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Hospitality Industry Challenges for the coming decade? Key in Success

Updated on December 1, 2010

Hospitality Challenges for the coming year (decade?)

Six key challenges for the hospitality industry in the coming year.
These are listed in no particular order.

Challenge 1 | Work - Life Balance photo by Mike "Dakinewavamon" Kline
Challenge 1 | Work - Life Balance photo by Mike "Dakinewavamon" Kline

1. Work - Life Balance

Its not just an HR concern anymore.  The younger generation is definitely more attuned to the needs of 'having a life' and the ones who have spent some years in the industry are beginning to question openly the so called unwritten rules : working 12 hours a day, odd shifts, etc.  Most employees will begin to give up better salaries for a better life.

The answers also do not lie in creating a gym or game room for your staff.  The annual picnic or staff day is passe.  interests are varied and organizations that cater to those specific interests will win the loyalty war.  People want to work with humans and bosses will have to behave as such.

Challenge 2 | Customer Sensitivity photo by jetalone
Challenge 2 | Customer Sensitivity photo by jetalone

2. Customer Sensitivity

Customers just don't have the patience anymore. We are not patient people as customers and as hoteliers we will not be able to demand that.  Companies, hotels, service firms who can accept and embrace customer sensitivity and work towards it will emerge winners.  the challenge will not be to ensure all check ins happen under 2 mins, the challenge will be to ensure all check Ins happen in the time the customer thinks she deserves.  finding that out is what will make your operations stand out.

Training will be play a key role here in ways not imagined hitherto.  training will have to move from process centric approach to individual centric approach. you will have to increase the discretionary powers of your team and give them the lee-way to perform as per individual customer sensitivity.

Challenge 3 | Experience Leaders photo by Ernst Moeksis
Challenge 3 | Experience Leaders photo by Ernst Moeksis

3. Experience Leaders

The next wave of hoteliers will be experience leaders.  most of us are willing to give up a little of the familiar for a little of the new.  'do the new' within the broad contours of the old and familiar will win.  managers will need to look at each process, each interaction, each moment-of-truth as a 'moment-of-ecstasy'.  If something does not make me twitter about it, it did not happen, its as simple as that.

Challenge 4 | Austerity photo by Orin Zebest
Challenge 4 | Austerity photo by Orin Zebest

4. Austerity

Its the buzz word.  the bling will be in creating luxury that does not scream, but is rather created in the knowledge that only those who truly know will get it.  More and more you will see people wanting to get luxury rather than being bombed by it. 
Products, services will have to be toned down but upgraded in every small detail.

Challenge 5 | Specialists Professionals photo by Victor Bezrukov
Challenge 5 | Specialists Professionals photo by Victor Bezrukov

5. Specialists Professionals

More people will work for themselves than ever before.  The desire to fulfill the work-life balance (see pt 1) will see experts currently in the employ of companies becoming freelance agents.  The hospitality industry will see a plethora of professionals come forward to work on niche and even super niche areas, secure outstanding results all the while retaining individuality and freedom. Managers will need to accept the change from people being company-loyal to task-loyal.
Specialists will add value where they think they can and not participate in areas that neither interest them nor excites them.
Experience leaders (see pt 3) will have learn to manage these individuals.

Challenge 6 | Changing Demographics photo by Made Underground
Challenge 6 | Changing Demographics photo by Made Underground

6. Changing Demographics

Everything changes when your customer changes.  The customers are getting younger, better informed, independent (in thought and in finance).  This will warrant a re-think and a re-draw of processes.  There is no single decision maker in an average household anymore and the hospitality industry like any other industry will have to appeal, talk and create goodies for each of those decision makers.
That is where the experience leaders along with the specialist professionals will win!

Prabhjot Bedi is a hospitality consultant, recruiter and trainer.

He works at creating superlative experiences and processes so that your business thrives.

He works with individuals in creating individual paths to glory!

More at


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      Jose Gallego 7 years ago

      I a gree you have some great pointers and also comments.

      As every knows Hospitality Industry is changing particulary in the hotels industry.

      1- First we not need to work 12 or 14 every day if you have a great management team on place and you run a very smooth operation.

      2- Now is critical for us the new generation to know you can run a hotel or hotel company and still have time to enjoy your family and still be a very successful hotel operator.

      3- We need to do a better job selling the hotel industry to our new generation to ensure every one understand this a great career with oustanding opportunities and a great future for. new hotel owners , hotel operators

      Thanks Jose Gallego

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      Prabhjot Bedi 7 years ago

      @Manoj Thank you!

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      MANOJ PADHI 7 years ago

      great insights