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Industry Facts & Stats

The Hospitality Industry By the Numbers (October 2021)

Blah blah blah, COVID-19 pandemic, blah blah blah. 

I won’t insult your intelligence with some boilerplate paragraph about how the past 18 months have been tough on the hospitality industry. You know it. You’ve lived it.

Instead, let’s listen to the numbers and see what they’re telling us. Fortunately, it’s not all bummer numbers (although there are a few…sorry).

The hospitality industry continues to see big shifts as a result of the pandemic. Some of these effects won’t be felt right away, which is why we need to see the way the wind is blowing now. Get out ahead of these changes and put yourself in a better position as the industries continue to rebound.

Restaurant Industry Statistics

  • Industry-wide restaurant sales hit $72.2B in July 2021, outperforming July 2019 by 1.1%.

  • 44% of restaurants are still not at full capacity. So if you still have limited seating, you’re in good company.

  • The restaurant industry had 12.5 million employees at the end of 2020, down 25% from expected levels.

  • 71% of restaurants report being understaffed. Staffing in restaurants has never been a piece of cake, but it’s particularly tough at the moment. I won’t wade into the debate about why this is happening—except to say that I feel strongly that “laziness” is not the reason.

  • 91% of restaurant owners report paying more for food and 84% report paying more for labor than they used to. Might be time to take revisit your menu pricing.

  • By the end of 2021, an estimated 44.1 million people will use delivery apps like UberEats and GrubHub. 

  • 89% of restaurant research is completed on a mobile device. So your mobile site better be tip-top and easy to navigate. And if you have a PDF menu on your mobile site, so help me…

  • By the end of 2025, QR code use for payments is expected to grow by 240%. As people get more used to paying immediately when they’re ready, full-service restaurants that do things the “old-fashioned way” will have to make sure their servers are extra prompt with the check and returning the guest’s card.

  • Over 2020, 32% of consumers surveyed reported that their eating habits had become healthier. This is a good time to add some lighter options to your menu if you haven’t already.

  • Restaurant emails have an average open rate of 19.77% and an average click through rate of 1.34%. (By the way, are you using email to market your restaurant? You should be…)

Hotel Industry Statistics

  • Around 2.3 million people were employed by the U.S. hotel industry pre-COVID. That number is expected to be approximately 1.9 million by the end of 2021.

  • The American Hotel & Lodging Association expects employment to return to pre-pandemic levels no sooner than 2023. 

  • There are 9 million guest rooms in the U.S. across over 91,000 hotels and motels. That’s a lot of competition. How are you attracting eyes to your website? How about a hotel blog?

  • Hotel occupancy rates in 2020 averaged 44%. This is 33% lower than the previous year.

  • Luxury hotels had the worst occupancy during the pandemic, at only 21% in December 2020. Economy hotels reported 45% occupancy during the same month. 

  • Travel and Transportation emails have an average open rate of 20.44% and an average click through rate of 2.25%. 

Event Industry Statistics

  • 50.7% of marketing and advertising executives think that a virtual component will be a standard part of future corporate events. Venues will need to make sure their Wi-Fi is the best available. Adding high-quality A/V equipment to your venue options may also help. 

  • 55% of event planners cite safety concerns as a barrier to in-person events. Expect to see more small events, continuing the conference “pod” and microwedding trends. 

  • 39% of event planners expect to require proof of COVID vaccination to attend their events going forward. Others will want to do on-site testing. Have a plan in place with a convenient place for attendees to complete their testing, along with any necessary signage.

  • Entertainment and Event emails have an average open rate of 20.51% and an average click through rate of 2.36%. 

  • Venue emails have an average open rate of 20.39% and an average click through rate of 1.40%.

I’m hoping that these stats gave you a little better insight into your industry, and maybe a couple of ideas of some changes that you can make for smoother operations.

And if you need help sharing that tweak with your rabid fans…I’m your gal. 

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