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: what hospitality can learn from retail. 

In the first part of this three-part series, we looked at some of the ways the hospitality and retail industries are related, and what retail businesses can learn from hospitality businesses. In the second part, we’ll look at the opposite – what hospitality can learn from retail.  

What Hospitality Can Learn from Retail 

In order to understand what these businesses can learn from one another, it’s important to first talk about why the hospitality industry can benefit from some of the retail industry’s practices. Retail businesses prioritize efficiency and the ability to create return customers. Plus, both industries are managing the challenges of an ever-growing digital economy. By taking cues and tips from one another, both industries can support each other’s growth.  

How to showcase bestselling items

Successful retail stores know that the layout of their business is directly tied to revenue. Showcasing specialty products in the right way encourages customers to consider making a purchase. Though some restaurants take this model into consideration when designing their menus/layout, it’s not common practice for every establishment. By using specific psychology, you can draw guests’ eyes to higher-priced items and help maximize your profits. (Check out these 10 menu design hacks by Canva.) 

Efficiency practices

Long before the pandemic, the retail industry was starting to update some of its standard practices, like electronic payment options and online ordering/pickup. Once COVID-concerns increased, these efficiency updates became more in demand. 

Restaurants have also begun to improve their operations to make them more streamlined. Though this was already happening before the pandemic, various health and safety requirements helped move this update along. But still, there are more cues hospitality can take from retail that may continue to improve efficiency while prioritizing guest experience. Some of these may include:  

  • Allowing guests to close out their own check – think like self-checkout in the grocery store.  
  • Hosts can assist with filling guests’ waters and other service-related tasks. 
  • Continue to improve online ordering, delivery, and pickup services.  
Importance of small details

Retail businesses, especially boutique stores, tend to put an emphasis on small details like packaging. Though it can be more expensive, creating a specific brand theme can help customers identify you more easily – plus, it shows you’re concerned about creating a consistent brand. Think of aspects like to go packaging, which could easily be branded to provide a more personal (and memorable) feel.  

Though retail and hospitality are separate industries, they both provide a service and goods to their audience. So, it’s only natural for them to take cues from each other. Using the opportunity to learn what hospitality can learn from retail and vice versa means both industries can grow as our economy grows.  

Stay tuned for part three of this series which addresses how the retail and hospitality industries can continue to sustain during challenges such as the pandemic and our growing digital economy.