The pandemic brought about the transition to remote work. Now, as 24 percent of all professional jobs in the U.S. and Canada have turned into permanently remote roles, work from home is, unequivocally, here to stay.
Because of this, a "work from anywhere" trend has emerged, creating a lasting opportunity for the hospitality industry to take advantage of the new 2022 workforce. Traditional hospitality brands like Marriott are shifting their on-property amenities to address the needs of this new type of guest. Rather than their rooms being a stop on a road trip or their restaurant simply a convenient place to eat, they’re instead becoming board rooms and workspaces—a much-needed escape from home office monotony.
To replicate this success, hospitality businesses must think of themselves as a lifestyle brand, leveraging new technology solutions to help them bring exciting new programs and services to their guests.
From Traditional Offerings to Tailored Packages
The first step in pushing a hotel and its on-site venues beyond a typical offering is by embracing new reservation tools. By integrating and leveraging direct, white-labeled booking tools, these venues can make reservations seamless and convenient for busy professionals. This way, guests can see what’s offered—from desk spaces to conference rooms for a day of busy calls—as soon as they go to make a reservation.
As an added bonus, operators can completely own the guest experience by integrating their property-management system and customer relationship management system with their reservation platform to have a centralized hub of valuable guest insight including contact information, reservation history and work-specific preferences at their fingertips.
By doing so, hotel operators can leverage the data and its subsequent insights to create tailored packages for guests—assessing what each nomadic guest wants from their work-from-hotel experience and, in turn, send them a promotion, discount or special offer to encourage them to return and drive their underlying loyalty.
Utilize Tech to Create Distraction-Free Spaces
Almost more important than making the booking process seamless is making the workspace comfortable. After all, these guests are still coming to work—looking for quiet and calm locations to get their work done.
To cater to these guests, hotels and their on-premises venues, like restaurants and cafes, should incorporate the ever-helpful QR code. QR codes allow guests to utilize contactless order and pay options and order food without the interruption of speaking with a server—the last thing they may need when working on an assignment with a tight deadline or listening in to a meeting with a client.
Ordering aside, QR codes can also be used to manage waitlists for venues that may be overcrowded, allowing guests to scan the code, see seat availability times and plan their workday accordingly.
Embracing the Lifestyle
Hotel visits from remote employees will continue since stir-crazy workers are eager for a change of scenery. In a recent National Restaurant Association survey, 63 percent of respondents stated that restaurants are now an “essential” part of their lifestyle, with an increasing number of Gen Z restaurant-goers expecting more from a restaurant than simply food, likely stemming from the macroeconomic work-from-home shifts. What this means is restaurants will have to understand their branding across offerings more than they did in the past—paying attention to pop-up events, collaborations, non-F&B revenue streams, and even what their identity is as a restaurant group.
To keep up with changing guest demands and expectations, operators should focus on integrating technology solutions to not only boost the working guests’ experience but have them use hotel spaces, like restaurants and lounges, as a remote office when they return. Choosing a system of record that is centered around the guest experience, with data that the operator can manage on their own terms, will become the key to turning restaurant revenue into business revenue.
Angela DeFranco is the head of product at SevenRooms.