Hospitality Sector Benchmark rises to 75.42%
Hospitality businesses are in the business of delivering experiences, they are not in the beer, bed, burger or pizza business, these just happen to be products they offer. It is the emotional connection that is made with guests that causes them to become fans and provides competitive advantage. Delivering food, drink and / or accommodation to the standards demanded by guests in a clean and safe environment are simply minimum requirements.
Our research and recommendations uniquely identify not only the state of the customer experience in the hospitality industry but the strategic opportunities that will develop competitive advantage, based on 000’s of mystery visits to all types of businesses - from 5* Hotels to B&B’s, Community Pubs to High Street Bars and Fast Food Restaurants to Fine Dining. For the first time providing comparative intelligence and the opportunity to compare performance against the sector, sub sector, competitive set and the very best.
- The range of experiences is vast - Guest Satisfaction levels ranging from 18% to 100% even within the same chain
- The average score - based on uninvited mystery visits - is 75.42%
- Those scoring <60% (of which there are many) not only damage their own business but the hospitality industry as a whole creating “detractors”.
- The best operators are still growing because they deliver over 90% satisfaction
- Only 13% of businesses provide experiences worthy of recommendation.
While these headlines are just a small taste of the wealth of intelligence that we will be releasing over the coming weeks what they demonstrate is the inconsistency and below target performance of the sector as a whole.
Why Average Is Not Good Enough
If 75.42% was the average ‘A’ level Maths result across the nation it would not assure the student of an A or A* or a place a top university. It's a competitive environment with only the top performers given an A* and the choices that accompany such success.
Exactly the same reality applies for hospitality businesses - being average is average and not good enough. In the 21st century of Social Media the situation is more perilous for average or poor performers than than ever before - guests will now find the A* businesses (90%+) faster.
It is little wonder many businesses are finding it so tough given the sector average and the poor performers are virtually assured of losing existing guests faster than they can acquire new ones.
The volume and range of choice of hospitality businesses has been enormous over the past 20 years but this is only part of the competitive challenge. A foreign holiday, a HD TV a new car, cinema's 10 pin bowling, new clothes online shopping, supermarket meals, dinner parties are all competing for hard earned disposable time and cash.
The economic conditions make guests more value conscious than during times of plenty but so does the availability of information. It is clear that as never before Hospitality businesses need to provide guests with 90%+ guest experience levels if they want to be assured of their patronage and advocacy.
Why should a guest venture out to your restaurant or bar rather than relax in their comfortable sofa while watching a streamed HD film; washing down an M&S £10 Meal for 2 and bottle of wine; with a few 50p bottles of beer or lager?”
What are you doing to make it worth their while?
Tips for Improving the Guest Experience
- Have a vision for the experience that you want your guests to enjoy. Before departing on a journey we need to know the destination. Nobody wants to jump aboard a bus going nowhere.
- Stop thinking that your competitors are only the pub, restaurant or hotel down the road - make sure your team are clear the business you are in - experiences not beds, drinks and meals.
- Develop systems and processes that support the team, improving efficiency and allowing them more time to spend engaging with guests
- Identify your best points. What differentiates you? What do you want people to talk about?
- Develop team knowledge - particularly around your points of differentiation. If you spend time sourcing the best ingredients or linen tell your guests. Every member of the team should have tasted the food and drink you expect them to excite guests with. Unless you prefer the standard question What can I get for you? followed by silence as your team take the order with zero interaction, information, recommendations or encouragement.
- Measure, recognise and reward team members for developing your brand - shining personalities, genuinely engaging with guests while identifying points of differentiation. Encourage your team to ask your guests questions - what have they been doing? - where are they going? - what do they love?
- Focus on adding emotional value - design ways to go the extra mile, deliver pleasure because its how you make guests feel that is most important.
In : Customer Service
Tags: "hospitality benchmark" experiences tips vision systems processes knowledge measure
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