These hospitality predictions for 2016 are all about knowing what to expect in 2016 in order to give yourself a head start. The key to this is to ensure that you are prepared and ready for what lies ahead. Hospitality trends and fads come and go although these predictions are based on what your competition are doing and what your guests expect from you. So read on to find out what needs to happen in your business in 2016:
The hospitality industry is very slow when it comes to technology. The starting point for this is to have an up to date responsive website, which means that customers can view your website clearly on a mobile. According to Trip Advisor (2015) 42% of travellers worldwide use smartphones to plan or book their travel. These days hoteliers need to be less reliant on using online booking agencies and rather than giving away 10-25% of your earnings to these companies you need to be a lot more tech savvy and encourage your guests to book directly online with you. Some hoteliers have realised a benefit of using Airbnb is that they only charge 3% for a listing which could be a first step to help reduce your costs. Ideally you need to give your website the attention it deserves. It is the shop window of your business and needs to represent your offering in a clear way that is easy to understand and makes it seamless for your guest to book with you directly.
Your guests are constantly connected to the internet and there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to get online. Guests now expect to have free wifi as a given in your hotel. By thinking you can increase your revenues by charging for this you are missing out, as your guest will just go to your competitor that does offer free wifi. You have to give to receive, so offer free wifi and see your guests return to you rather than your competitors.
Your guest no longer stays with you for your product or service, they stay with you because of your products and services. By having high quality products and service to match you are creating an experience. In order to make this experience memorable so your guest returns you need to personalise it. The use of guest data to do this is increasing – review your customer relationship management systems and see how you can integrate them together so that you can profile your guests and you will always be one step ahead of them.
Can you name the 14 different food allergens that need to be clearly identified? Sadly not many hoteliers or restaurateurs can. The EU Allergy Regulations have now been enforce for a year and there are still numerous hotels and restaurants out there that lack this knowledge. Make sure you do not hit the headlines for the wrong reasons, get trained up on what you need to do within your business to ensure you fully understand how to comply.
The new mandatory National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and above has been set at £7.20 and comes in to force in April 2016. The National Minimum Wage is currently £6.70 and from April a 50p increase will come in to effect on top of the National Minimum Wage, taking the National Living Wage to £7.20. That’s a £910 per annum increase for a full time worker currently on the National Minimum Wage. These changes will affect your payroll. This still poses a problem for hoteliers as there is confusion of what needs to be done in order to comply with this. Take your head out of the sand and start working on strategies that you need to employ in your business to ensure that you do not fall foul of this.
Competition is fierce
The amount of hotel and restaurant openings for 2016 is still increasing, which means more competition for staff as well as guests. Staff can be more picky of who they work for, you need to become an employer of choice. Guests can also come and go as they please. You need to have retention strategies in place for both your staff and your guests. What makes you unique? Why should your current staff stay with you? What will make your guest return?
As the saying goes “Prior planning prevents poor performance” so start 2016 how you mean to go on and work on your strategies to ensure you have a successful year.
If you need help with any of the above – schedule a call.