Ask our Expert from The Lowry Hotel

How will the UK Hospitality Bounce back post Covid

15th July 2021, 9:27 am

The UK hospitality industry has been hit hard over the past year but the industry is ready to bounce back. The sector is nothing if not resilient and establishments across Greater Manchester are ready to welcome their patrons back. Recovery must start somewhere and the immediate challenge for hospitality businesses is how to implement a successful bounce back.

A successful return to business for the hospitality industry hinges on overcoming both short- and long-term challenges as it reopens its doors. Successful strategies must be implemented to reinstall confidence in consumers across the region and consumers are clear about what they want to see before they feel confident about returning to hotels, bars restaurants and entertainment and leisure venues. Business models may need to be adjusted and operational changes made to deliver on the needs of the sector moving forward.

Hospitality associates should prepare for a further wave of challenges when it comes to recruiting staff for their businesses. This is especially true with all venues opening to normal trading levels as of the 19th July 2021. Attracting the right quality candidates will be even more difficult in the coming weeks, so having a sound plan in place is key. Whilst challenging, failure to do so may result in limited services or a loss of revenue as a result of lack of staff. Relooking at your deployment structure could aid in addressing some of these concerns. A shortage of staff across the industry is further compounded by the uncertainty and lack of clarity when it comes to the Track and Trace system. As a leader of your business, establishing a balance between keeping the business operating and ensuring the safety andwellbeing of your team will be challenging at the best of times, but ever more difficult in a recruitment shortage. Again, a contingency plan would alleviate some of the short-term challenges you may face.

The Growth Company, along with a wide range of partner organisations will host PROGRESS21 – a one-day in-person conference focused on careers, businesses and Greater Manchester’s global ambition. A major element of the event will be a careers fair where jobseekers from across the region can receive support and advice on getting into work and meet businesses from all sectors from across Greater Manchester with thousands of job vacancies available. The event builds on the work of the Tourism & Hospitality Talent Hub which was established last year for those already employed in the tourism and hospitality sector who need advice and support due to their employment being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Hub draws on established employment services offered by GC Employment, specialist input from Marketing Manchester, and practical support from Manchester Hoteliers’ Association.

The Long-term outlook requires us to take a retrospective look at our business to days prior to Covid. Once again, we will start to address familiar challenges such as a saturated market with heavy competition, choice of destination and market penetration etc. Standing out through creativity and a refreshed look at your business will ensure a successful bounce back. Some proactive choices should include the setting up successful partnerships with institutes that promote the industry and Greater Manchester. Promoting Greater Manchester as a destination of choice will be key to reinvigorate the market.

As a community, we need to actively promote Greater Manchester as a destination. Collectively, we should celebrate the gradual return of business to ourselves, our partners and even our competitors as this will definitely instil confidence in the destination. Increased levels of business feeds back to the supply chain and the economy starts to gain momentum.

As we navigate out of these unprecedented times, another way to bounce back would be the sharing of best practices and experiences. This is especially important as it may/could help some businesses within the sector that they may not be prepared for or have the resources to address these themselves. These are after all educating times for all of us.

Finally, a unified effort will yield greater results in attracting and implementing a successful bounce back plan to the region and the message should be “Greater Manchester is Open for Business”.

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