The hospitality industry is facing serious challenges in its recovery. From dropping revenues to the challenges of the labor market, CNBC notes that things are not necessarily getting easier for the industry. Driving forward its recovery is a wholesale shift towards modernization and a focus on the customer first – something also held sacred in hospitality but, with new challenges afoot, once again placed into the spotlight. The customer is always right, as the saying goes, and so federal and private change is pushing forward trends to improve their experience. This is starting with customer safety.
Hospitality industry consumers have never been more interested in their personal safety than they have now. According to the Wall Street Journal, there is an active trend in shoppers staying at home if they perceive health and safety risks from the given business. Hospitality industry businesses are pivoting to meet this demand. This is most immediately seen in the range of safety protocols initiated in many restaurants and hotels, like hand sanitizer and track and trace, but also in the laws coming in to provide wider protection to customer health. In the UK, death due to allergic reaction saw the government work with the hospitality industry to introduce new labeling guidelines; a similar effort is now in place in the USA to help expand the list of ingredients mandated on the packaging.
Hand-in-hand with safety is the new digital environment – and with that comes convenience. According to Econsultancy, convenience has, of course, always been a huge factor in consumer choice. Streamlining services, making them more accessible, and crucially more secure, has always been a way for hotels and restaurants to have a major impact on the consumers they are attempting to win the favor of. This has come to another level in the new normal. Phone transactions are the absolute norm; hospitality industry businesses are absolutely mandated to have a full range of digital services to ensure that their consumers are able to conduct business online.
The Work-Friendly Room
The digital nomad is the worker of the future. The Harvard Business Review estimates that there are 10.9 million workers who will happily work from their car, hotel room, or rented accommodation. This is a huge opportunity for hotels and has created the need for a new package to offer to customers. ‘Work-ready’ rooms, that have the full accompaniment of connective devices, excellent internet speeds, and complimentary services – like free coffee – can form a core part of the business experience for digital nomads. Tapping into this remote working industry, which is only set to grow, can create an entirely new niche for businesses struggling from a lack of conventional tourist activity.
Growing to meet the inexorable rise of digital society is the key for hospitality businesses. The golden age of hospitality may be over, but a new one, driven by a high-tech workforce, is rising, and being au fait with modern digital etiquette is at the core of that.