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December 2023

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The full version of the following article originally appeared Hospitality News Middle East

Ashleigh Donald, co-founder of Halo Business Consulting, shares her thoughts on how entrepreneurs can build a business that will stay the pace and generate interest for all the right reasons.

Do the groundwork

Launching a hospitality start-up demands a profound understanding of the industry, emphasizing not just stellar service but a holistic guest experience encompassing multiple touchpoints. It’s vital to be well-acquainted with global trends, technologies and customer preferences. 

Master marketing, comms and customer experience

In a digitally dominated landscape, having a formidable online presence rooted in a user-friendly website before launching is essential. Delivering seamless customer experiences should be the goal. Your website should resonate with accessibility and efficacy, carefully calibrated for search engine optimization. Engaging content remains paramount. 

In addition, nurturing guest data has emerged as a cornerstone in personalising experiences and fostering loyalty. Chipotle Mexican Grill has mastered this approach, employing a vast pool of first-party data to personalize the entire dining journey.

Invest in technology

In a digitally advanced landscape, open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), especially in Property Management Systems (PMS) such as Apaleo, are pivotal in fostering flexibility and innovation in hospitality startups. 

Today, start-ups can utilize open APIs to integrate various technological solutions seamlessly. Furthermore, they can easily accommodate global payment platforms like Stripe or Revolut. Finally, implementing sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) systems like Revinate has become significantly easier.

Launch with a bang

Launch events provide an opportunity to emphasise the unique features of the property and its commitment to celebrating local culture and sustainable practices, while promoting a sense of authenticity. Given this trend, start-ups should consider launch events that showcase an environmentally friendly approach and take the form of genuine collaborations with the local community.

Evaluate customer values and adapt to feedback

Post-launch, it is crucial to actively monitor performance and consider tweaks based on  feedback, to identify areas for improvement. It’s also important to embody sustainability and social responsibility from the outset, understanding your customers’ values and positioning your business culture on the global hospitality scene. 

Remember that hospitality today extends beyond mere service provision to crafting experiences rooted in responsibility and care, striking a chord with an increasingly sustainability-focused, value-driven customer base.

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