Current Hospitality industry demand
As restrictions eased, hospitality businesses could start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
To put that in perspective Barclays reported a great month of growth last September, with 14.4% pure spend growth for UK Hotels, Resorts and Accommodation. Staycations are the star and have greatly contributed to the recovery of coastal and leisure destinations. PwC found that across the UK regions “occupancy and ADR in August 2021 significantly outperformed August 2019”. On the other hand, the London hotel sector has had more difficulties in attracting leisure and business travellers. Guests are willing to spend, however, there is a continuous need for hospitality businesses to adapt and innovate in order to sustain their growth!
One of the main challenges now in the UK is labour shortage, which has both immediate and long-term consequences.
30% of hospitality businesses are finding vacancies difficult to fill. – reported the ONS from a survey released in September 2021.
Since the coronavirus restrictions have eased the number of job vacancies has risen. This peak of demand from businesses appears to be above the pre-pandemic level. At the same time, employees on hospitality payrolls remain steady.
What does this gap between vacancies and payroll reflect? Two issues:
- the time it takes to fill jobs,
- the challenges encountered to recruit.
Recruitment challenges in the UK is also explained by a reduction of EU applicants. In addition to this, labour absence is high with an average of 6% of hospitality staff that cannot attend work due to isolation.
While the demand creates growth opportunities, hospitality businesses have difficulty maintaining ‘regular operations’.
What’s the impact?
The hospitality staff crisis provokes a wide range of consequences:
- Risk of reputational damage due to poor guest service
- Customer service could suffer
- Reduced hours or incapacity to open
- Pressure on your team with an unrealistic workload
Now we also know that Christmas is nearly upon us and the seasonal labour force will need to increase, but will the supply be sufficient?
What’s happening to help the shortage?
Hospitality leaders are fighting to attract new staff and retain them. This has led to higher wages and bonuses for staff, which intrinsically creates inflation in the hospitality wage rate. PwC announced” This rising payroll cost pressure appears likely to continue into 2022 and beyond”
The fight for the labour force is not just between hospitality leaders. Transport, storage, and retailers also need people to support the pent-up demand to come. Recently, the giant online retailer Amazon announced a £3,000 sign-up bonus for full-timer Christmas staff in areas of Britain with labour shortages (The Guardian). Bonuses are a great way to attract people.
How can you continue driving revenue?
When guests choose their accommodation, they expect their experience to meet their expectations – or to even exceed it! How can you keep up with the demand and elevate the guest journey, while ‘regular operations’ are challenging to manage?
1 Leverage technology
The hospitality industry has known numerous innovations over the past 20 years, transforming front and back of house operations. The Travel Tech scene has expanded, blossomed, and kept growing, giving hoteliers more tools to boost their efficiency and add value to their offerings. “In recent years, Traveltech has grown into a multi-billion-pound industry” reported Tech Nation. Contactless technology has been widely adopted throughout the pandemic, allowing a safer customer journey and more efficient management of staff and costs. Another aspect you should consider is knowing your guest profile, understanding their expectations, creating a delightful journey and driving loyalty.
For-Sight’s CRM helps you elevate your marketing by capturing and creating a clear view of your guest profile, using the data from all the tech systems in place.
2 Keep a step ahead with your marketing
Preparedness always leads the way. Having SMART objectives is certainly the first step to any new project, and for your marketing recovery strategy, you must think about the current situation and your available resources (costs and labour).
🎯 You want to drive guest loyalty? Here are some questions to think about:
- Your target: what segments of guests do you wish to have back on your property?
- Golfers coming with friends
- Personalisation: What do you know about them? Behaviour, preferences, spending habits…
- They usually book single rooms, average spending on drinks is £45 per person per day, there are members and non-club-members, weekends are the most likely period they book…
You should tailor your offer to your guest but also truly think about your capacity. More than ever before, this is important you listen your team. The kitchen, the front house, the event team… what workload will they be able to manage realistically?
3 Bank on prior arrival communications
Pre-stay communication should not be underestimated. Building satisfaction and trust prior to arrival can increase your guest engagement and simultaneously enhance their experience, making your guests feel safe and confident with their stay.
Being honest with your guest
Making your guests aware that you are running understaffed if you are, seems important. Being honest about the situation can firstly cover your back in case of a complaint, and secondly, this helps people understand and empathise. “94% of all consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand when it commits to full transparency”reported ink.com
Monitor guest needs in advance
Knowing your guest preferences in advance can help you remain one step ahead in your marketing, and will also help you to anticipate your guests’ desires before arrival.
You could send pre-arrival email with a voucher for the breakfast if they haven’t booked one yet. Going into a more personalised service, if you know that your guest usually books a massage in your spa, you could offer them a set of massage oils and a voucher for next time.
Personalisation elevates the experience and superior experiences drive loyalty and encourage your guests to spend.
Ease the workload
Here is a riddle for you: what flies without wings? Time. This is an invaluable resource and in the logic of growth, automation can save you time, potentially opening room for previously unachievable business opportunities. It is simple maths, if your remove manual (boring) work, you can allocate this available time for new projects and innovative ideas to elevate the guest experience.
You can also count on automation to ensure seamless operations. Using For-Sight’s Solutions, will allow you to automate your marketing and reporting based on time or action triggers.
Using the right technology for your property can help you be proactive with your guest’s needs and expectations. We’ve recently published an eBook to help hoteliers drive loyalty (a partnership with Bizzon): Download your FREE eBook to boost guest loyalty
5 Ways to Engage Customers in Your Hotel Direct Booking Process (revfine.com)
Hospitality businesses are most likely to be struggling to fill vacancies – Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)
Demystifying AI and automation in the workplace – GWI
UK Consumer Spending Report | Barclays Corporate // UK-Consumer-Spending-Report-Sept21.pdf (barclayscorporate.com)