Every week we comb through the news to find employment trends affecting the hospitality industry so you don’t have to. This week’s topic: holidays in hospitality, including 3 expectations for the rest of the season.

Holidays in Hospitality

With Thanksgiving behind us, there are only a few more weeks left until we say goodbye to 2021. Though this year hasn’t been without its’ challenges, we’ve seen more “normalcy” during this holiday season than we have since before the pandemic – especially now that international travelers are allowed back in the U.S. Additionally, supply chain issues are impacting online shopping, with major shipping manufacturers having recently released shipping deadlines to (try and) ensure gifts will arrive on-time for Christmas festivities.  

Despite seeing similar challenges during the 2020 holiday season, we can expect the rest of this year to look different than last year, which will undoubtedly impact the hospitality industry. Here’s what we can expect in the last few weeks of the 2021 holidays in hospitality season:  

Increased holiday travel 

As previously mentioned, international travelers are being welcomed back to the U.S. for the first time since March 2020. Families and friends who’ve been separated since the pandemic will be looking forward to spending the holidays together. Though some people will opt to stay at family homes, we can anticipate an increase in hotel bookings for those who want to get away before the start of the new year. Multiple hotels around the country reported as early as Labor Day that they were booking up for the holidays in hospitality season, particularly during the week before Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.  

LGC tip of the trade: 

  • Find local shops and restaurants to partner with so you can direct guests to establishments that help support your community.  
More in-store holiday shopping leading to busier restaurants 

Because of concerns surrounding supply chain issues, more consumers will opt for in-store shopping than the year prior. This means that busy hours at bars and restaurants – especially those in popular shopping areas – will experience higher traffic while people rest or escape the cold. Traditionally slower times, like weekday afternoons and evenings will also receive a revenue boost up until the end of the year. Plus, the increase in hotel bookings also means that restaurants and shops in the surrounding area will see a jump in business. 

LGC tip of the trade:  

  • Consider implementing some food and drink specials to better attract customers who want a break from shopping to enjoy holidays in hospitality. 
Consumers looking for great holiday experiences 

Besides heading out to shop, people will be seeking holidays in hospitality experiences they missed out on last year –– whether that’s ice skating at the park, a big family dinner on Christmas Eve, or celebrating at a party on NYE. This compounds the busyness we can expect in the next couple of weeks.  

LGC tip of the trade: 

  • Think of how you can provide a fun and memorable holidays in hospitality experience at your hotel or restaurant. Photo ops, themed pop ups, and other events can attract both locals and tourists to your business.  
Key Takeaway:  

The key takeaway is that businesses will be experiencing a busier end of the year than they did in 2020. The desire for a more fun and traditional season will encourage consumers to hit their favorite attractions and restaurants to enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year,” holidays in hospitality. 

Hospitality managers in particular should assess any staffing challenges they’re currently facing to better understand if these challenges will worse over the next couple of weeks. If you have concerns about recruiting or staffing, reach out to the LGC team today – we can help you make long-term placements or find you available staff in minutes