As 2019 draws to a close, MacKellar Golf Management reviews industry trends and initiatives to determine what 2020 has in store for the hospitality industry. In the club, accommodation and restaurant sectors, in particular, here are some trends that you can expect to see in the New Year.
1. Carpet removal Guests will notice disappearing wall-to-wall carpeting flooring in favor of hardwoods, tile and other more durable materials. While typically the upfront costs are increased, these materials tend to last longer and are less expensive for venues to maintain.
2. Increased panic buttons Some venues in urban markets have already introduced panic buttons for employees, but alert devices will be more widely available for all employees. "We believe it's the right thing to do" said MGM's VP Hospitality, Troy Hooper. Also, what will happen more into 2020: Other positions will be considered for providing these devices, such as employees working night shifts and other potentially vulnerable positions.
3. Waiving housekeeping "With ongoing sustainability initiatives, we believe there will be further incentives for guests to decline housekeeping services", Hooper said. Preferred discounts and loyalty points will be offered in exchange for waiving housekeeping. Some mid-price locations have already begun this practice, and it is now finding its way into full-service clubs and hotels.
While many guests think this purely a money-saving tactic by hotels, the main issue is employee availability. Interest in this type of staffing role is not keeping pace with demand.
4. Eco-conscious patrons Guests are becoming increasingly conscious of issues of environmental responsibility. “The percentage of travelers who tell us they've made a purchase decision in the past 12 months based at least in part on their perceptions of a travel service provider's environmental policies increased from 8% in 2018 to 13% last year. While these numbers are still relatively small, to almost double in a year's time tells us this is fast becoming a more visible purchase factor for travelers.
5. Breakfast overhaul We can expect to see improved and enhanced breakfast offers in “what could be characterized as complimentary breakfast wars,” Hooper said. Clubs that didn’t have hot breakfast now do, and the ones that did now have more elaborate choices. It’s a challenge because it’s an added cost, and guests are not willing to pay more for it. For mid-tier brands, it’s costing $3.90 per guest, from $3.50 per guest, and higher brands will jump from $4 to 5$ at a time when owners are not really looking for ways to increase costs.
6. Popularity of soft brands Hooper said: “What defined a brand even 20 years was uniform standards, whether that was Maine or Florida, everything from the art to the menu was the same. Those aren’t the definition of brands anymore.” Uniformity has become a negative, and more venues recognize local culture and incorporate it into the design, and food and beverage options.
This has given rise to boutique brands, where the only commonality to larger brands is often a similar price and service level. But boutique brands also work two-fold. They allow a management company to gain market share.