HOW CORONA PERMANENTLY CHANGED THE HOSPITALITY WORLD
Corona is causing a huge acceleration of trends in the hospitality industry, which were already cautiously visible before corona. On the other hand, because the virus requires adjustments in behavior and therefore working methods, and on the other hand because entrepreneurs now have time to think about their plan of action for the coming years, even after corona
Three important movements are converging:
- Finding enough staff will only become a bigger problem
- Automation in the hospitality industry is gaining momentum
- Employees are not always better than digital solutions
Many people have talked about "the staff problem" in recent years. But actually, staff is not a problem but has been misused for years as a solution to another problem. In fact, the 'problem' is fluctuating workloads. By only using the 'flexible staff to handle peaks' solution for far too long, you become dependent on an uncertain factor. That does not feel good and is also very risky. Because if nobody can work, then you immediately have an existential problem.
automation and digitalization
In search of other solutions to cope with busy peaks, the step to automation and digitalization is suddenly very close. Applications have improved tremendously in recent years, and consumers have slowly become accustomed to the convenience and control 'in-house’. Ordering with a QR code? Why not! Especially now when consumers in the corona time have been more reliant than ever on their own device, with which they have managed to keep their world running, using their own trusted phone in ‘live’ moments is no longer a surprise at all.
THE human against the computer
The most frequently heard objection of old-school hospitality people against letting the
guest enter his or her own order using, for example, QR ordering is: "But
then the charm of the trade will disappear completely, doesn’t it?” I then always ask:
"But what exactly is charming about taking an order?" In that case, there are
actually three dominant answers: "Personal contact", "advising," and "old
people don't understand that".
I can refute those three objections quite easily:
- Who says that staff no longer has personal contact with guests if guests order their own drinks?
- If staff advises so much, why does the QR app always score a much better percentage of upsells and specials sold? Could it be that 'the computer' can just advise better than the average employee?
- Those 'old' people everyone is always talking about, how old are they really? My father is 75, doesn't feel old at all, and does everything with his phone, just like his friends. His 84-year-old brother-in-law too!
Wouter Verkerk is a trend watcher for the hospitality industry, advisor to numerous renowned hospitality companies and ambassador of Jamezz.