Redesigning Hospitality for a Post-COVID Boost

The last few months have been unlike anything experienced before for many of us. However, this point is even more true for the hospitality sector, which has borne the brunt of economic measures to this point.

Many restaurants, hotels, cafes, clubs and more would be forgiven for fearing the worse as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the country. With many businesses on the brink, hospitality must take advantage when or if an opportunity for growth is presented.

In this blog, we look at ways the hospitality sector can begin to prepare for the ‘new normal’, and how preparation now can increase the chances of recovery in the future.

is expected to slow during winter, as coronavirus cases fluctuate and restrictions are amended as a result.

In many cases, hospitality businesses are the first to close when restrictions are introduced, causing more revenue shortfalls. Therefore, there is incredible pressure on companies to make the most of any trade opportunities.

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Image supplied by: @gandt_interiors /

The Impact of COVID on Hospitality As with every sector, the hospitality industry has seen a significant decline in revenue due to coronavirus.

In the UK, despite fast growth between April and August, GDP remains 9.2% below February, the final full month before lockdown measures were introduced.

The hospitality sector contributed some of the most significant growths during August, thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and demand for staycations. However, it didn’t make up for months of decline.

According to Whitbread, operators of UK-wide hotel and restaurant chains, hotel stays in August had been halved due to restrictions and subsequent changes to consumer behaviour. Diners also fell by around one-third.

There are also growing worries about the medium- term future of hospitality businesses as coronavirus continues to circulate and reemerge. In the UK, growth

18 November 2020

Bringing Customers Back to Hospitality It’s fair to say that the goalposts have changed for hospitality over the last few months. Not only are businesses working against economic challenges, but psychological ones, too.

COVID-19 has ushered in sweeping changes in consumer behaviour. One of the most significant changes is in terms of priority – a survey by McKinsey in June found that, in the UK, dining in a restaurant was one of the least-popular activities in the short term for consumers.

However, there are also some positive shifts in consumer behaviour due to the pandemic. Studies have found that consumer loyalty has been eroded, as customers seek to find businesses that align with their beliefs. These include:

• Care: 18% of UK customers have chosen a new business because of how it cares for the safety of its employees (McKinsey).

• Local: 52% of business leaders are expecting increased consumer support for local businesses (CGA). • Sustainable: 33% of consumers say the sustainable sourcing of ingredients is more important to them now than it was pre-lockdown (CGA).

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