Authors

Richard Bursby

Partner

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Elisabeth Heide

Senior associate

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Jack Wain

Associate

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Authors

Richard Bursby

Partner

Read More

Elisabeth Heide

Senior associate

Read More

Jack Wain

Associate

Read More

8 July 2021

Hospitality in the news

  • Quick read

Your latest instalment of articles and opinions from across the hospitality sector.

Thinking differently

As the government announces the end of almost all COVID related restrictions in the UK from 19 July and, in particular, the end of the need to work from home, the question is whether people will actually go back to their offices. What will COVID mean for our cities long term and the hospitality sector that supports and feeds it? The answer seems in part to be not so much "location, location, location" as "local, local, local".

Taylor Wessing, in collaboration with think tank the Edge and University College of Estate Management, has just released City 2040 – a research led initiative looking at the future of the UK city of 2040. Harnessing ideas offered by 600 academics and experts, key elements of this vision include replacing single city centres with a number of smaller centres or "hubs" within a city's bounds, supporting the creation of localised areas with unique identities, plus doubling urban green space.

The prime proposal is for individual UK cities to be transformed into a network of multiple local hubs, with a more even spread of population density, commerce, social and cultural facilities, and infrastructure provision than exists in the current centralised pattern. This does not herald the end of the ‘centre’ of central business districts (CBDs), but rather envisages an intensification of local centres, each with their own characteristics and strong identities. CBDs will therefore transform and intensify as meeting hubs, with the capacity for bringing together project-based creative industries supported by more concentrated entertainment and hospitality functions. The future city will be hybrid and uncertain – so it should be flexible and complex: cities will increasingly represent a mix of both digital and physical commercial realms. There are opportunities for growth and greater equity through optimising the relationship between short-term commercial opportunities and long-term residential uses i.e. creating a sustainable mix of ‘meanwhile’ and ‘permanent’ uses

On this theme of meeting hubs, recent research by Accor has demonstrated the power of "face-to-face" encounters – the life blood of a hospitality sector centred on people actually coming together. It shows that "workers expect to make a quarter more in revenue when able to communicate with clients face-to-face again" rather than through technology. Reasons given for this include working remotely means there is less small talk prior to a call (however hard you try), a lack of body language impacts on the flow of video calls and a flowing round-table group chat just isn't possible in a Zoom call which requires everyone to take turns speaking. Perhaps most importantly for any deal, it's the water-cooler chat during a break which unlocks a tricky point. And who wants to do a 10 hour meeting via their laptop when an all-day meeting with a nice buffet lunch is much more palatable.

Do get in touch and let us know what your company is planning to do in respect of working from home and we are always available for a catch up in-person coffee or lunch!

Did you know?

A brand new luxury hotel in Budapest allows travellers to experience staying in a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Read more

Latest news

Hospitality in England welcomes end of social distancing but long road to recovery ahead
(The Caterer)

Dalata confirms seven hotel openings
(The Caterer)

Hospitality recruitment drive launches in Scotland
(Big Hospitality)

Leon’s new owners press accelerator on drive-thru plans
(Food Service Equipment Journal)

Ready Burger closes crowdfund after raising nearly £2 million
(Big Hospitality)

Nightclubs to reopen without requirements for COVID tests
(Independent)

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