The year is 2114. There may be flying cars, microchips in our skin, and the ability to cure un-curable diseases. Who knows that the new norm will be in 100 years, but we do know it will be much different than today. The advancement of technology has the ability to decrease human contact; we have seen it at the earliest stages of childhood. Should we be troubled or is this becoming the new norm? As the hospitality industry strives off of personal contact, is this something that we should be concerned about in the years to come?
Working in the hospitality industry for about eight years I have always believed that to be hospitable is an unparalleled trait that you can take with you throughout life, professionally or personally. Yes, hospitality can be taught, but the ability to go above and beyond what is generally asked of you without batting an eyelash to make sure a guest is happy, that is hospitality. And no I’m not talking about the procedures at work when you give a guest complimentary dessert or 50% off their meal because something went wrong. I’m talking about giving a guest your full attention, picking up on what their spouses or dogs name is, remembering birthdays and anniversaries, asking preferences, and being genuine. Is it a dying art?
The way we book a hotel has changed, the way we reserve a table has changed, and the way we book travel has changed. We now have the ability to do it at the click of a button. In each scenario it eliminates the need for human interaction (yay for introverts). I know this may seem obvious, but what does that mean for the hospitality industry? Perhaps soon we will not need guest service agents to check us in at hotels, servers in restaurants are obsolete, and flight attendants are no longer needed. It is evident that the industry will never disappear, but will the number of positions diminish substantially with the coming years because of the increase in technology? When there was once a time that guest services people took the time to help you with all of your needs – like allergies to gluten, thread counts, and internet speed– they could be no more.
I say we see it as an opportunity, and plan for change. Or blame the I-Phone.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.