Is it time for all to reimagine services and the use of space?

It is a fair question as so many services businesses are now working off far lower customer audiences than they ever envisaged back in January. One prominent CEO this week privately noted that it may take a full decade for them to recover to their 2019 valuation and that in all likelihood their business will operate off 30% of their forecast at the start of the year unless they innovate and reimagine their offers.

Another senior global CEO remarked to us that this period of time had highlighted just how poor his business, and others, had been in looking at innovation and customer trends; they have operated with an established model and resisted all arguments for evolution. The last seven months had been spent completely rethinking their business and reimagining what could be.

Neither of the above CEOs will be alone; there will be businesses all across the country asking themselves the questions as to what can be done to engage new audiences and develop new revenue flows?

With the news today of France entering a second national lockdown, a new level of tension is now taking hold that all the revised plans for December and Q1 could well be in jeopardy. As one senior industry elder remarked yesterday “One can argue that leaders that have been exposed by this pandemic for all the wrongs of the last decade but one still has to ask the question as to how many setbacks can a MD endure during the year? This is becoming a brutal test for many.”

Given the above, the logical solution is to look towards options and there are many circulating in discussion. EP is certainly involved in quite a few which include:

· Hotels adopting delivered in food models to replace expensive culinary teams but having quality foods delivered each day to be prepared by smaller teams.

· Creating alliances with external partners to use “spare” space. This includes:

o The use of traditional hotel event spaces to be turned into co-working spaces for local businesses and professionals.

o Creating greater virtual engagement via professionals through networks and memberships.

o Alliances with delivered food models

o The use of smart technology and micro-markets within operations to provide 24/7 services without high staff levels

· Redesign of spaces to make it more engaging and attractive; to create greater levels of interaction and dwell times. The challenge for all to maximise revenue and design can play a key role.

· The use of technology to engage customers and greater sales

· The redesign of room facilities so the guest feels well-served when staying within a room. This includes new services and facilities.

· Stronger relationships with local suppliers and trades.

Every model is questioned and challenged. It is important to now to be able to think differently and with innovation.