EHL Group's CEO, Markus Venzin, opens this hospitality industry report by asking the poignant question: How can hospitality reposition itself as an attractive, tech-savvy, sustainable and innovative sector in the face of today’s shifting times and changing customer needs? This is, he says, a recurring question after a few tough years where many old, ‘safe’ industry assumptions were turned on their head.
Markus continues: "Over the past year, we have all become familiar with the latest batch of external forces that have been hammering at the window of industry: a post pandemic landscape that has changed the nature and values of work, an ongoing war and the ensuing energy crisis, the positive and negative pervasiveness of digitalization, and above all, the urgent call for sustainable, regenerative practices. But what is often missing from this list is the human element. Whether manager, employee or customer, the need for connection, validation and growth is today becoming the main prism of analysis for making sense of our future world – both personally and professionally"
This collection of EHL faculty research findings aims to share some essential red threads to help understand the opportunities and challenges at stake in today’s hospitality industry. Despite the era of ‘permanxiety’ and polarization that we’re currently living in, this is actually a very exciting time for hospitality as we grasp the impactful role that creativity, human-centricity and authenticity can bring to the sector and its stakeholders.
1. Solutions for the hotel industry labor shortages: Technology, flexibility, upskilling - and above all, a paradigm shift - The merits of implementing technology to carry out the role of many administrative processes as well as making working conditions more favorable for retaining talent
2. Solving sustainability challenges: The role of digital technologies and tech startups - It is the tech startups who are the enablers in the sustainability transition of the service sector. The article also offers three fundamental changes for service businesses to become sustainable.
3. Sustainable real estate – Increasing pressures for hotel investors - How consumer and investor behaviors are changing, alongside the challenges and opportunities for hotel operators and investors in the coming years.
4. Authenticity in the food and beverage industry - The consumer trend to value authenticity: what does that mean exactly and how can F&B brands use tradition and locality of produce to show their authenticity?
5. Human-centric sustainability marketing to drive consumer demand - The nuances in relation to sustainability marketing as not everyone perceives sustainability in the same way, some even find it annoying.
6. Diversification of restaurant revenue today - An in-depth look at the different ways to diversify an F&B business depending on the tier of establishment and what resources are available to capitlize on.
7. New attitudes to Circular Economy practices: Rethink and redesign - Why hotels must be prepared to demonstrate that, when investing in CE practices, making a profit is not their only priority.
8. People analytics: Opportunities and challenges for the hospitality industry - The new way in which data is being used in businesses to make more rational and time-effective decision making processes around people management.
9. Keg wine: Tradition meets innovation - While totally preserving the wine quality, keg wine is sustainable and also economical - 96% of wine consumers are in favor of wine served on tap, namely for its sustainability.
10. Engaging customers with themed hospitality experiences - The theory behind a growing consumer trend - experiential hospitality. The perfect antidote to loneliness, many people prefer to buy experiences rather than products.
At EHL, our research faculty take great pride in gathering data and analyses from the field, knowing that their findings will directly impact what is being taught in the classroom. In turn, EHL graduates enter the workplace armed with the right balance of factually current theory and practice. It’s a virtuous circle where industry and education work within a collaborative ecosystem, one constantly informing the other – and in turn, helping to establish a strong sense of reputation fueled by thought leadership.
The insights in this report have been provided by members of EHL faculty: Stefano Borzillo, Carlos Martin-Rios, Sébastien Fernandez, Guy Llewellyn, Stéphanie Pougnet, Margarita Cruz, Florent Girardin, Luciano Lopez, Maggie Chen, Matthias Fuchs, René-Ojas Woltering, Rémy Rein.