It’s no secret that the hospitality industry has struggled in the past year and will continue to recover and grow in 2021.
Hospitality businesses are continually faced with many challenges regarding trends and customer expectations; the industry is rapidly growing, and organisations are struggling to keep up with the demand.
We have gathered together the top challenges facing the hospitality industry in 2021 listed below.
1. Implementation of Technology
Over the past year technology has ramped up within the hospitality industry; self check-ins, contactless service, online ordering and payment via apps has become the new norm.
It’s a challenge for the industry to provide a good customer experience with a mix of human and tech-enabled interactions; customers crave experience thus the company must be doing everything they can to adhere to this. If the technology system is not in place at all or is down it can stop the whole production system, thus organisations need to have back-up plans in place to be prepared for any issue thrown at them with the world of technology.
2. Reputation Management
Online platforms are becoming increasingly popular every year, with customers giving companies online reviews, through comments, ratings and photos. The hospitality industry has been battling to establish strong relationships with their consumers to increase their reputation.
Reviews and comments can destroy or glamorise companies, thus the industry needs to utilise certain platforms to their advantage and manage their reputation, a challenge that organisations will face in 2021.
3. Retaining and Attracting Employees
The hospitality industry is known for high turnover rates, with about one-third of workers quitting their jobs after working for just six months and around 45 percent of workers holding on for an average of two years.
The industry is continuing to grow with more employees being expected to be hired every year, thus for companies to remain competitive they need to ensure they have employees with strong qualities, skills and knowledge. Employee expectations are always changing and growing, organisations need to keep up with the latest trends for attracting and retaining employees, which is proving to be an ongoing challenge within the hospitality industry.
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4. Environmentally Friendly Practices
Environmental pressures continue to shape today’s hospitality industry, over the past 10 years it has been a key focus for all organisations to invest in. Sustainable practices make hospitality companies stand out, consumers want to know that the business they purchase from follow environmentally, socially and culturally sound practices. Especially evident with Millennials and Generations Z’ers, consumers will pay more for products that don’t harm the environment or affect wildlife.
A complete overhaul of the organisations systems and products to follow sustainable measures will become expensive and won’t last, whereas small steps over time to adhere to socially responsible guidelines will have a lasting effect on your customers and the environment, increasing the company’s reputation. A massive challenge that businesses will continue to face in the future as sustainability is becoming a way of life to the public and organisations.
5. Personalising Customers Experience
Customers today have grown to expect to be recognised and treated as individuals, rather than a steam-lined operations system. While consumers expect a greater level of personalization, businesses still struggle to translate data and insights into actions.
This information provides companies with customers past buying habits and their interests, enabling the hospitality industry to tailor their offers and promotions to specific customers. The industry needs to continually find new and unique ways to personalise a customer’s experience to keep a competitive edge.
6. Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are one of the top-level marketing strategies to obtain returning customers and most individuals expect a loyalty system when purchasing from an business. The hospitality industry battles each other to attract a loyal customer base and provide the best deals / product to consumers.
There are multiple challenges companies face when implementing a loyalty program mainly inaccessibility and confusion, as some customers will not participate in a system that has complex accessibility or that people do not understand. Furthermore, loyalty programs that are unappealing and obsolete to consumers are also extremely unsuccessful.
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