As we all know, hospitality is one of the sectors that is suffering most from the effects of the pandemic. Restaurants and bars have been forced to reinvent themselves in order to survive.
Some changes that were beginning to emerge as medium or long-term trends before the health crisis have been implemented much quicker. Concepts that will, without doubt, completely revolutionise the business model.
Increased deliveries and takeaways: The main escape route granted by the authorities is to serve takeaway meals or to offer home deliveries. Faced with drastic reductions in capacity and limited opening hours, hoteliers have had to find different alternatives in order to continue offering their services.
Ghost kitchens or dark kitchens: The increase in deliveries and takeaways in the hotel sector has led to the rise of ghost kitchens. These are businesses where meals are prepared exclusively for sale to homes; they are not restaurants and they do not have tables or waiter service. Deliveries have grown by 26% in Spain over the last year* and forecasts indicate that they will continue to rise, so it seems that this new concept may be on the increase.
Digitalisation of restaurant processes: As we have seen, coronavirus has forced restaurants to quickly adopt certain measures, such as replacing the traditional paper menu with a digital one, promoting the use of social networks to communicate with their customers and encouraging card payments.
These measures for avoiding contact points have accelerated the digitalisation that this sector should have completed progressively. Although these measures have been adopted in a short space of time, it is undeniable that technology enables a much more efficient control of restaurant processes.
New experiences: The current situation has made customers more demanding. Customers appreciate a gastronomic offering that is complemented with other leisure activities, such as live shows, for example. According to the Cruzcampo Foundation, 50% of consumers highly value innovation and creativity in these businesses.
Hoteliers logically have other concerns in mind right now, but these types of actions that provide customers with added value could be a great marketing tool in the future.
The pandemic will, without doubt, mark a before and after for the hospitality industry. These and many other trends will continue to set the tone for a future that we all hope will soon bring some normality, new or old, but normality!
*Source: studies carried out by DBK Sectorial Observatory