Eat, sleep, relax, repeat: Hospitality industry overview

Working in hospitality has never been sexier. The meteoric rise of reality TV shows such as Master Chef and My Kitchen Rules has meant that the act of creating food is no longer about the bare necessities (you know, fuel for your body), but is now an elaborate art form. If you’re looking for holiday accommodation, options now include Airbnb or, if you’re willing and able to splash out, one of these insane living spaces. And then there’s the explosion in popularity of cruises for young and old alike – the lure of an easy but activity-packed holiday has hundreds heading to the sea at all times of the year, looked after by those who know how customer service is done.

Let’s have a look at some of the key hospitality stats and trends.

THE NUMBERS

The hospitality industry encompasses anything that can be classified as ‘accommodation and food services’ (way to make it sound totally bland, Australian Bureau of Statistics). The industry contribution to the Australian economy is approximately 4%, making it one of the mid-sized industries by dollar value. However, as an industry it’s one of Australia’s largest employers, with 9% of Australia’s workforce working in hospitality, which is equivalent to approximately 1 million people.

TRENDS

So what’s happening in hospitality, both in Australia and around the world?

Exploration, interaction and experience

Whether it be a place to stay, a place to eat or a place to play, customers are looking for a unique experience – and ideally an experience that’s Instagram-able, Facebook-able or Snapchat-able so that they can share it with the world. Here are some of examples:

Dinner in the Sky – What do you get when you cross a communications agency specialising in gastronomy with a worldwide leader in attractions linked to cranes? Flying dinner tables – that is, one off events in various locations around the world that literally involve a dinner party suspended in the sky. They’ve also branched off into Meetings in the Sky (it’d certainly make that annual management pow-wow a lot more interesting), Marriage in the Sky and even Swing in the Sky – think of it as altitude training for golfers.

  Credit: Dinner in the Sky

Credit: Dinner in the Sky

Zingara Cucina – For those who love the element of surprise, Zingara Cucina is for you. The menu and location changes weekly as it’s pretty much a ‘wandering supper club’ – think of it as a dinner party amongst strangers. Top points for exclusivity and intimacy.

Alcatraz E.R. – Trust the Japanese to come up with the weird and wonderful. The restaurant looks like a ‘medical prison’ (whatever that is), where you’re the patient and your dining table is a prison cell. Dishes continue to play on the medical theme, mostly inspired by human and animal body parts. Drinks are served in syringes, test tubes and mannequin heads.

The Manta Resort – This resort in Tanzania boasts an underwater room attached to the underside of a floating private ‘island’. You can either relax on the sun deck or head below, immersing yourself in the underwater world.

Food on demand

Menulog, Deliveroo, Delivery Hero, Foodora and UberEATS are just some of the newer businesses offering food delivery services – either as an aggregator of restaurants that deliver or offering the delivery service itself. So why the sudden influx of food delivery businesses? Well, where there’s supply, there’s usually demand. And we hate to be the bearer of bad news but the reason is as simple as plain laziness.

Believe it or not, a recent survey of more than 2,000 Australians found that 51% preferred to order food in rather than going out to a restaurant because it was too much effort to leave the house. And it gets worse. 54% of those surveyed mentioned that one of the key motivators was not having to wash up the dishes. In a world where most people use dishwashers, it looks like we’ve hit a whole new level of laziness. But it’s clearly created a lot of opportunity for businesses who are keen to move into this space.

Health and wellness

 The Raw Kitchen, Fremantle |  Credit: News Corp Australia

The Raw Kitchen, Fremantle | Credit: News Corp Australia

Ironically, our final trend is focused on health and wellness (I guess to make up for being too lazy to eat out those other times?). Every second person nowadays is paleo, vegan, vegetarian or celeriac…and restaurants are popping up everywhere to cater to their needs. Similarly, there’s a raft of health and wellness retreats that are focused on a range of different needs. There’s your standard yoga/detox variety (fat camp for adults anyone?), whereas others are focused on detoxing you of your tech addiction. If you’re after something a little bit more physical, you can combine trail running with yoga. Or perhaps you might like to try some salt cave therapy – the natural healing properties of Himalayan salt is supposed to strengthen immune systems and relieve respiratory illnesses.

If the juxtaposition of the last two trends has confused you, you can always go for the compromise – healthy food subscription boxes!

There’s lots happening in hospitality with plenty of room for innovation and creativity. Stay posted for more insights, including examples of some interesting jobs and the best places to work.