Fall Season Brings New Challenges, Opportunities to Hospitality

Seasonality has a significant effect on the hospitality industry and consumer travel trends in the fall season. Children are in school; the holidays are coming up; work gets busy. Many factors decrease the number of people traveling in the fall.

However, many travelers enjoy the off-season peace and quiet of the fall. According to a survey from AAA, more than 1 in 4 Americans planned to take a vacation between Labor Day and Thanksgiving in 2017. The main reason for travel in this time of the year (68 percent of respondents) is because of smaller crowds. Secondarily, as weather changes in colder climates, getaways to warmer weather become more attractive. Conversely, temperatures are cooler and fall foliage is on display in northern regions, attracting travelers from the southern United States. Road trips are the preferred activity for fall travelers.

According to Trivago, Florida and Las Vegas are popular with locals whereas New York City is the most popular among international visitors. These destinations tend to offer discounts and deals to travelers to convince them to take a trip. A study shows 55 percent of travelers take a trip in the fall because it is a better value for the money.

Hotels and restaurants need to understand how seasonality effects its customers’ spending habits. 61 percent of restaurants notice a decline in patrons during a seasonal holiday. Besides visitors, the hospitality industry relies heavily on locals in the fall.

Increasing and update marketing campaigns can help combat the lower levels of foot traffic. The depth of impact that seasonality brings can vary, but the hospitality industry can anticipate the drop-in sales and make the best use of this time.

During the fall season, restaurants can encourage customers by updating menus to reflect seasonal foods and changing tastes. This is also a great time to test a new Point of Sale system and train employees on the new system.

Data is king in hospitality as it allows hotels and restaurants to create a more personalized experience for customers and refine offerings to serve guests best. Utilizing an updated POS system, owners can improve menus based on cost and sales analysis, identify when to ramp down staff again, and determine what specials worked well.

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