The future of service within hotels

Hotels are being asked to be more inclusive and flexible in their thinking and approach

On the morning of the 6th February, we were delighted to be hosting forum – with HGEM –  on “The future of service within hotels. What is next?” where the new research was released.

In an absorbing and fascinating debate this morning there was a strong view that many hotels will decline and die unless they change the traditional approach and thinking. Hotels are being asked, by their customers, to be far more inclusive and flexible in the way that they think and act.

It is no longer acceptable to view veganism and other dietary requirements as almost an add on or inconvenience. Hotels should have menus already designed for vegans that do not mark them out as being different.

Are hotels inclusive enough to all? Are they accessible enough?

Hotels should be far more open-minded in their approach to service. Why not, it was asked, let guests order in and eat delivered foods within restaurants as it their desire and they will still gain sales via beverages

It was asked if the delivered in the model was gaining traction within hotels as hotels themselves are not adapting their service offers to meet the needs of their guests or have a good enough understanding of their customer?

Designs are changing and hotels need to also be better planned and designed for the customer of the future.

What new services can be developed and evolved that really engage customers?

Hotels are stating they want a greater personal connection with guests but are they doing enough research on each guest in advance so that they can build a personal connection? The overall view was no.

Are hotels working closely enough to their local communities and listening to their needs?

Many attendees still lacked an understanding of dark kitchens and how this may impact on hotels

These are interesting times as there is a need for changes to take place in how hotels better use their space, engage with the local community and change service offers based on the changing consumer, all with an increased focus on health & wellness.  
This change does, however, hold the potential to engage in different ways and ultimately open up exciting opportunities to increase and replace traditional revenue lines lost over the past decade. But what does the future hold, what does service mean and how will hotels and the service they offer continue to evolve?

Research indicates that:

51% of people use hotels for meetings and for working alone

72% would like hotels to provide workspace areas and increased spend

82% use coffee shops but hotels are popular as often quieter and safer

84% would prefer to use hotels if the F&B offer was good enough

The argument points to a move away from traditional restaurant areas and the creation of more informal meeting/working and relaxed dining spaces. Design and often minor changes are key to maximising and increasing dwell time and therefore spend.

There is also a sound argument for moving towards either the dark kitchen model or “buying in” a quality food product and together with the AI led v the experiential hotel model – there are interesting debates to be had.

This is an exciting time of change and we look forward to welcoming you to this discussion.