What’s next for the hospitality industry; insights, predictions and advice for staying current
By Antoine Melon, co-founder of HOMETAINMENT
After a challenging few years for the hospitality industry, restaurants, bars and hotels have remained surprisingly resilient.
However, the sector still has some challenges to face during 2023.
To name a few, these include recruitment and skills shortages, a cost-of-living crisis, adopting and adapting to new hospitality tech and meeting customer demand.
So, what’s next for the industry, how will it pivot and most importantly, how can it remain current in an ever-changing economy?
Currently, memory-making travel is a big trend.
Travellers are not just looking for a place to sleep but a place they can create living memories.
This can be included in their accommodation, but more importantly, they want opportunities to immerse themselves in the culture.
Private tours and once-in-lifetime experiences are at the top of travellers’ agendas.
These rare experiences help them to create life-long memories that they may not get the chance to do in another location.
This could be a one-to-one pizza-making class in Rome or a private tour of the Vatican.
This trend is particularly in demand and likely to stay that way.
Staycations have continued in their popularity since the pandemic with 65% of UK travellers planning for a staycation due to inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.
The hospitality industry has jumped on this trend in recent years and improved its offering, with many ‘at home’ renovations and unique designs such as remote luxury treehouses being created to meet this consumer demand.
Over the course of the pandemic, we saw a huge shift in the use of technology throughout the hospitality sector to increase customer engagement, including the introduction of QR code ordering and moving services online to streamline offerings.
This tech helped businesses adapt to the changing needs of the consumer and improved customer experience.
As a result, customers have high expectations when it comes to quality and speed of service, user interface experience and booking technology, with those failing to meet these expectations risking customer efficiency and loyalty.
The speakeasy trend — a hidden bar with a distinctive vibe was incredibly popular last year.
Whether they’re a separate space in your restaurant or a pop-up you set up in a partnership with another local business, speakeasies will undoubtedly continue to attract attention this year.
So, what’s predicted to be next?
Sadly, due to a number of ongoing challenges such as staff shortages and retention, coupled with increasing inflation and tight profit margins, we will see more restaurants closing than opening this year.
People will opt to dine out less and will limit dining and drinking out for special occasions and public holidays.
This can however provide an opportunity for the industry to make a pivot in providing more at-home, personalised experiences. The Covid-19 shutdown provided many restaurant operators with some experience of serving the at-home market.
Automation will Accelerate
With new technology promising more efficient, speedier processes the hospitality industry, automation in particular, will become the default way of doing business.
Gen Z is experienced and comfortable with using technology to make purchase decisions, quickly and efficiently.
This has been reflected in the rise of hospitality technology, such as QR code menus for ordering and payment, takeaway apps, and reservation systems.
Customer-friendly tech will only accelerate in 2023 and beyond.
The industry is going to have to be creative this year.
Traditional service offerings aren’t enough anymore and restaurants and hotels are going to have to brainstorm unique ways to make sure their business stands out from the crowd.
Think exotic food, performances while dining and wellness-inspired offerings.
This has grown in demand over the years but will only continue to dominate the market further.
How to stay relevant
Technology is here to stay and for good reason, so it’s time to embrace it and bring that technology to all aspects of your business.
For example, self-booking options are growing in popularity.
Allowing customers to choose the date, capacity, dietary requirements and any extra amenities for their occasions/events make it not only easier for the customer but also for the business to manage these services.
This is just one example of why businesses (if they haven’t already) need to consider implementing more customer-friendly technology in 2023 that will make it easier to drive revenue.
Create Unforgettable Experiences
Customers are no longer looking for traditional hospitality experiences, but rather exceptional ones that make memories.
Make sure your customer experience is at the forefront of your business model and goes above and beyond to deliver a unique experience that outrivals your competitors.
Jump onto New Trends
Being able to adapt quickly and jump onto popular trends is vital for remaining relevant in a transitional business environment.
This doesn’t mean changing your business model or core values at the drop of a hat, but if there is a trend that aligns with your business, it may prove worthwhile to expand your offering to meet consumer demands, and of course, keep you relevant.
While there’s no one size fits all solution, the above tips should help in keeping your business relevant in the complex and ever-changing hospitality industry.
We are grateful to HOMETAINMENT’s co-founder, Antoine Melon, for this contribution.
HOMETAINMENT is London’s platform for entertainment and hospitality at HOME – bringing to life unforgettable experiences and exclusive interactive masterclasses in the safety, privacy and comfort of your own home.
It’s like getting your hands on a little black book, filled with the very best entertainers, private chefs, mixologists and event creators extraordinaire.
No more scouring the web for party planners or freelance entertainers as HOMETAINMENT offers an elite selection of experts to come into your home, each one hand-picked for their expertise and creative flair.
Providing outstanding service guaranteed, and covering all areas within the M25, all hosts and experiences can be booked easily online at https://www.hometainment.co.uk/