CREATIVITY IN HOSPITALITY
Halo’s Ashleigh Donald joins The Den Podcast, a series of conversations about the business of creativity and creative thinking in business. She speaks to Andrew Wolffe, Founder at Wolffe, about creativity in hospitality.
We look back at the last year, how the hospitality industry has adapted and how there has been an acceleration in creativity. We reflect on how quickly hospitality businesses have adapted, whether remaining open to critical workers, or, if their doors have been closed, how they’ve brought hospitality into their guests’ homes with well-being spa packages and bake at home treats prepared by professional chefs.
Some of the key trends we explore in The Den - Creativity of Hospitality podcast, which is available now, are:
The increasing demand for sustainability and transparency, with research showing that customers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly experiences. We look at how hospitality will need to adapt to the rise in customers adopting a vegan diet, which doubled to 2.2 million in 2020, and how everyone benefits from businesses supporting their local communities and developing localised supply chains.
Acceleration of Digital Transformation
The pandemic has prompted a rapid embracing of technology within hospitality. In the past, there were always viable alternatives to technology and with hospitality being such a human connecting industry, there was often resistance to adopt, particularly at the luxury end.
The sector has accelerated the implementation of technology to deliver virtual and hybrid events, virtual show-arounds, contactless check- in and ordering via QR codes over the past year. Hospitality has been forced to innovate and integrate new technology into its operations and coming out of the pandemic, it will need to focus on refining this more hybrid way of delivering guest experiences, marrying digital and human connection.
The rise of Flexible Working
The industry has been forced to deliver hospitality from afar, offering more agile ways of working for their employees. Coming out of this, there is more opportunity to embed flexible working as it’s been proven that some roles can be accommodated through working in a more flexible way. This shift is likely to drive up productivity, help with work-life balance and the retention of employees.
Hotels are also adapting by offering working from hotel options with a rise in people swapping home offices for hotel and paradise-based locations. As more digital nomads and Gen Z become part of the workforce, employers will need to adapt to accommodate their expectations and demands for flexibility.
Slow and more Conscious Travel
The summer of the staycation is here to stay, certainly for 2021, but as travel opens up, there is likely to be more consideration of how international travel takes place. There is an increasing trend to travel slower, switching multiple mini-breaks for a longer holidays and considering slower forms of travel such as by train, which emits less carbon into the atmosphere. As people spend longer in communities, they have time to discover a more authentic experience and spend their money with local communities, benefiting the destination in many more ways.
There are incredible examples of how the hospitality sector has made investments in offering an alfresco representation of their brands. A shining example of this is The Savoy, who have recently launched a glamorous outdoor dining experience in Savoy Court. Solas offers an array of signature cocktails, an enticing seafood bar and live music together with a shimmering chandelier as its decorative centrepiece. Across many hospitality establishments, there has been a significant adaptation to offer alfresco experiences, well beyond the standard picnic bench.
The controversial proposal has been met with fierce opposition in the UK. The industry will be monitoring the situation closely. Israel’s ‘Green badge’ scheme is currently the most prominent example of vaccine passports in action, with the digital badges showing immunity issued by the Health Ministry, allowing entry to hotels, cultural and sporting events.
To explore creativity in hospitality further, listen to The Den - Creativity of Hospitality podcast. Follow The Den for future episodes about the business of creativity and creative thinking in business.
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