I realise it’s a bit late in January, considering the month is almost at an end (where does the time go?!) But there’s a very good reason we’re publishing this blog a little bit later than usual.

What’s the reason?

It’s actually the fault of BBC News.

A few days after the new year started, the BBC News channel ran a report saying that the demand for electric cars is on the increase. According to the report, the public’s growing national concern about climate change coupled with the current fuel crisis and the urgent need to seek cheaper, more reliable forms of sustainable energy has given the electric car market the boost that nobody saw coming. Let’s face it, until fairly recently electric cars were something a lot of drivers were suspicious of – they were too expensive to buy, they couldn’t hold enough electricity for long journeys, and how could you ever be sure you’d find a charging point when you wanted one? But now, not only is the technology more superior and slightly cheaper and there are EV charging stations multiplying like rabbits up and down the country, the electric car market is booming because it’s giving consumers something that’s even more important: it’s plugging into our human need to feel good about ourselves and demonstrate to others that we’re making better, smarter, and more ethical choices than our petrol-guzzling next-door neighbour.

And, no, before you ask, Prime aren’t going into the electric car market! But the electric car news story is what started us thinking about this blog.

How are you going to supercharge your hospitality business this year?

As a hospitality employer, what can you do to plug into your customer’s human needs this year, so that walking through your doors and spending their money in your hotel, restaurant, spa, or [insert venue here] makes them feel better about themselves too?

Or how about this question? As a hospitality employer, it goes without saying that you’ll always want the very best people on your team, but when the time comes to hire new team members in 2023, how are you going to attract them? And, after you’ve managed to attract them and brought them onboard, how are you going to keep them motivated enough to make sure you’ll retain them?

That electric car story has already given us the answer: by plugging into everyone’s human need to feel better about themselves! Give your customers, staff, and potential new hires a compelling enough ‘feel good’ reason to visit your business, work in your business, or want to become your next employee, and you’re guaranteed to attract more customers and very possibly make 2023 your best year ever!

How can you do it?

Let’s take the BBC’s electric car story as an example.

Experts are predicting that electric car sales are about to go through the roof because people want a high quality product that’s good value for money, reliable, sustainable, environmentally conscious, and proves to themselves and others that they’re making the right ethic and socially responsible decisions.

Now take electric cars out of the equation. These are the same people who will be coming to your hotel, eating in your restaurant, or relaxing in your spa; what the news story highlights is that it’s human nature for us to prefer to support a business that shares the same values we do and is doing the going-the-extra-mile things that we believe are important. The added bonus is, because we support that business, the reflected good karma says great things about us too.

It’s the same for the talented, hard-working job seekers who will read about your next vacancy and wonder whether or not they should apply to you the next time they’re looking for work in our sector. If you’re an employer who shares their values and has a reputation for doing the right things for your clientele and team members, they’ll want to work for you too. They’ll be proud to work for you because it reflects great things on them.

What are your customers and team members’ values?

This 2023, take a close look at the values and social issues your customers, team members, and potential customers and team members care most about, identify the ones that you can get behind, and make them a core part of your business’s personality and strategy. Plug into their human drivers, the concerns that make them tick, but do it authentically and only because they are values and social or global goals that you believe in too. The authenticity point is critical: there’s no faster way to alienate people than pretend you share their values just to keep them onside. They’ll see through you eventually, and the damage will be worse than if you’d never tried in the first place.

It sounds like a lot of hard work but it doesn’t have to be a major upheaval to put these new values in place. It could be as simple as letting people know you’ve got a measurable target to reduce your carbon footprint, so you’re using energy-saving bulbs in your venue, or the lighting in your suites is smart-controlled so it automatically switches itself off when there’s nobody in the room.

Or maybe you could show customers and staff your environmental consciousness by reducing the amount of paper and plastic your business uses, using chemical-free laundering products, and giving your guests the option not to have their bed linen and towels changed every day.

And, while we’re on the subject of electric vehicles, have you noticed how almost every Amazon delivery van is electric now, and proudly states its electric credentials on its side? And do you also remember the avalanche of bad press Amazon was getting a little while ago about how hard it works its drivers and warehouse staff, and its inventive tax arrangements? When most people see an Amazon van now, the odds are they’re not feeling sorry for the driver and the exhausting delivery targets he/she has to meet, or remembering the bad tax avoidance PR. Instead, they’re seeing the ‘100% Electric, Delivering Shipment Zero’ message printed on the side of the vehicle and feeling good about themselves for buying that new pair of virtual reality nose-hair tweezers from such an environmentally responsible company. Don’t misunderstand me, Amazon are undoubtedly doing a lot of environmental good by having a 100% electric fleet, especially when you consider how global Amazon are and the thousands of Amazon vans that are continuously on the world’s roads, but the PR hasn’t done them any harm either. It’s probably even won them a few thousand extra customers.

  • Does your company have a ‘preferred’ taxi company you call when your guests want to go somewhere? Choosing to work with a taxi company that’s got an all-electric fleet will say terrific things about your commitment to the environmental cause, as would working with suppliers (food, laundry, etc.) who have a zero-carbon transportation agenda.
  • The list of possibilities is endless: use ethically sourced products wherever possible, let customers know your produce is from local suppliers, donate any food you can’t use at the end of a day to a neighbourhood food bank.
  • Or, what if promoting wellness is going to be your value? What can you do to make your venue a more calming, mindful space for your customers and team members, to show how important the value of wellness is to you? For example, coffee shops have become the new remote office with customers tapping away on laptops at seemingly every second table; what about setting an area aside that’s a laptop free zone, which actually encourages customers to sit in a comfy chair, disconnect from their electronics and relax? After all, coffee and work don’t have to be synonymous otherwise cat cafes wouldn’t be so popular!
  • Alternatively, you could actively support a national or local mental health and wellbeing charity, so your customers know that part of what they’re spending with you is going to a worthy cause. Or you could provide a discount to NHS staff, or work with a program that encourages people with wellbeing issues to reintegrate into their community?
  • This year, The Global Wellness Institute predicts a 21% annual growth in wellness tourism. That’s something else to think about for every customer-facing business in the hospitality industry.

Since one second past midnight on January 1,  you’ve probably been inundated with emails, articles and advertising that’s all about ‘New Year, New You’. You know as well as I do that 99% of that stuff will never work, and the 1% that might will only work if you commit to it. Statistically, over 60% of people who started 2023 with a new year resolution have already abandoned it.

But, if you can ring in the new year by finding out more about your customers, more about your team members, and connecting with the values that make them tick, it will be transformational for everybody, especially your hospitality business.

Of course, one of the best ways to guarantee your potential new team members share your goals and always deliver top-quality service and excellence to you and your customers is by letting us source them for you!

Whether you’re looking for permanent, temporary, or occasional staff, you’ll always find them here at Prime. Just give our friendly expert team a call on 020 7580 4398 or email info@primerec.co.uk and we’ll do the rest!

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