The world has been brought to a pause by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus originating from Wuhan didn’t spare a single nation and lives have been lost and economies shattered. The hospitality industry has suffered a big blow. Hospitality and travel industry has seen maximum growth across industries in the last few decades. This pandemic has shaken the strong foundation of this gigantic industry. In this article, we have discussed some of the tips that can help hospitality businesses bounce back post-Covid.
All the countries are trying to open up their economies and the hospitality and travel industry is making every effort to limp back to normalcy. However, the presence of the virus, reluctance in the mids of travellers and internal pressure to cut cost and maintain profitability is making the transition towards normalcy all the more difficult.
Almost all the different hospitality industry sectors are facing the issue of sustaining themselves, it’s the Cruise industry and the hotel industry that is facing maximum pressure due to huge costs involved. Let’s discuss a few steps and measures that might help the hospitality businesses to bounce back out of the economic depression that has been created by COVID pandemic.
Speeding up the Technological innovation process
There are a lot of hospitality innovation that we have been discussing on this portal. However, the hospitality and travel industry has still not leveraged these innovations to the maximum potential.
This industry is huge and it takes a while before a new thing gets accepted by the masses.
However, it is crucial that more and more hospitality businesses start using technology to the maximum potential.
Using technology can help in decreasing costs, improving service and delighting customers by giving them personalised service.
There are a lot of things which the hospitality businesses can do in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic to encourage customers. Some of the suggestions below:
- Hygienic Smart Rooms with contactless entries using smartphone codes
- Using Apps and chatbots for service – allow customers to use apps to interact with service staff
- Robot butlers have been in the testing stage for a while- it’s time to bring them to the mainstream.
- Virtual reality and Augmented reality can help travellers have an enhanced experience of travel in a safer way.
One of our articles on technological innovation in the hospitality industry in 2020 discusses more about technology and is extremely relevant for the future of hospitality and travel industry post COVID era.
Time to go lean in Supply Chain Management
A lot of organisations are cutting jobs. This might be counterproductive in the long term.
Rather it is more useful to improve the supply chain management.
Here are some of the useful tips to move towards lean logistics and supply chain management.
- Historical data should be used to find ways of eliminating waste.
- The pooling of resources (even with competitors) to minimise waste can be effective.
- Suppliers with lesser turnaround time should be sourced.
- Greater usage of automation is the need of the hour. It will save time and cost.
- Better management of perishable goods is important.
- Real-time inventory monitoring is crucial.
- Customers should be brought into the supply chain.
We have covered this topic in further detail in our blog post on supply chain management for the hospitality industry.
Hotel and Restaurant designs should be reviewed
Coronavirus is not going away very soon. we don’t have a vaccine or a cure of the deadly virus as yet. So, it is going to be crucial to ensure the design of the hospitality organisation is and looks immune to the deadly virus.
A more spacious design that can allow social distancing would be required.
Restaurants have already started spacing their tables accordingly. Some hotels have changed the layout of restaurants, common spaces and even rooms to allow for regular sanitisation and social distancing.
Design changes might include some of the things mentioned below:
- More open spaces
- Scope of frequent cleaning
- Layout adjustment based on customer bookings that can promote social distancing norms
- Instructions and signboards promoting social distancing and hygiene
- A minimalist design might be even more popular
- Health checkup kiosks
- Brighter colours to give customers a positive vibe
- More live plants and herbs in common spaces
- A design that allows more sunlight and ventilation in open spaces
And similar design adjustments that give customer more confidence. A safe environment must reflect in the design to ensure peace of mind of customers.
Including new hygiene check measures in Quality control
Hygiene measures would need to get to the next level for hospitality businesses during and post COVID-19 era.
Even slight mismanagement and the brand image might be damaged. Cleanliness of the premises, rooms, common areas, offices etc can be now compared to food quality control measures.
A lot of e-commerce companies have started contactless delivery. Food services need to ensure minimum contact. Sanitisation has to be done for common surfaces multiple times and hotel rooms must go through cleanliness and hygiene checks.
Hospitality professionals would need the training to ensure the same and hygiene certificates must be issued and in some cases made mandatory.
The key to the success of hospitality organisations post-COVID is going to be safety and hygiene.
Thus, all precautions must be taken care of and this must be conveyed to the customers so that they can avail the offer services without any inhibitions.
Overall Business Strategy would need a revamp
Gone are the days when freebies were the norm to see your hotel room.
Free drinks, an extra day, discounts, loyalty points, aggressive social media marketing were used to get more customers.
COVID-19 has changed the game for marketers now. The whole marketing and sales strategy would revolve around safety, cleanliness and comfort even if that comes at a premium price.
Hospitality Brands that will come out as safest would get the lion’s share of the market in the post COVID era.
So, revamp your marketing plan to reassure customers that your organisation is safe for them.
It is also important to reassure stakeholders.
Thus, not only your marketing strategy but the overall strategy would need a complete revamp.
Hospitality businesses would need to make a plan for business continuity around safety, minimisation of wastage and greater implementation of technology. The below infographic from EY explains the ways to reshape strategy as a part of your business recovery and continuity plan for best results during and post COVID. Some of the things mentioned in the infographic are extremely relevant to the hospitality industry.
Hospitality businesses should brace themselves for a long road towards recovery after suffering a major setback due to COVID-19.
Now that all economies are reopening, a fresh strategy is required to ensure better results and enhanced profitability to get back on track as soon as possible.
Hope the discussion and tips in this article would help the hospitality businesses post COVID-19 in planning the business recovery in a better way.
We wish all the businesses of the hospitality industry a smooth road to recovery. It’s time to be prudent, smart, safe, collaborative and innovative to ensure we get back on track soon.