If you dont know yet, the hospitality textile market in Q1 and Q2 of 2021 has seen its fair share of challenges. There is a good chance the hotel you stay in this Summer will have towels and sheets that look a bit old. The reason is that the property (and industry) will be short on replacements as textile manufacturing challenges continue to grow. In my years as a CEO distributing both hospitality and retail textiles, Ive never seen so many factors come into play, putting an entire industry into chaos.
It doesnt sound right to talk about the benefits of COVID – 19, but if theres any upside to the pandemic, its that massive disruption to business has forced hotels to find operational efficiencies – resulting in lower costs – without damaging the guest experience.
Have you ever walked in to work at a hotel or hospitality company and immediately recognized that someone, somewhere has determined that today is going to be 'one of THOSE days'? Its almost like someone posted a sign at the staff entrance to make it official. When you greet your first co-worker, they mysteriously transfer the bad vibe over to you. Before you know it, you too are sending the same negative vibe on to others.
As a writer in the hospitality space, I am often approached by new companies with emerging technology who are looking for PR. Despite that my articles are almost always related to training tips for human engagement such as sales and hospitality skills, they somehow think that my help promoting whatever new gimmick they have come up with is key to promoting their services. Recently I was approached by yet another company about an exciting 'new' innovation they had invented.
While the past year has been a tumultuous ride, the good news is that as we head into spring, the light is blinking brightly at the end of the tunnel for the most of US and Asia Pacific markets and were on track to come out of this experience all the wiser. But before we rush to snap back to business as usual, its important to take a moment to reflect on what weve learned about our industry, and ourselves, during this difficult time.
Something I learned early in my career is that humans can handle bad news, they just cant handle surprises. When it was apparent to my leadership team and me on the March 2, 2020 that we were heading into World War III for Travel, I insisted on having weekly webcasts with the entire company by mid-March. That one communication decision became the most fundamental thing that the Remington leadership did for the past year.
Any business worth its salt is conscientious of money coming in and money going out. The problem is that when things are going good – the operating environment prior to COVID striking – hoteliers tend to become a tad lax, especially on expenses. Sure, they want to keep food costs down; they want to curb operating expenses; they want to manage labor effectively. That doesnt mean it always turns out that way: a recurrent examination of operations and audit of vendors, suppliers, lenders and other accounts.
Net spending intent on travel hits pandemic high mark
The hospitality industry has been regarded as the most challenging and stressful working environment compared to any other industry sector. As a former waitress in the banquet hall of a five-star hotel and a Michelin starred restaurant, I deeply understand the required components of multi-tasking in a fast-paced environment, while maintaining service quality simultaneously.
The truth is, the situation across the world is still far from ideal and recovery is taking longer than any of us anticipated. Last year we focused on simply surviving, but this year we can shift our efforts towards recovering and rebuilding from the ground up. The journey ahead is still long and uncertain but it is through shared knowledge and collaboration that we can support each other and recover in a healthy, consistent way.