Hospitality is one of the most competitive industries, so staying up-to-date with trends and finding ways to stand out from the competition is paramount.
Whether you head management at a five-star hotel or are a server at an up and coming vegan restaurant, here are the top 5 hospitality trends to pay attention to in 2018.
1. Bleisure is Booming
As millennials continue to be a hot target demographic, the hospitality industry is working hard to cater to this customer base. Expect to see a continued interest in bleisure, also known as business travel mixed with leisurely travel.
For young professionals, bleisure is the perfect opportunity to take an extended vacation after a week of mandatory meetings and networking mixers (kind of a “kill two birds with one stone” attitude). Not only do these extended vacations help keep hotels full and dinner reservations booked, but a happy millennial in vacation mode is also more likely to spend money on other amenities. It’s a win-win for every category within the hospitality industry so be sure to utilize resources properly and take advantage of it.
2. Smart Rooms
With more people using voice-activated devices in their homes, it’s only natural to use these same devices to make rooms more “smart.” The lights, temperature, and other features in a hotel room can be difficult to figure out and smart rooms alleviate that nuisance.
Adding a voice-activated device like a Google Home or Amazon Echo can eliminate the risk of a poor Yelp rating or a middle-of-the-night complaint to the front desk. The guest can control specific functions of the room, just like at home.
According to The Wynn Las Vegas, over 4,700 of their rooms will be equipped with an Amazon Echo to help guests control things like lighting and temperature with ease. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing rooms with “smart” beds that can determine whether or not a guest is asleep or awake and heat or light a room accordingly.
3. Simple and Healthy Food
While there will always be a special place for deep fried appetizers and 1,000 calorie desserts, more adults who frequent restaurants and hotels are making a more serious commitment to healthy eating.
If your menu showcases one vegetarian item or your continental breakfast bar has a bowl of fruit, you’ll have to try a little bit harder to impress the over 70 percent of adults who prefer to eat something healthy if it’s available.
Have you been hoping for an opportunity to offer a vegan menu or want to exclusively serve food that has been grown within a 100-mile radius? Whether you own a food truck or a well-established restaurant, 2018 is a great time to “wow” your clientele with healthy choices that go far beyond the fruit plate option.
4. Hotels with Character
Some travelers are completely content to stay in a standard room with minimal amenities, but if you’re offering very little, the price tag must match.
People who pay for a hotel room, whether it’s at a chain or a small boutique hotel, want a place with character and unique features. While hotel bars may seem a little “hokey” and outdated, don’t be surprised if we start seeing more places that have a 24/7 “grab n’ go” eatery or an art museum or theater attached to the hotel.
Even if your guests are only staying for eight hours, they should have access to the same variety as someone who stays for two nights.
5. An Increase in AI Presence
Depending on who you talk to, artificial intelligence (AI) is either met with excitement or skepticism and worry. While there are many industries that will eventually be dominated by AI, the hospitality industry isn’t likely to go full-automation.
Many businesses within the hospitality industry have begun to incorporate some friendly robots to help out with some of the housekeeping and other tasks that don’t require a lot of face-to-face interaction. AI will ultimately help the customer experience by improving the quality of any person-to-person exchanges.
Automation is not meant to threaten a booming industry but rather keep it streamlined, error-free, and keep it doing what it does best; striving to make the customer experience the best possible.
If you’re looking for more ways to keep your hospitality business booming, download our white paper about how to improve internal communications in your hospitality business with the Beekeeper team app.