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The hospitality industry was among the hardest-hit industries by the pandemic. It’s slowly on the rebound, but uncertainty still hangs over it as customers navigate an ongoing maze of travel restrictions and public health guidelines.
Hotels, restaurants, golf courses, bars, and more saw widespread lay-offs, restrictions, lockdowns, and other hurdles. They pivoted to take out, they adjusted their services, and they got by. As borders reopen and tourism trickles back to life, there’s hope ahead, but there are a few key ways business will have to change to keep up.
#1 Building Trust with Customers
One of the top ways hospitality businesses can rebuild their business is to make sure customers trust them with their health and safety. From travel to social gatherings, nothing is simple anymore.
While some customers have plunged back into normal life eagerly, there are many who are taking a more cautious approach. As they get back out into the world, they’re still looking for ways to reduce contact and risks.
Hotels, transportation, and even retail industries can build trust with the apprehensive by minimizing contact with staff and investing in self check-in kiosks, better wayfinding signage, and digital signage displaying health and safety directions for the venue, as well as digital signage kiosks with screening applications for safe entry experiences. Consumers are looking for direction on how to safely get back into the world, and venues that take their concerns seriously will be the more attractive option.
#2 Outdoor Events and Experiences
The pandemic has given consumers a lot of enthusiasm for outdoor activities. It’s widely seen as safer to gather in the open air, and businesses that can make better use of outdoor space will have more opportunities to attract customers.
The downside to outdoor events and experiences in hospitality is how much effort goes into interior spaces. Restaurants invest a lot in atmosphere, creating an experience that’s just as memorable as the food. It can be tough to recreate that experience in an ad hoc outdoor space.
As venues retool to focus on outdoor gatherings, portable digital signs in Toronto can help for one-off events like music, markets, and festivals. Whether you’re creating an interactive experience for guests or you need a way to deliver health and safety messages, portable digital signs can be rented from full-service digital signage companies.
#3 Adapting to New Staffing Realities
A labour shortage across the industry has been making headlines and sparked much debate, but it isn’t new. Before the pandemic, it’s estimated that the hospitality sector was already short 60,000 employees, and the changing economic landscape has exacerbated the situation.
In order to succeed, hospitality businesses will have to adapt. That may mean reorganizing food service to focus on peak hours and providing more limited options outside of peak times. It may also mean automating wherever possible, such as concierge services or check-in and check-out.
As many who worked in the hospitality sector pursue new career paths or seek out more affordable housing markets, the solution to the staffing shortage may be a long way off, and businesses will have to adapt their services accordingly.
There is a path to recovery for the hospitality industry. But after losing so many businesses, there’s still a rocky road ahead, and businesses will have to adapt to new consumer behaviour and industry realities.