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Post-Pandemic Era: The Roaring ’20s of the 21st Century for the Hospitality Industry

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Apr 1, 2021

Kate Kennedy

Apr 1, 2021

Post-Pandemic Era: The Roaring '20s of the 21st Century for the Hospitality Industry

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I’ve always been fascinated with the Roaring Twenties — the smooth sound of jazz music and the Harlem Renaissance, liberated flappers donning Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet, romanticizing The Great Gatsby, and, of course, drinking in speakeasies. In this post-pandemic world, the economy surged, and technological and scientific advances took off. But it certainly wasn’t all fun and games — the unparalleled prosperity and cultural progress were marked with intense social unrest. Yes, we partied, but we also protested and fought for what we believed in, and then partied and fought some more. Sound familiar?

I’m certainly not the first to say it, and I won’t be the last: we’re headed straight into a modern-day Roaring Twenties scenario. Of course, not everything is now how it was then, both socially and economically. So the Roaring Twenties of the 2020s will be different from the first. But, I believe that a large portion of that economic surge will be directed towards the hospitality industry.

Hospitality has arguably been the most hard-hit industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. From hotels to restaurants, event venues, and everything in-between, the hospitality industry has seen enormous loss and struggle during the past year. But with the light at the end of the seemingly endless tunnel getting brighter every day, those of you in the industry who make it out on the other side could see considerably better conditions than those you operated in last year. 

I remember reading an article in the early spring of 2019, way before terms like social distancing were part of our everyday vocabulary or masks lined the aisles of every major department store, that talked about the problem of saturation in the restaurant industry. I believe the author made a remark along the lines of too many seats chasing too few butts. And at the time, I wholeheartedly agreed. 

New restaurants were popping up everywhere, and it seemed like every Tom, Dick, and Harry owned one. Very few of these overnight owners were concentrating on quality, and it was becoming difficult to find a decent meal, at a reasonable price, with excellent service. Two years later and the circumstances couldn’t be more different. After a year-long struggle, forced shutdowns, and little to no help from the government, the hospitality industry’s landscape has drastically changed. A saturated market has turned into one with growth potential. 

Vaccinations are on the rise, and most Americans should have theirs by the summer. The remaining restaurants have finally been given a little solace with the recently passed $28.6 billion American Restaurant Relief Fund. Not to mention the stimulus checks that are already hitting the bank accounts of 85% of Americans, putting more money in our pockets to rage like it’s Roaring Twenties. 

We’ve spent nearly an entire year stuck in our homes, and we are ready to socialize. We’re ready to meet over a meal at our favorite restaurant. To spend hours at the bar talking to strangers over cocktails. To get out and live again. I genuinely hope that the coming months and years will bring on an age of great prosperity for the hospitality industry—one unlike any other since the Roaring Twenties. 

Get ready for a hospitality industry comeback

What are event planners looking for in a venue for their post-pandemic events? Join us for an EventCamp digital series event, the What Event Planners Want From Your Venue planner panel on Wednesday, April 7 at 1 pm.

Register now to find out what planners are looking for from venues right now, when they expect in-person events to return, and what they are doing in the meantime. Gain insights that can help your restaurant, hotel, or unique venue get back to business for in-person events and ask the questions you’ve always wanted answers to!