Getting the data right is key to growth in hospitality

Hopes that the temporary VAT cut for hospitality would be extended were dashed in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement this week.

A return to 20 per cent from the 12.5 per cent figure will be met with disappointment by thousands of hospitality businesses, trade body UKHospitality said.

The news was tempered by figures released this month showing jobs in the sector up 252,000 over the last 12-months and unemployment substantially down, now at four per cent and therefore below pre-pandemic levels.

This is positive news for the beleaguered industry and demonstrates what a vital role those businesses play in the UK’s economic recovery.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), also chart continuing record levels of vacancies in the sector, reflecting how challenging the labour market remains.

In addition, the data also shows an increase in the number of people choosing to be economically inactive, indicating a need for flexibility to avoid impacting the sector’s fragile recovery.

So for many in hospitality, particularly at the higher end, now is the time more than ever to get to know your customer.

Technology can prove a game changer

Hospitality is mainly about providing a personal and bespoke experience for every individual consumer. Traditionally this has been done face-to-face and in-venue but technology now means venues can offer a personalised touch at every stage of the process and can be a game changer.

A new survey also highlighted the challenges and opportunities for hospitality and the need to engage with customers who are prepared to share their data, and encourage and educate those who are reluctant, to get the best possible service.

Figures from Zonal and CGA’s GO Technology survey, a sample of 5,000 nationally representative British consumers. All figures are taken from the February 2022 edition of the survey.

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