For many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic started as a short, forced break. However, this year has shown that everything changes and adapting became a normal mantra. The industry that has been impacted the most is the hospitality industry. Everything from travel services to restaurants have had to continuously adjust and adapt.
There have been areas of the hospitality industry that have highlighted the need for change while other issues have shown society’s need for their services.
The Need for Hospitality Services
The sector for hospitality businesses includes restaurants, bars, hotels, recreation facilities, sporting events, art and entertainment venues. Many people have relied on these services to get their food, talk to people, relax, and cope with life’s challenges.
In 2017, small businesses made up 99.5% of hospitality work and employee 60.6% of the employees in the industry. The country relies on hospitality services for more than just luxury vacations. It is important for the wellbeing of many people in various ways.
Unfortunately, as the virus spread, these locations became the hot spots because they are the most common places people gather.
Creativity is King
Companies have had to get creative in the way they conduct business. Functioning under changing guidelines has forced owners and employees to adapt. For some companies, that has meant creating and establishing a protocol for take out meals. Others have had to creatively schedule their room bookings, tours, or seating arrangements to allow social distancing and natural disinfection requirements.
Some businesses have had to learn new technology while others have changed their marketing plans. When hospitality is already a hard industry to make it in, creativity is required for crazy COVID-19 adaptations.
There have been many revelations this year about how the hospitality industry is staffed with the most vulnerable people in high-risk areas. Multiple factors work into this vulnerable people and places label, including the following criteria:
- Income Security: Most workers in the hospitality industry make low wages that are increased through tips. Without access to tips and so many businesses shutting down for various amounts of time, employees have needed access to extra funds for maintaining basic needs like housing.
- Career Support: Through shutting down, employees have learned they have an increased need for career support like childcare, transportation services, and educational opportunities.
- Fewer health benefits: Some employees in the hospitality industry receive health benefits, but many do not. During a global pandemic, the healthcare system has showed some gaps, showing that more people need access to health benefits. This is especially true for those with income insecurity.
- Highly infectious areas: Health experts and government agencies have focused shut-downs and regulations on businesses with the most potential for becoming a hot spot of infection. These areas are all where people gather and spend spurts of time, which are almost entirely hospitality-related businesses.
The pandemic has shown businesses and society that there are gaps in employee support throughout the hospitality industry.
While the public builds resistance to the virus, restaurants and other service businesses have built their own resistance for staying in business against the odds. The country and world have learned that there is a strong desire to mingle with friends over food, travel, seek entertainment, and come together to support their community.
If you work in the hospitality business and need some expert advice, there is help. D & O Liability insurance companies have experts that can help advise on costs, risks, and changes in legislation. If you need a great general liability insurance company to work with, consider Tabak Insurance.