Over the last few weeks, there has been a number of bemused conversations emerge about a number of operators who do close their units for the evenings so they can spend the time with their families. The question is being asked as to whether it is the pandemic which has shifted the mind-set or the lack of trade?
Certainly, the feedback from many operators across the City is that their expectation is that Hospitality will become more focused on meetings during the day. It supports other research which suggests that employees travel to offices today not to work at desks but to meet other people. Given this, there is a sound logic that hospitality and meetings will become focused on the day and that evenings have and will be more reserved for families and friends.
Change has become our constant companion and the change in the last 18 months has been deeper than many have understood.
It is a relatively subtle shift but raises a number of thoughts and questions:
· Is this further confirmation of how work patterns are changing with offices becoming more reserved for social interaction, clients and meetings rather than day to day work? If so, this will naturally lead to a 30% reduction in the density of people within major centres. Have work patterns now changed once and for all and now do we all need to learn what the new dynamics are?
· Will this, in turn, lead to less operations opening in the evening? Will new hospitality concepts emerge with day meetings at its core?
· Will the trends lead to further change in how offices are configured and how work takes place?
· Are we seeing a greater balance in work-life balances being found?
· How will all this impact on corporate hospitality and fine dining?
· The other question being posed is whether there will a greater focus on weekend sporting events for corporates as many will feel more comfortable giving up that time as they are spending longer periods at home?
As always, so many questions hanging in the air which will be answered in time. Change has become our constant companion and the change in the last 18 months has been deeper than many have understood. The Industry has historically been relatively conservative and arguably has struggled to be innovative but now every company is being faced with a need to adapt and change.