There is just too much going on in the world right now to write a blissful introduction to this week’s edition of This Week in Hospitality, so I’ll just say this: here are my top five hospitality stories from this past week.
1. One day in June
Last week, Eater asked an international team of photographers and writers to document life in their cities around the world, specifically life at restaurants and cafes. They asked them to do this on the very same day, June 2. The resulting photos highlight how different our lives are depending on where we call home. They are both beautiful and at times haunting, and aptly depict our disparate realities in our new normal. See the entire catalog for yourself, here.
2. Why it might be time to raise your prices
I’ve worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years, I know how insanely low restaurant margins can be. But, that’s not normally the case. Your everyday Joe Shmoe probably has no clue that his favorite local eatery has a razor-thin profit margin of about 4-6%. So, when Joe Shmoe finds out his favorite chicken dish has gone up $3, there’s little hope of him understanding why.
This is the dilemma restaurants have faced for years. The only way to make more money, without cutting quality, is to raise prices, but raising prices may mean you lose a few regular customers. Which is worse? Check out this great read from restaurant owner Joelle Parenteau. It sums up pretty much everything I said above but goes on to explain why it’s worth it for some restaurants to bite the bullet and add a few extra bucks onto their menu items.
3. How COVID is shaping the future of weddings
Special Events online posted a great article this week describing in length the ways COVID has changed the wedding landscape. From handing out hand sanitizer and masks as wedding favors, to “minimonies,” or even shift weddings where guests come and go in scheduled shifts, the wedding industry is ablaze with new innovative ways to keep the celebration going. Check out the full article with a myriad of ideas, here.
4. Reinvention could be the key to recovery
Restaurants across the world have seen success in the past few months with a business model they most likely never thought they’d have; takeout romantic dinners with music suggestions and candles, selling their award-winning hot sauce in a makeshift market, or breaking down large event spaces to hold three or more mini-events. These are just a few ways restaurants have adapted and shifted their original business models to survive the pandemic and our new normal. You can find more ideas in this article from Restaurant Business online.
5. Which leads me to restaurants leading recovery
Here’s a bit of good news for the restaurant industry, a recent multi-month study done by TripAdvisor shows that restaurants are leading the road to recovery in the hospitality industry. Over the two month period of the study, ending on May 31, searches on TripAdvisor for restaurant recommendations were consistently moving up. For more details on this study, check out this article from FSR.
The whole hospitality industry is in a tough time right now, but we are coming together to support one another until the storm passes. As people hunker down in their homes for the next indefinite period of time, look at these ideas for inspiration to bring joy to your loyal customers and provide work for your employees. To stay up to date on our latest recommendations for event professionals during this time, click here for our latest blog posts, check out our Two Chicks, Three Seats podcast, and view the recordings of our weekly Social Hour virtual roundtables.