September 30, 2022
Friday 30th September is National Hospitality Day - a day to celebrate our brilliant, resilient restaurants, pubs, hotels, bars, cafes and the amazing people who work within them. With companies still feeling the impact of the pandemic, and now struggling under the pressure of rising energy costs, it’s never been more important to show our support.
We all have positive experiences with hospitality - whether it’s a memorable meal, a first date drink, a honeymoon hotel or anything in between, the industry is important to us all. But why?
Money, Money, Money
In 2019, the economic output of the hospitality sector was £59.3 billion, around 3% of the UK’s total economic output. It’s a vitally important industry for economies around the world, and for local communities. People spending money on things like food and drink locations, entrance fees to entertainment venues and stays at hotels, can help to support infrastructure developments for local communities. Music to our ears.
What a way to make a living…
As well as the economic output, the hospitality sector is vital for employment rates. In March 2020, there were 2.53 million jobs in the hospitality sector in the UK, representing 7.1% of total UK employment. The industry is particularly important for providing jobs for younger workers, foreign-born workers, part-time workers and workers from minority ethnic backgrounds compared to other sectors.
Aside from the measurable benefits, the hospitality industry has given us all happy times with friends and family.
Let’s take dining out - research by the University of Oxford revealed that communal eating increases social bonding and feelings of wellbeing. Whether the visit to a restaurant is for an occasion like an engagement or just a casual catch up with a friend, the experience can spark positive emotions (especially with the right music).
If you’re travelling, you might remember that one hotel with fond memories. With us all working longer hours and living busy lives, the hospitality industry gives us opportunities to unwind, reconnect, and make memories. You might even be a working parent or a shift worker who doesn’t get time to prepare dinner at home - that quick trip to the local restaurant could be your only opportunity to have a nice hot meal.
Why is it so important for us to support hospitality?
Despite being a huge economic force, vital for employment, and an industry that gives us all memories that can last a lifetime, the sector feels the impact of external changes heavily.
The industry is naturally seasonal, with periods like Summer and Christmas being peaks for most.
Covid-19 had a devastating impact on the industry, with an estimated £114.8bn worth of expected sales lost between March 2020 and December 2021 in the UK alone. Overall, hospitality economic output during 2020 was 42% lower than during 2019; in 2021 output was 21% lower than 2019. The hospitality industry’s share of the UK economy fell from 3% in 2019 to 2% in 2020 and 2021. Despite this, 66% of leaders feel optimistic about the next 12 months for their business - we need to get out there and support our local hospitality venues.
This also rings true with the industry feeling the impact of the cost of living heavily - some argue that the impact will be worse than the pandemic. The increase in energy prices will be felt heavily by the sector - an example of this was shown when celebrity chef Tom Kerridge recently revealed the energy bill for one of his pubs will increase from £60,000 to £420,000. And with customers all feeling the pinch, they’re less likely to have the disposable income to spend.
It seems that despite all the amazing things it can offer us, the industry is very vulnerable to external pressures. It’s important we all show our support where we can and continue to make amazing memories.
WE ASKED THE STARTLE TEAM TO TELL US ABOUT THEIR MOST MEMORABLE HOSPITALITY EXPERIENCE
“I went out for dinner with some friends last year, and our waitress was one who used to serve them about 8 years ago at a different restaurant. They remembered her because she’d given such good service in the past, and it really showed how memorable hospitality experiences can be if done right.”
- Shaun, Design Lead
“My best hospitality experience was at The Pig in Bath during Covid-19, just after my wedding. Everything was just perfect, they went above and beyond. Things like complimentary champagne in the room, a free “congrats” dessert, and amazing service which was helpful and personal. It was just an experience that I’ll never forget.”
- Mel, Chief Customer Officer
“I visited a hotel a few years ago and the staff had called a taxi for Mr Castleton as I checked out. There was somehow communication between the front desk and the front door, but it was an unexpected peak-end that I still remember to this day.”
- Adam, Chief Executive Officer
Tell me more, tell me more - What does a great hospitality experience look like?
Imagine an atmosphere that’s built to run itself, optimising the music and lighting to make sure the experience is always at it’s best and keeps the tills ringing. Couple that with incredible music mixes that are integrated seamlessly with your atmosphere and we’re suddenly talking about the bar of the future which we’re already building.
Walk this way, talk this way…
You have to walk the walk if you talk the talk, so here’s Will Barratt of Wine Inns on how we helped transform their brand’s customer experience:
“Startle's music+ service is exceptional. Their playlists are fantastic and I can control all of our venues from my smartphone. The service is backed up by Startle's Relentless Support™ team who are always on hand to answer any question or fix any issue immediately.”
Why not download for free (and with very little effort) our hospitality brochure? There is one for pubs and restaurants, as well as hotels and cafes.