5 Tips for Starting a Hospitality Business in 2021 - Fleximize

5 Tips for Starting a Hospitality Business in 2021

Here's everything you need to know about starting a hospitality business in 2021, from writing a post-lockdown business plan to embracing technology

By Stacey McIntosh

If you’ve been working in the hospitality industry for some time, you might just feel you've got the skills and experience to launch your own business in the sector. Whether you see yourself opening a neighbourhood café, launching the next buzzy restaurant, or welcoming guests to a B&B, running a hospitality business can be very rewarding.

With the economy re-opening, now is a great time to consider starting a hospitality business yourself. You’ll be set to tap into some seriously pent-up demand; research shows that visiting cafes, restaurants and pubs are some of the activities people missed most during lockdown.

However, it’s no secret that hotel, events and food business management is hard work. So, it's important to go in with your eyes open about the challenges involved. Hospitality businesses are operating in a very different world now compared to before the pandemic. The following five tips will help you to navigate this landscape:

1. Write a business plan

A business plan is a document describing what your business is, who your customers are, how you plan to make money and what your expected costs and profits will be.

It's especially important to have a business plan in the hospitality sector, since most owners will need finance when starting up. You'll therefore need to create a credible business plan which will show the lender that you will be able to repay a loan.

It should include:

2. Adapt to changing customer lifestyles

The pandemic has changed the way we live permanently. And that, in turn, will change how people eat, drink and travel. This means that hospitality businesses can’t just follow the same business models that worked before the pandemic. Instead, it’s about monitoring what is happening in the wider economy and thinking about how your business can meet people’s changing habits. For example:

3. Don't scrimp on marketing and branding

While offering top quality service and products is, of course, vital to any hospitality business, branding and promotion are non-negotiables too - especially when your business is new. Working with a branding and marketing agency could be a good investment here. They’ll help you design a logo, produce marketing materials, develop your website and help you produce everything from menus to colour palettes in your rooms.

4. Get the right staff

Finding friendly, efficient and dedicated staff is invaluable when working in the hospitality industry. If your employees can give your customers the best experience, this will lead to good reviews, word of mouth recommendations and customer loyalty.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, it really is a buyer’s market for employers - many hospitality workers were laid off last year so you can expect high numbers of applications for your positions. But be quick - as competition is already heating up. The latest statistics on job ads show that postings for catering and hospitality positions have accelerated faster than other sectors since the start of the year.

5. Embrace digital

There’s no way of getting around it - digital technology is absolutely essential to modern hospitality.

At the very least, you will need to promote your products and services on social media, run a website and make sure you are registered on all popular online tools such as Google My Business, booking.com and OpenTable, among other specialist hospitality websites.

You might also save yourself time and money by investing in a variety of cutting-edge technologies:

While we can’t rule out any more bumps in the road, post-lockdown recovery is looking increasingly positive for the industry. Despite the uncertainty ahead, following these steps and using data, tech, and user needs to guide your decisions is a must.

About the Author

Stacey McIntosh is the editor of Sage Advice UK. He has more than 15 years of editorial, PR and social media experience, and has worked across print and online for national newspapers, magazines, PR and marketing agencies.