Never mind the weather, never mind the rain!

Boost in the UK hospitality sector shows promise for hospitality recruitment.

It’s undeniable that the hospitality and travel sectors were some of the most badly hit professions during the Coronavirus pandemic, with many people’s livelihoods up in the air.

However, since the ease of lockdown restrictions and with the re-opening of restaurants and pubs at the beginning of July, the hospitality and travel sectors have been given a new lease of life and hope.

This fresh start is widely supported by new research commissioned by the building society, The Cumberland, which has revealed positive insights for those working in hospitality or interested in a career in the hospitality sector in the UK.

As the travel industry was under-fire this summer due to quarantine rules, as well as the fear of travelling via airports abroad, Brits instead opted for a staycation holiday in the UK.

Cumberland’s research revealed that 83% of British holidaymakers preferred a holiday within the UK, with research further suggesting that seaside towns such as Cornwall were a fan favourite with Brits, with 16% of participants choosing this destination.

Meanwhile, others decided to embrace the great outdoors with 16% visiting Scotland and 15% visiting the Lake District.

Most encouragingly of all, out of the survey of 1,015 UK adults, 71% said they plan to make the UK their destination of choice for holidays in 2021 – suggesting that the British staycation could be here for many years to come.

As more countries continue to join the UK quarantine list daily, research like this is invaluable to those wishing to continue working in hospitality, acting as reassurance that they will continue to be supported.

Cumberland’s research further suggested that Brits are now more focused on having an easy and relaxing holiday experience, with 59% claiming that the ‘ease’ of UK travel was a major benefit of staycationing, as well as 49% mentioning that it was ‘safer’.

Continuing with the theme of relaxation and safety, 39% of British holidaymakers would prefer to stay in a hotel.

Now more than ever before, hotels, restaurants and bars are fully equipped to offer a safe and stress-free hospitality experience, operating with the finest attention to detail.

Regardless of what’s to come next, it’s certain that hospitality in the UK isn’t going anywhere.

If you would like to work within hospitality or progress your hospitality career, contact our expert recruiters JWR today.

The hospitality industry celebrates Eat Out to Help Out success

After being forced to follow strict lockdown guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of the hospitality industry looked uncertain. Even as lockdown measures began to ease around the UK and restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars were encouraged to re-open, the British public at first seemed hesitant to begin dining and drinking in public once again. Luckily, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme which began on the 3rd of August has proven to be a huge success and has breathed new energy into the UK hospitality industry.

It is estimated that in the first two weeks of the scheme alone, 35 million discount meals were served. In fact, restaurant bookings for Monday – Wednesday in August were significantly higher than restaurants bookings for weekends in July,

The scheme, which runs throughout August, was introduced to encourage consumers to dine out once again after months of being told to stay home. The scheme is open to chain and independent restaurants alike and gives food outlets the opportunity to offer 50% off food and soft drinks from Monday – Wednesday, to a maximum limit of £10 per person. The government has pledged to subsidise the 50% discount and has so far received over 48,000 claims from businesses.

Over 85,000 restaurants are taking part in the scheme, which was introduced in addition to the government’s plan to cut value-added tax for the hospitality industry from 20% to 5% until mid-January. The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is estimated to cost taxpayers around £500 million, though it was arguably needed to save the hospitality industry after months of lockdown.

Rishi Sunak has been delighted with the success of the scheme so far and released the following statement: “Today’s figures show that Britain is eating out to help out — with at least 35m meals served up in the first two weeks alone, that is equivalent to over half of the UK taking part and supporting local jobs in the hospitality sector.”

Businesses which were hesitant to take part in the scheme raised concerns about operating with low cash flow due to the wait time to receive reimbursement. Sunak has eased any such concerns, however, by promising food outlets they will be reimbursed for the discount within 5 days of claiming.

As the Eat Out to Help Out scheme has proven, there is still a lot of life in the UK’s hospitality industry and there are plenty of opportunities available. If you would like to work within hospitality or progress your hospitality career, contact expert recruiters JWR today.

Why some hotels are thriving despite coronavirus

The recent coronavirus pandemic has meant that some hotels have been seriously struggling. With all hotels closed for months, many have lost significant profits. However, now that hotels are fully reopened, some establishments are seeing a great influx of guests. To learn more about how these hotels are thriving despite the pandemic, continue reading.

Rise of staycations

Restricted travel to foreign countries has meant that many Brits are looking for a ‘staycation.’ This essentially involves enjoying a holiday in your own country. While this isn’t great news for airlines, it is fantastic for British hotels looking to bring back customers. Hotels who have done particularly well have emphasised how fun and enjoyable a staycation can be, while enticing customers to stay with them. Hotels with great locations, such as by the sea, in the countryside or in city centres have highlighted the benefits of their local area, showing guests that they can still feel like they’re on holiday in this country.

Great marketing

Hotels who are now thriving once more have put a lot of effort into their marketing campaigns to tempt customers to book with them. Many have uploaded videos on to social media showing the changes that they have made to their establishments, or highlighting the one-way system they have in place. Furthermore, some hotels have created competitions on social media sites to allow guests to win a free stay. Not only does this offer one lucky guest a fantastic experience, but it also generates a buzz around the hotel, encouraging other social media users to view the page.

Increased safety precautions

Those hotels which have shown a serious attitude to safety precautions have also seen a rise in guests. Many hotels have announced more stringent cleaning measures, with hand sanitising stations dotted around the premises. Hotels with eating facilities have also changed to table service only, removing the risk of infection that buffets can pose. Some hotels have taken safety measures to the next level by installing thermal cameras in the building. These can spot if someone has a high temperature and therefore could be possibly ill. This gives great peace of mind to both customers and staff, meaning that hotels can attract more customers to stay. Unfortunately, the hotel industry has been affected by the pandemic, but it is possible for hotels to bounce back and be profitable once again.

For regular industry updates and advice on hospitality recruitment, contact us at JW Recruitment today.

£14m Hotel Recovery Programme welcomed in Scotland, but warnings from experts remain

A £14m hotel recovery programme has been announced by the Scottish government in a bid to help support the tourism industry until next summer.

The package has been designed to secure up to 3,000 jobs in large hotels throughout the winter season, with eligible businesses being able to apply for individual grants of up to £250,000.

VisitScotland has also announced it will provide £1m in grants to self-catering businesses which are unable to receive any other government support. Companies which meet the criteria will be eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said of the hotel recovery programme: “Its core purpose will be to protect larger hotels, which have been badly affected by the events of the recent months.

“This is also about looking forward and successful applicants will be offered wraparound support to help strengthen their companies for the future.”

Concerns for the hotel industry remain

While news of the programme was warmly received, experts have warned that it won’t be enough in the long term. There are still fears that without other forms of longer-term support in the future, many hotels in Scotland will remain at risk of being forced to shut their doors permanently, resulting in thousands of people losing their jobs.

Current industry figures suggest the hotel sector supports around 46,000 jobs in Scotland.

Willie Macleod, UKHospitality’s executive director for Scotland, said: “The reality is that any programme of recovery intended to keep hotels in Scotland open and staff in jobs, will need to be much bigger and much more wide-ranging.

“It must be hoped that this is an initial step in supporting these businesses and that further resources will be made available in the likely event that the programme is over-subscribed.”

Only 5% of hotels will be supported

UKHospitality estimates that approximately 950 large hotels in Scotland did not qualify for grants which were made available to smaller businesses during the COVID-19 lockdown. As such, they had to meet their average monthly expenses themselves – which in some cases totals £60,000 – despite being shut for the majority of the spring season.

The group has also warned that a budget of £14m will only cover 50 businesses, just 5% of the large hotels in Scotland. Macleod added: “This is not enough to avert the crisis facing the sector.”

For regular industry updates and advice on hospitality recruitment, contact us at JW Recruitment today.

Hotel management during the coronavirus

Managing a hotel has never been more challenging. The uncertainty caused by the unwelcome arrival of the coronavirus has struck a sense of fear into millions of people across the UK.

With so many people being forced to cancel holidays abroad, the collective focus has turned towards ‘staycations’. People need a break like never before. This has placed the spotlight on the UK hospitality industry and, in particular, hotels.

Those who choose to take a break away for a few days are still doing so at their own risk. As soon as they leave their home environment and descend upon a hotel which is populated by hundreds of relative strangers, the risk factor intensifies.

A key role to play

This is where hotels have a significant role to play. In the current climate, the most effective way of helping guests to enjoy their stay is by putting their minds at ease. This is achieved by being seen to carry out all the correct protocols.

The responsibility falls on the hotel, and chiefly the hotel manager, to ensure they are taking every possible precaution to safeguard the wellbeing of guests. Everything from social-distancing protocols to wall-mounted hand sanitizers to partitioned zones in bars and restaurants is crucial.

Hotel managers will, of course, delegate these tasks but the responsibility falls on the manager to ensure they are carried out.

Temperature checks on arrival

It is important that each guest is temperature-checked on arrival and, if the hotel is still using a reception check-in system, plexiglass should be used to separate guests from employees. Furthermore, signage should inform guests about the importance of wearing face masks when walking through the hotel or using lifts.

As well as making guests feel safe and relaxed, managers must provide a safe working environment for staff. Cleaning staff should be brought up to speed on new hotel cleaning regulations. Additionally, where room service is offered, employees should leave food and drinks outside the guest’s door, covered over by foil or clingfilm.

The best chance any business in the hospitality industry has of succeeding is by recruiting talented and hard-working staff who care about what they do. This includes all roles, from cleaners (who have never been more important) to management.

JWR are industry leaders in hospitality recruitment. Our services should be enlisted by any business looking to inject their employee pool with people of the highest calibre.

The importance of making hotel guests feel at ease during these uncertain times

There was a time when the quality of a hotel stay was judged by the standard of the services on offer, the presentation of the bedroom and the overall enjoyment of a guest’s stay. These remain key factors but are no longer the be-all and end-all.
Continue reading “The importance of making hotel guests feel at ease during these uncertain times”

How to increase restaurant sales without advertising

Sales are a crucial part of every business and restaurants, like any other business, strive to always focus on their bottom line. The restaurant market that we have today is quite volatile, which makes restaurant sales even trickier.

This makes advertising a critical element in the equation. However, what if you want to increase your restaurant sales without using any advertisement strategies? Is it possible?

Continue reading “How to increase restaurant sales without advertising”

How to promote your restaurant on social media

Social media has the power to greatly increase the awareness of your restaurant, but getting it right isn’t always easy, especially when you consider everyone is online today, including your competitors. Carry on reading for 5 tips we think you should know to successfully promote your restaurant on social media.

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What is revenue management in hotels?

When it comes to hotels, revenue management is a pivotal role required to optimise profit. By selling “the right product to the right customer at the right time and at the right price,” revenue managers can ensure the hotel maximises its potential profits and reduces the likelihood of loss. It’s a role that works closely with all management facets of the hotel to ensure demand is met and even exceeded.

Continue reading “What is revenue management in hotels?”

How Artificial Intelligence is already transforming the Hospitality industry

It was once the stuff of sci-fi but Artificial Intelligence (AI) is about to transform the world of work forever. A recent report by the Office For National Statistics found that 1.5 million jobs in England are at high risk that some of their tasks and duties will become automated in the near future.

 

Hospitality is likely to be at the forefront of that change. Aside from in a few high profile hotels in tech-hungry Japanese cities, humanoid robots are unlikely to be checking in guests anytime soon, nor are they likely to impact negatively on levels of hospitality recruitment. Instead, AI is already starting to streamline how hotels operate, freeing staff from time-consuming administrative duties and allowing them to spend more time catering for the needs of customers.

 

Here are four ways AI is already being used within the hospitality sector.

Continue reading “How Artificial Intelligence is already transforming the Hospitality industry”