As we enter Q3, there is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted businesses worldwide. Hospitality has already been singled out as having notably suffered from travel restrictions and lockdowns, but one could argue that meetings and events have it the worst. The very definition, large groups of people gathering in a single location that is often indoors, makes it clear that the meetings and events industry has struggled a lot. Many events from Q1 and Q2 were postponed to Q3 and Q4; however, the previously anticipated start of recovery now seems to be increasingly unlikely as resurgences of cases occur worldwide. READ MORE

Because of COVID-19, many revenue teams had to be furloughed. Not all will return, leaving vacancies. Could it be time to evaluate the kind of Revenue Manager that will move your property forward? The revenue manager of the future will be part accountant, part marketer, part guardian. This revenue manager will be the gatekeeper of revenue. There are five strong foundational skills to look for in the revenue manager of the future. Lily Mockerman explains these skills, how to recognize them in a revenue manager, how to keep them on your team, and how to help them shine. READ MORE

Does COVID-19 (coronavirus) afford hospitality industry operators relief from their contractual obligations? Hospitality industry operators are feeling the impact of coronavirus. The question may arise as to whether the coronavirus affords hospitality industry operators relief from their contractual obligations. In some cases, those contractual obligations may have arose months or years before coronavirus. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer for all hospitality industry operators and, thus, hospitality industry operators should consider taking steps to examine their options, including but not limited to, the steps set forth below. READ MORE

Pandemics though less inevitable than natural calamities have been confronted in the past. They have to be accepted and dealt with in a sensible manner. The discovery of a viable vaccine for the coronavirus as soon as possible is everybody's hope. Meanwhile, what can you as a business, do for the rebuilding crusade going forward? Reaching out and assuring your customers, employees, communities and stakeholders about their safety in your establishment is the first step. As a business with a standing, this is the minimum you owe to your customers, employees, partners, communities, stakeholders as well as yourselves. This hopefully, will bring business back and cause the coronavirus pandemic chokehold to ease over time. READ MORE

August FOCUS

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the world of online food ordering, consumer behavior has shifted rapidly to migrate phone orders to orders via website or mobile app. As guests return, hotel operators should take the need for online ordering throughout their premises seriously and make plans now to evaluate the best venues and use-cases where digital food ordering can enhance and improve guest satisfaction. The change will be slow at first, but then accelerate as guests and business travelers return in larger quantities. Digital ordering itself is just the start of the food ordering experience that will change, and brands should begin testing these technologies now so they are prepared when guests return en-masse. READ MORE

The hospitality industry has dramatically been impacted by current events and although designers have always been challenged, today's challenges are extreme and unknown. The entire industry is moving into a more germ-conscious design structure with less touching than before and exploring all types of touch-less technology. Who we were and who we will become is the true challenge, and the only option the restaurant and hotel industry have is to adapt and move forward by leveraging technology. As consumers become more mindful about their products and services, there is an increasingly bigger demand for foods that are more sustainable, healthier, organic, and even ethical causing a wellness-focused design to strongly emerge. READ MORE

From each and every negative comes the potential for a greater and more positive outcome, and we have to find it. Our world has changed as a result of COVID-19 and that should be no surprise to anyone. In an industry which has been decimated in a way that I never thought possible, we must look at ways of rescuing it from disaster. Reinvention has to be the solution, this can sometimes be a painful and bumpy journey, with chances to be taken, and while anything new holds its own element of risk, in the most uncertain of environments we have a unique opportunity to be able recreate ourselves. READ MORE

ARCHIVES

More from our online Library Archives...

Lori Crowley

With growing purchasing power and cultural influence, Millennials (and their Gen Z successors) are quite literally becoming important F&B "taste makers. Savvy hotel owners and operators and smart F&B professionals have already begun changing their menus and their strategies to appeal to younger diners. Understanding how the industry is evolving-and what kinds of demographic-driven changes will continue to shape F&B in the years ahead-begins with appreciating how Millennials and Gen Z diners (and employees) are influencing everything from menu design, to marketing and communications, to programming and facility layouts. READ MORE

Donnie Pearson

Hotel beverage programs often fall into two categories: the "set it and forget it" model, where minimum brand standards are met and not much innovation happens afterward to keep it relevant; or the lofty, mixologist-driven approach focused more on the person making the drinks than whether guests actually want to buy and try those beverages. In-between those extremes is a profitable middle ground where a wide range of guest tastes can be satisfied, while those behind the bar have the freedom to create and attract customers with on-trend menus. READ MORE

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.