Product Solutions Security Resources About Login
Your Guide to Internal Communications and Employee Engagement
Top 5 Hospitality Trends in 2019
Top 5 Hospitality Trends in 2019
Corey McCarthy
6 min read
As an especially competitive industry, finding ways to stand out from the crowd and remain up-to-date with trends is paramount in hospitality. Whether you lead a management team at a five-star hotel, or are a server at an up-and-coming vegan restaurant, here are the top five hospitality trends to pay attention to in 2019.

1. Bleisure is Booming: Use Digital Tools Cater to Millennial Travelers

As millennials continue to be a hot target travel demographic, the hospitality industry is working hard to cater to this customer base. In 2019, expect to see a continued interest in ‘bleisure,’ also known as business travel mixed with leisure activities. For better or for worse, apparently 66% of travelers engage in work-related activities while on vacation.

For young professionals, bleisure is the perfect opportunity to take an extended vacation after a week of mandatory meetings and networking mixers. 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 and upgrades while staying at your property.

Appealing to the millennial traveler certainly requires an investment in mobile technology, but did you know that employee experience directly impacts guest experience? With staff retention a challenge in the already attrition-heavy hospitality industry, cultivating and sustaining employee connection and satisfaction is an absolute must. Using an operational communication platform keeps your employees connected and engaged with each other and with management, in real-time across locations and departments.

Likewise, on the guest-facing side, everyone, not just millennials, expects minimal barriers to entry across the board when it comes to their consumer experience with your hotel brand. Mobile technology for your hotel staff streamlines guest requests so your employees can get them what they need faster. Combined with digitally-savvy, informed hotel staff, this creates a win-win for both the employee and the guest experience.

2. Smart Rooms for Operations Automation

With more people using voice-activated devices in their homes, it’s a natural application to use these same devices in hotel rooms to improve guest experience. 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. Some smart rooms can even be paired with digital technology such as a guest’s phone, allowing the guest to 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. Modern, Simple, and Healthy On-site Dining Options

While there will always be a special place for deep fried appetizers and 1,000 calorie desserts, there’s no reason dining while traveling has to be bland or unhealthy. If your menu only showcases one vegetarian item or your continental breakfast bar only 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, 2019 is a great time to “wow” your clientele with healthy choices that go far beyond the fruit plate option.

4. Give Them Something to Write Home About: 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 properties that have a themed on-site bar and restaurant, exclusive hotel-only guest performers, free bike rentals, a 24/7 “grab n’ go” eatery with local culinary options, 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. Take a cue from an iconic hospitality destination like the Madonna Inn, or the more contemporary and trendy Ace Hotel brand, and start building out your own signature, on-site entertainment options to create buzz and make your hotel a destination in itself.

5. An Increase in AI Presence for Operational Communication

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, due to the power of the in-person interaction and the crucial role this plays in the guest experience. However, 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.

For internal operations, AI integrations like Gustaf simplifies shift management dramatically. AI will ultimately help the guest experience by streamlining hotel operations, allowing for increased personalization of a guest’s stay, and even assisting with online booking. Automation is not meant to threaten a booming industry but rather keep it streamlined, error-free, and doing what it does best: striving to make the best possible customer experience. A crucial part in delivering exceptional guest experiences in any hospitality setting, hoteliers should continue to embrace technological evolutions for hotels in 2019 to both remain competitive and reduce the bottom line.

Want more ways to keep your hospitality business thriving? Download our eBook, “Hospitality Industry Trends 2018-2019,” to get started.