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Top Trends in the Hospitality Industry for 2021 | Everglades University

Restaurant managers discussing the seating arrangements and reservations.

Even though the hospitality industry has suffered a direct hit from the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it has also brought about some significant additions and upgrades to the industry overall. While numbers are down for hospitality as a whole, many of us at home are planning and looking forward to the day when we can travel and go out again. The name of the hospitality game has changed, with many of the new additions being quite beneficial moving forward. Learn more about the top trends in the hospitality industry this year. 

1. Staycations

It may sound counterintuitive, but staycations are one of the main trends in 2021, thanks to the pandemic. People forced to stay home for months have had little chance of travel. While staycations keep travelers from booking hotels, rental cars, and activities, they offer a unique opportunity to reach those within the local community that is often overlooked. 

Many hotel chains are getting creative to fill rooms with unique stays that offer access to fun amenities like pools and hot tubs. Other notable options include renting out hotel rooms for month-to-month apartments or temporary housing for locals. The loss of travelers hasn’t necessarily meant a loss of filled rooms for some hotel options.

2. Extra Cleanliness

We have all seen those hotel nightmares of soiled sheets and hair in the sink in supposedly clean hotel rooms. While hotels should already be clean, the pandemic doubled down on many efforts to ensure that everything is extra clean. 

Guests are even more aware of high-touch areas, and establishments make every effort to provide a sense of protection for those who have ventured out. Even rental car companies now add a seal to their cars so that customers know that no one else has contaminated the car after cleaning. 

Restaurants in the hospitality industry have entirely changed how they prepare food and dishware thanks to the pandemic. Many establishments have changed their plating and storage options to coincide with more to-go orders. Utensils are either carefully wrapped or exchanged out for plastic pre-wrapped options. The pandemic forced every restaurant to go over their contamination knowledge and train employees, which is not bad overall.

3. Contactless Services

Another trend in the hospitality industry involves businesses that have changed how they interact with guests. Hotels have moved to a contactless check-in experience, with the larger companies adding apps for check-in and service. There is little contact between employees and guests because bills connect to credit cards kept on digital files. At some restaurants, you can order and even pay at your table for the utmost convenience. Choosing to invest in contactless service is expensive, but it is the future in the hospitality industry.

4. Limited Capacity

Until cases of coronavirus start trending downward, many businesses in the hospitality industry must meet capacity requirements as deemed by their local and state governments. Limited capacity dramatically affects how many guests can be in one space at a time and has caused businesses to get creative about how to schedule and manage groups of people. 

An empty restaurant before opening.

Limited capacity has forced restaurant owners to get more creative about the way they use their space

5. Creative Outdoor Spaces

Since many consider outdoor spaces safer than indoors, hospitality businesses have revamped their once overlooked outdoor areas. Restaurants offer outdoor dining on the sidewalks, while outdated courtyards received some sprucing up with lighters and heaters. Hotels have also created beautiful outdoor spaces that allow more people to gather with less worry. Creative outdoor tents, shelters, and services have all been born out of the recent pandemic.

6. Personalization

Although guests may prefer contactless options, it doesn’t mean that they don’t want recognition. Creating a personal experience goes a long way in the hospitality industry and has been a gold standard for decades. 

Those who are spending time away from home appreciate acknowledgment instead of being just another number. Crafting a unique and personalized experience for guests doesn’t have to be lavish. 

The most insignificant gestures like a handwritten note, a welcome sign on the door, or a printed menu with the family’s name on it go a long way.

7. Sustainability

Sustainability continues to be a driving trend in hospitality as more and more guests want to support those companies that care about the environment. Encouraging guests to use their towels more than once or keeping the same sheets on the bed are small ways that hotels can show their sustainability efforts. 

Restaurants that offer meat-free options as well as using locally-sourced ingredients help the environment as well. Even though the world has been through a pandemic, guests still want their time away from home to be easy on the environment. 

Is a Career in Hospitality Still Worth It?

Yes, we know that this question has crossed your mind more than once. There is no doubt that many businesses and hospitality employees have had it hard over the past year. The stifling of travel has created challenges and unique hardships industry-wide. 

However, the truth is that people like to travel. People want to go out for a nice meal. People like to attend events, concerts, and amusement parks. Our society thrives on human interaction, and while the pandemic has put a wrench in all of our lives, it doesn’t mean that it will stay that way forever. There will be a comeback, and the industry will be more robust because of the pandemic’s challenges. These trends in the hospitality industry show how much strength and tenacity this sector has as a whole. 

Earning a degree in hospitality management is an excellent idea for those students who enjoy working with people. Degree programs take time to complete, and the hospitality industry may be back in full force once you graduate. 

Everglades University offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality Management that takes about 41 months to complete, giving the industry enough time to rev back up. You have enough time to see the fruits of your labor with a degree in hospitality.

Learn more about how you can start your hospitality management education by contacting the admissions office at Everglades University. All classes are offered both online and on-campus for the utmost convenience. Apply today to start your degree in this vital industry that has a bright future ahead.