the Restaurateur 7 Trends in the Hospitality Industry for 2018 January 17, 2018 Do you own a restaurant or hotel? Technology will drive many of your business decisions in 2018. Learn how to maximize your business in the New Year. The hospitality industry will see many changes in 2018, with technology as a driving force. If you own a hotel or restaurant, you’ll want to be cognizant of how you can improve business and make your establishment more attractive to patrons. Below are 7 trends we have seen emerge as of late. Open hotel lobby design- The hotel lobby gives the first impression, and you want it to be a lasting one! The mood of the lobby should reflect the mood of the hotel, and ideally that mood is one guests will resonate with. In today’s tech-friendly world, you’ll want to make sure your lobby is equipped with charging stations, Wi-Fi, and ideally a couple of guest computers or iPads and maybe a flat screen TV or two. Guests are really after that “at home” feel. When you give guests these comforts and amenities, they are more likely to stay longer and visit again. More locally sourced food and beverage offerings. This allows restaurants to add variety to menus and adjust them when the seasons change. More importantly, consumers want to know where their food is coming from. Using locally sourced food can be a huge selling point, not to mention you’ll reduce your carbon footprint. Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to enter the hospitality world through sensor-activated thermostats, digital room keys, in-room streaming services and more. Voice activation- Amazon Echo and Apple’s Siri apps are gaining popularity as well. How do these help hotels and restaurants? Well, with voice recognition technology, guests can control everything from the drapes to the temperature in the room. Many hoteliers are considering the technology’s potential impact on mobile bookings, as well. Many people will use Siri to find a nearby hotel or restaurant. Crisis management and cyber security awareness will gain importance. Many establishments are conducting cybersecurity awareness trainings in order to make employees more comfortable handling a crisis. Airbnb will continue to be a main competitor. The social website that connects people that have space to share with those who are looking for a place to stay has become an extremely popular lodging option for travelers. Does this pose a threat to the hotel industry? In some cases, yes. Staying in an Airbnb is often cheaper than staying in a hotel. Some travelers (especially millennials) are after the less expensive lodging option whenever they go out of town. “Bleisure” is growing in popularity. Business + Leisure, otherwise known as “bleisure” is becoming more common. Extending corporate stays in order to fit vacation time in has become a popular route for people to take, which is a huge benefit for the hotel and restaurant industries. How can you capitalize on the bleisure trend? Be cognizant of the “bleisure” traveler’s needs—perhaps by offering extra incentives via loyalty programs. A lot of hotels and restaurants seem to be catering to the “millennial” mindset given the prevalence of technology in all the trends listed above. As business continues to evolve this year, pay close attention to any and all opportunities to fit technology into your operations. Questions? Contact our Hospitality Services Team today.