Over the last couple of weeks, our Hospitality in the News series took a deep dive into the hospitality and retail industries to better understand how they interact with one another.  

In the first part of the hospitality and retail feature, we looked at what retail businesses can learn from hospitality businesses. Here are the key takeaways:  

  • More personalization – connect with customers any way you can.  
  • Quality over quantity – making sure every customer has a great experience.  
  • Upselling and recommendations – use personal suggestions to grow revenue for the business.  

In the second part of the feature, we examined the opposite; what bars, restaurants, and hotels can learn from retail stores:  

  • Showcase bestselling items – using menu layout to push higher priced products.  
  • Improve efficiency – using technology to streamline certain processes.  
  • Focus on the small details – little things like branded packaging can show you care.  

The third and final part of this special feature will answer the question, how can retail and hospitality continue to sustain during COVID and other future challenges? Plus, are there ways they can work together to support one another?  

How Can Hospitality and Retail Sustain During COVID (and Future Challenges) 

By knowing what hospitality and retail can learn from one another, we can better understand how these industries can succeed during challenging times, like the pandemic. In the first part of this feature, we touched on how similar retail and hospitality are, despite them being in separate sectors. Both provide a service to customers that supplies them with a product they need/want. That’s why the following information about sustaining during COVID applies to both industries. 

Learn how to adapt quickly

COVID helped show us the importance of adaptability. Being able to quickly pivot operations can be the difference between sustaining through difficult times or being forced to close for good. In terms of retail and hospitality, this may mean testing new delivery or ordering software, adjusting your hours, or updating your offerings to add or remove anything you deem necessary. Listen to your audience to understand what products and services are important to them.  

Understand your ideal audience*

In this case, *ideal customer base. While this is always crucial, it’s especially key during a pandemic or other challenges that impact your revenue stream. You don’t want to waste resources or money advertising to people who aren’t interested in your products. Consider who your ideal customer was, is right now, and who they’ll be in the future. Are they all different or the same? Then use this information for advertising.  

Prioritize upskilling and crosstraining 

We’re all aware of the impact COVID had on the job market, after hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs. As you’re making new hires, consider candidates who have experience that translate to working multiple positions. Or people who have a desire to learn new skills. In doing so, you can (re)build your team with employees who have multiple functions and can jump into another role if needed in the future.  

Invest in new technologies

Briefly mentioned above, finding new technology that can help you sustain during the pandemic is a wise investment. Consider software that may help streamline certain processes or provide low/no contact options for customers. Offering such amenities may help prevent you from temporary closures down the line.  

How Hospitality and Retail Can Support One Another 

More often than not, these industries aren’t in much competition with each other. By supporting one another’s sustainability and growth, both can succeed. Some of the ways retail and hospitality can support each other include:  

  • Connect with local retail stores/restaurants to create mutual benefits or discounts for customers who patronize both places.  
  • Talk to local organizations about setting up street fairs to bring business to the community.  
  • Create “industry days/nights” where retail employees and hospitality employees can be customers of each others businesses.  

Hospitality and retail is a natural pairing. What’s a shopping trip without grabbing lunch? Or dinner without the movies? By working together, these two industries can learn from each other and continue to succeed even through tough times.  


Did you know that LGC can assist both hospitality and retail clients with staffing requests? Don’t wait until you’re short-staffed, contact us today.