Eye on Hospitality: Happy Holidays for Hotels and Restaurants

Eye on Hospitality: Happy Holidays for Hotels and Restaurants https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/holidaysbeourguest2017.jpg

By Paul Schlienz

Hoteliers and restaurateurs have every reason to look forward to a happy holiday season.

Overall productivity only drops about 5 percent during the holiday season, in general, according to a new survey, and industries like hospitality and media are even 25 percent busier over the holidays.

Nearly 100 million Americans are expected to travel during the Christmas holiday season.

According to a recent survey of 1,000 from General Global Assistance, these travelers will either visit family or go on a vacation during the winter holidays. Spending by those on vacation will greatly outstrip the spending of those visiting family. More than half of the vacationers will spend more than $1,000, and half report they will spend between $2,500 and $5,000. By contrast, three quarters of those visiting family vacation expect to spend less than $1,000.

“More expensive gas prices are not swaying holiday revelers to stay home,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of the American Automobile Association. “In fact, across the board this year, travel has increased year-over-year for every major holiday weekend — Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving — and we project the same for the year-end holiday period.”

And of course, all this vacationing will translate into serious money for the lodging industry during the Christmas-New Year’s season.

Restaurants, too, have much to look forward to this holiday season.

“Everyone that works as a musician or in the hotel or restaurant industry knows that you’re likely gonna have to work during those holidays,” said musician Alissa Musto. “January and February are really tough for the service industry, because people realize they spent way too much around Christmas, and they stop going out. So you’ve got to make your money over the holidays.”

And there are always special advantages for waitstaff who work the holidays, especially on Christmas.

“You get time-and-a-half for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, which is great,” said Kevin Spina, general manager at a New York restaurant. “And especially on Christmas, people are more generous with their tips, realizing that you’re working today.”

A happy holiday, indeed!

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