“The great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life.” – George Bernard Shaw

Same applies to all hospitality – in restaurants, venues, offices and schools

Research reports are constantly highlighting that little is of more importance than great food offers and excellence in service. Consumer research is suggesting that the UK no longer looks down on service as maybe it once did. Today UK consumers value the importance of service as being one of the most important factors in why they revisit an establishment and possess a respect for service to a new higher level.

Despite all the reports of recession and impending gloom, a number of consumer reports are also suggesting that they still want to continue to visit restaurants and venues which do provide an experience and makes them feel valued.

The one common theme across so many reports is that it is the “experience” factor which will make a consumer spend that much money. Defining experience maybe harder but there is no doubt that new immersive experiences are signposting a road forward but very little beats a personal piece of service.

Companies which have invested in their welcome and support of workplaces are arguing that they are seeing a higher return to the workplace by employees. Hotels too will talk of how they have worked hard to reinvent the service experience and it is paying dividends. Despite all the concerns over staff shortages, many consumers believe that service interaction has actually improved in 2022 in city centre operations and it is making a difference.

Another report noted that one of the genuine shifts which has taken place all across society, and which is of major benefit to hospitality, is that many young talents both understand the concept of a service leader and want to actively make a difference. The report goes on to contradict the argument which the industry does often make – that many young people do not want to enter the industry as it perceived poorly. The argument in return is that the industry has not engaged people effectively and is seen only in a bad light for this reason.

Altogether it does start to build a picture which not only contradicts the views often stated by industry leaders as to why it has been a struggle to recruit talent but also highlights what needs to be done and just how important a role hospitality and service can play in bringing people back to city centres and into offices.

This argument can be supported by TFL’s own research which has shown that travelling numbers into London have remained at 2019 levels in the evenings and on weekends as people do want to socially interact and to enjoy good hospitality.

Could it be that service is the very factor which can make a major difference to the profitability of operations?

Will it be this moment which does, at last, act as a catalyst to ensure that the industry does start to engage external audiences far more effectively as it works to find its own road to success?