Hospitality industry: post-pandemic challenges

coronavirus in bubble hovering over earth
coronavirus in bubble hovering over earth

There’s no denying that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all aspects of our lives. The majority of us have had to adapt to a new way of working, socialising, and travelling.

However, as the world starts to return to normal and restrictions are being lifted, all eyes are focused on the economy’s recovery, especially the hospitality sector which was hit the hardest.

Bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels, and other leisure facilities were all forced to close their doors, and unfortunately, many have not reopened them again despite the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

But what is the situation now and what challenges does the hospitality sector face post pandemic?

At the moment, data is indicating that consumer spending within hospitality sector started to increase from May 2021. However, this still remains at less than 70% of pre-pandemic spending levels. It’s clear there are still many challenges for the sector to overcome.

 

Difficulty finding hospitality industry staff

The double blow of Brexit and COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on all aspects of the hospitality sector, with many workers leaving the industry.

Pay, job security and job longevity have all played a role in causing many workers find work elsewhere, especially people that have had to re-evaluate their priorities. And so, despite warnings about a future recession with thousands of workers potentially set to lose their jobs, the hospitality sector has found it increasingly difficult to recruit.

This has forced the industry to re-evaluate its working conditions, incentivise job roles, optimise personal development and change the way the industry is viewed in order to attract new employees.

 

Retaining your existing workforce

Although attracting new employees is one of the biggest challenges the hospitality sector is facing at the moment, they are equally tasked with trying to retain their existing workforce.

After all, in the current climate, if you have a solid and hardworking workforce, you should do everything in your power to retain them. With this in mind, check in with your employees to make sure they feel happy, valued, and empowered at work. Listen to their concerns and address them where you can, especially as benefits and initiatives on wellbeing and mental health are incredibly important.

 

Increased business expenses

Higher fixed and variable expenses also continue to be a concern for the sector. In addition to this, increased hygiene costs and mandated restrictions are continuing to cost businesses both time and money.

As prices rise, businesses must increase their own costs in order to protect their profit margins.

 

Supply chain issues

Many products are in short supply, putting pressure on the supply chain and making it difficult for businesses to get hold of the stock and supplies they need to deliver their service.

 

Low occupancy, less travel

Although restrictions have been lifted, many people are still incredibly apprehensive about eating out and travelling, meaning many hospitality businesses are still experiencing extremely low occupancy levels.

With this in mind, many businesses are having to focus on getting customers back through their doors through marketing, social media, promotions and other methods.

Despite the effects of COVID-19, some hospitality businesses are still thriving. If you’re looking to take your first steps on the commercial property market, or you’re planning on selling your property and looking to secure finance, we can help you find the best deals around.  Get in touch to discuss your property finance needs.

Stewart Hindley
Specialist financial experts helping you secure commercial loans across the hospitality, leisure and commercial property sectors.

More by the author