitising your guest’s experience
A great way to minimise paper wastage by printing out receipts and other documents needed is to digitise the front-desk experience. Use a booking app to automate certain services like check-ins, contactless payments and biometrics. Users who unlock their phones and laptops with fingerprints and facial recognition will soon come to expect to use biometrics to unlock their room doors or enter your premises. You can also include a virtual tour feature on your website so that your customers can better acquaint themselves with your premises beforehand.
It is important to note that making these types of changes will come at quite a heavy cost. However, automating things like check-ins and automated doors can also minimise the need for people to use their hands to sign documents or open and close their doors. We’re still in a pandemic and many people are still cautious of touching things unnecessarily.
The Bottom Line
The pandemic has rocked the hospitality industry and to catch up, many businesses need to ensure that they are keeping their customers safe while giving them experiences they won’t forget. Although some of these changes are costly, investing in these trends will go a long way in giving your customers purposeful experiences that will also help the community your business operates in.