The dawn of a New Year comes striking new suggestions for the hospitality sector from New Continental Hotel staff and customers…
Trends have to start somewhere. Change is made by people with passion. The future is bright when you have the right vision.
We talk to our teams and our customers about what they want to see from our hotel and in the hospitality sector as a whole in the coming year; for 2020 and beyond.
There are two very different sides to hospitality; the side the customers enjoy and experience; and then the side the dedicated staff see!
We fuse the two together and look what beautiful patchwork we would both like to see for the future in hospitality in our New Year BIG SIX!
High AT ONE!
Both our staff and customers agree, seeing the straw being pulled from the nostril of the sea turtle on the BBC’s Blue Planet II made us all stop and think about the damage we are causing, without realising in most cases, to the planet.
Now, more united as a race than ever it feels, we all want to take stock and take action to try and undo and get smarter about the way in which we go about our day to day life. But not just that, 78% of the customers we asked said that they still want to be environmentally thoughtful when on holiday.
Single-use plastic was the main concern for travellers and our staff. Although massive steps were made in 2018; not just by us but many restaurants, hotels and bars, there is so much we can all still do.
The eradication of plastic straws was an amazing start. Led by Our Food & Beverage Manager Simon and his team, we were one of the first to make that stand. As a business we continue to assess what we are doing, what we could do and always ask if it’s really essential for business.
We have made bold pledges to phase out as much single-use plastic items as possible, both front and back of house. Eradicating plastic completely we know might be a pipe-dream, but we are committed to continually asking the right questions.
Like many businesses and organisations across Plymouth, we at the New Continental Hotel were all super proud to be a Plastic Free Pioneer and a small part in Plymouth becoming the first UK city to be accredited by the global charity Surfers Against Sewage with Plastic Free Communities status for its waterfront district.
Bobbing About On Your Holibob!
56% of customers asked said that one of the reasons they chose the New Continental Hotel was because it had a gym, pool, sauna and steam room. Now, we have never claimed to be a ‘spa’ hotel, with fancy pebbles and wicker furniture – and nor should we as that isn’t what we are.
What we are and what we have is a hotel with a leisure club that cares; inspires and installs confidence in everyone’s individual’s ability.
Our team of talented staff, led by Adam our Club Continental Manager don’t only have knowledge and experience, they have the passion. There doesn’t have to be fancy in life, there has to be generosity. Our Club Continental team are not only able, but also always willing to give unconditionally and always go above and beyond.
The time they give to both members and guests is truly incredible, and we know that this will continue to grow throughout 2019.
Wellness as an overarching concept is nothing new in travel and hospitality, but from our conversations with customers, we believe that 2019 will see a big rise in the number of people travelling and choosing very specifically to stay, or to get fit.
In AT THREE!
Make Hotel Restaurants Great Again!
When you are on holiday in a new city you want to explore; especially if you are only in Plymouth for one or two nights.
As our Executive Chef, Paul Doidge says that he believes part of the exploration of Plymouth is the exploration of our cities amazing restaurants threaded throughout it’s DNA. He admires the plethora of amazing and diverse restaurants in Britain’s Ocean City, and always encourages guests to try as many as possible.
We all understand too well that for our hotel guests there is a time and a place for hotel restaurants. Yet, knowing how talented our teams are; 2019 will be a year that we give Steve’s Brasserie the platform it deserves, as we would if it was a standalone restaurant.
Our Head Chef, Rob Dunne is working hard this year to really amplify the narrative about the greatness of his and his brigade’s food; and although a restaurant within a hotel he knows it too is worth trying!
Fighting At Four!
In The Air With Airbnb!
At the end of 2018, Airbnb was riding high for travellers as one of their main tools to book their holiday accommodation, and that doesn’t look like it will change in 2019.
Some hoteliers view Airbnb as a big threat; and yes, for some time many have either viewed it with downright hostility, or just ignored it with an ostrich mentality!
Here at the New Continental Hotel things are a little different, as we are not only hoteliers, we also have our sister company; Strathmore House Apartments too. We use Airbnb as a really successful tool for booking our 1,2,3 and 4 bedroom apartments on Elliot Street. Knowing how the platform works, having used it for some time successfully with our apartments, we decided to give it a go in 2018 for our hotel.
Prompted partly by an open letter wrote by Airbnb in March 2018. Here they tried luring hoteliers to step away from the major OTAs, enticing them with their lower fees and global community.
For six months we used Airbnb for our hotel; looking at it not as a rival, but as just another distribution platform. It just didn’t work for us as a hotel.
What it has done, is it has made us view things a little differently though.
There will always be a market for a wide selection of accommodation providers, and there will always be competition. What we believe, is that being part of success is success. We appreciate the guests that choose us, but we also appreciate there has to be choice.
Showing Willing At FIVE!
For over 30 years we have loved being part of couple’s special days. That will never change, but what we have noticed in 2018 and 2019 is that couples are stepping away from the traditionally popular ‘Summer Wedding’.
Now we see more and more couples opting for Spring and Winter Weddings instead.
What’s more there has also been a really large addition to the wedding calendar; mid-week weddings! . These have been great fun for us, as we get to see even more amazing couples, brides, grooms and wedding guests in the finest of fashion, filling the hotel with an atmosphere only a wedding day can bring.
TAXING At SIX!
TAX Is Going Digital!
When hospitality talks tech, it’s usually in relation to technology for the guests; features like keyless entry, room control systems and check-in and out technology. But back of house function are also really important and will no doubt speed in developments throughout 2019.
Keeping up with new and dynamic pricing software and AI booking engines can be a minefield at times, but let’s not forget about our poor accounts departments too – and we don’t just mean due to the techy invoices!
There is going to be a surge of energy in all accounts departments across all sectors gearing up for the ‘ TAX GOES DIGITAL’ manoeuvre in April.
Designed to be more efficient and to transform the tax system by 2020, this was the UK government’s original goal.
The plan is to introduce digital record keeping while also bringing in quarterly updating for landlords, the self-employed and businesses, covering self-assessment, corporation tax and VAT.
We have a headache just thinking about it! Whilst Development Managers and Marketers battled GDPR in 2018; 2019 TAX GOES DIGITAL looks like it may be a very similar fight for many Account Managers!
The year will no doubt be a full and fun one; with advances, changes and BREXIT! (You thought we had forgotten didn’t you!)
Whatever happens, there is one thing for sure; you can be certain that we will be here, doing our best to give our guests the best for yet another year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR.