Many ask “what has changed?”

But the question is how do we manage the changes taking place?

Everything needs rethinking.

Many ask what has changed over the last 18 months and the answer is probably more than many realise. Even the well documented “Work From Home” discussion is only possible due to the advancements in modern technology and communication. It has allowed business to find a path through the pandemic far better than many initially expected. Companies have survived which would have fallen in the previous era with such a crisis.

The question maybe should not be what has changed and far more, how will services change in the next few years? How will work patterns now change?

Technology is empowering people to be able to have a choice – to be able to work from home, to access information in their own time, to access greater scope and breadth of services. The debate has emerged that the power sits today with the employee and this is only because modern tech has allowed this to be the case.

Each day, EP is having discussions on how subtle changes across markets are impacting on business and hospitality. There are some major changes in services evolving which could serve to make business management from the 00s seem almost old fashioned and create a whole new landscape for hospitality and service.

For example:

· Research is showing evidence that many emerging talents lay their trust in A.I and tech more than people as it removes any biasedness and is accessible 24/7. This is visibly seen in operations but it will also impact on HR and arguably create real change within the profession. Many want to develop their skills and knowledge in their own time, when it is good for them.

· There are robotics coming onto the market which will play a role in room service, in delivering plates to and from table as well as supporting key manual functions in kitchens. The view is that it will free people up to focus far more on the customer and improve services which in turn increase dwell times and spend. It has long been argued that great customer journeys will lead to greater spend – so with the skill shortages, how can digital innovation support operators looking differently at service?

· And this is true all across hospitality, as guests can remotely check-in and out of hotels and restaurants, freeing front of house staff to spend more time focused on the customer journey

· Many large campus operations are looking at how they can create new services, in new spaces, which enhance the overall experience, services and revenue spends. This includes dark kitchens being placed in car parks to retail outlets in new structures being laid in empty space. This is seeing new retail units emerge using all sea containers, redeveloped, appear potentially on university sites, next to hospitals and on large campus sites.

· Delivered in options are emerging and growing all the time with younger people wanting to have easy access to their favourite brands. Delivered in solutions will become ever more visible across food service as new partnerships and alliances evolve.

Everything is changing and needs to be rethought.