Hospitality in 2021 and beyond

Hospitality was without a doubt one of the worst affected industries in 2020. 2021 is still set to be a challenging one for the industry, with things unlikely to return to “events as we know them” until vaccines have been rolled out and administered for most adults in the UK. Based on what summer 2020 looked like, and the information our clients have given us, here are our predictions for what 2021 will look like for our much loved and missed industry.


The food and drink experience at stadia is likely to shift from the norm. It will be interesting to see if companies will pay for corporate hospitality suites or boxes following what has been a financially challenging pandemic. Or, with the general public in need of a release from lockdown life and an urge to celebrate a return to some normality, will there be an increase in concourse tickets at sports venues or will fans be nervous about returning straight away?

Could we also see a service style emerge that is similar to our American counterparts, with seat-service in the stadium bowl becoming the norm? We certainly think it’s a possibility. If so, there will be an increase in contactless self-service technology in the stadiums themselves, to avoid queues and crowds for drinks and food. This will mean a need for retail workers and hawkers. Alternatively, there could be a need for more staff in hospitality with reduced restaurant capacities and buffets being ‘so 2019’.  This potential increase in sit-down dining, a more labour-intensive operation, will allow more hospitality opportunities for team members.

Hotels and Camping

Now negative Covid-19 test results are required from all people before arriving in the country, UK Nationals are likely to be put-off by the idea of travelling abroad. Instead, domestic tourism will see another surge in demand and with it, UK hotels, B&Bs and camping sites will see an increase in domestic guests.

This will not only mean, an increase in receptionist, customer service and hospitality team members, but also lead to a demand for cleaners, as rooms will need to be turned around quicker and more thoroughly than ever before.

Theme parks and tourist attractions

These venues were the first to reopen in 2020 as they are largely outside, and social distancing is more achievable at them. We’re expecting the same logic to be applied as we slowly emerge out of lockdown 3.0, although we think this might be delayed more than we saw after our first lockdown.

In 2020, we saw our clients at leisure venues show more of an interest in our technological solutions than previously, as this allows them to book team members last minute and make swift changes depending on demand and restrictions. Having a staffing app has also allowed team members to sign in and out on site, while respecting social distancing, something that will remain extremely important in the coming months.

Leisure roles that are likely to be in demand include cleaners, crowd control, ride attendants, and janitors.

Racing and Betting

Running behind closed doors for the majority of 2020, racecourses will be keen to welcome fans back as soon as they can. Provisional plans suggest that summer events, from June onwards may allow 30% guest capacity. Hospitality areas that operate as a restaurant/table service may be possible sooner. However, general admission will require much more crowd control than usual as social distancing will need to be adhered to.

This will mean a reduction in the amount of betting team members required across all racecourses. However, with client pools depleted since March 2020, they could turn to agencies for staff more than they have needed to in the past.


In all these roles and venues, social distancing will still be in force throughout. Guests will see an increase in cleaning and crowd control across all sites and it will more than likely that they will have to stay in their “bubbles” rather than socialising and mixing with other fans, as much as they would like to.

Team members working in these environments should expect to follow social distancing, wear a facemask for the majority of their shifts and report any concerns and procedures to their manager.

We’re confident we’ll see some form of return in events this year, and we will be able to offer our team members roles in hospitality once again.

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