In the not so distant future, hospitality in the 21st century will be something we all experience. If you are not already aware of the fact, it is hard not to envision a world where, all of the hospitality industry is gone by the end of the 21st century. What is the impact of this on the hospitality industry? There could well be as much impact as the Industrial Revolution had on the farming industry, the rise of the urban poor and the rise of the automobile.
Many who are concerned with the future of the hospitality industry, think that the current problems we have with the hospitality job market will not disappear overnight. The current economic downturn has caused problems for many sectors of the global economy. The hospitality industry is certainly no exception to this rule. However, if we look at the situation objectively, one would have to admit that there are plenty of opportunities available today for experienced and skilled hospitality professionals to move up the food chain. Therefore, the current problems faced by the hospitality professionals will not, in my opinion, be a permanent feature of the hospitality industry in the future.
However, if we look at the recent trends and developments within the hospitality industry, it is clear that there is definitely going to be a change in how the industry operates in the future. These trends and developments can be categorized into two broad categories; technological and structural. The first trend is the result of the growth of the internet, as everyone today enjoys a higher degree of freedom when it comes to interacting with other people. This has opened up a whole new area of the market for hospitality professionals.
The second trend is the result of the Pandemic of the last two decades. This Pandemic resulted in millions of people being able to access the information they needed almost anywhere and at any time. This has completely changed the nature of the job market for hospitality professionals and therefore, the type of jobs available are nowhere near their lows.
In order to understand the impact of these two important trends on the hospitality industry, it is important to understand how social distancing affects the type of work that is available. Social distancing refers to the fact that in most organisations, there is now a set of social boundaries, or set of work boundaries, which separate the individuals in employment from the corporate management. These work boundaries are typically set across the top-most level of the company hierarchy, with those at the bottom of the pyramid often having little contact with the very senior members of the company. Typically, the very top-level employees have almost no contact with the majority of the other employees at all and are rarely (if ever) granted any special privileges or attention. In order to survive and thrive within this new environment, it has become necessary to have a variety of skills in order to be successful.
However, whilst the Pandemic of 2021 may have affected the type of applicants looking back into the recruitment pool, it is unlikely to affect the type of applicants who will be applying for positions at the lower levels of the organisation. This is because the vast majority of the work that any given position requires is on a basic level, such as hospitality and administration staff. Additionally, in terms of human resources, the main applicants for any position will come from the same socio-economic groups and social networks as the major corporations that form the backbone of the 21st century economy. So, hospitality and admin positions are likely to remain competitive in both types of positions for the foreseeable future.
What is perhaps surprising about the impact of the Pandemic of 2100 is the number of professionals who are currently looking forward to starting a new career in the hospitality business. Surprisingly, the number one job that many are currently looking forward to is a position in the commercial kitchen. Kitchen management positions in many hotels and restaurants are highly sought after in the 21st century, owing to the high volume of food that are prepared and the high quality standards that are currently put in place. In addition, with the growth of the Chinese community in Australia and the massive influx of people from Asia and beyond, there is a growing need for qualified chefs to cook food that the local population can easily enjoy. The Pandemic may have affected the type of applicants looking back into the recruitment pool, but they will definitely come back once the economic situation picks up.
One area that appears to have suffered the most post Pandemic is the sector that deals with the maintenance of hospitality equipment and check-in systems. In the past, this sector had many different types of machinery that was operated in an efficient manner. However, as a result of the numerous breakdowns that took place due to the implementation of the Pandemic, and the high cost of repairing the damage, many of these machines are now sitting idle in the backrooms of hotels and restaurants.