Although over recent years it has not been a smooth journey for the hospitality sector there is much to celebrate!
There are new design and operational concepts being thoughtfully explored which deliver experiences requested by hotel guests and there are initiatives which progressively address sustainability, employee wellbeing and the integration of new technology.
This series of interviews aims to paint a clear picture of where the hotel sector is now and goes on to highlight which conversations are leading in this commercial sector, before looking at what the future may hold. We finish by learning a little more about what excites our interviewees when working in this often challenging sector.
We sat down with David Lawrenson to gather a clear insight into the hospitality sector from the viewpoint of a leading Commercial Interior Supplier.
Please could you introduce yourself and your role?
I am David Lawrenson and am the Sales Director for Silentnight Group for Hospitality. I have been in the bed and hospitality industries since the early 2000’s. This is my 2nd innings at Silentnight having re-joined the business in Jan 2020, just in time for the Covid pandemic!
Within the hospitality sector what is the key thing that we can celebrate right now?
Getting back to something approximating normality is something to celebrate although we are very mindful that there are still many challenges ahead. However, the sectors adaptability has been impressive as Workspace has become a real trend with many properties facilitating this. Encouragingly, the industry is increasingly recognising the role that sleep can play in delivering a great guest experience by working with suppliers that can also help their ESG footprint and their guests sense of well being. We continually invest in sleep innovation and it is very exciting to see some of our partners really buy into the importance of sleep for their guests.
What are the hurdles which are currently stalling the hotel and/or hospitality sector’s growth?
Post Covid has seen cost pressures and staff shortages really play a part in the deferral of projects. The UK hospitality sector is comprised of approximately 143,000 businesses, employs around 1.8 million people and, in 2019, generated £40.4 billion. As well as providing jobs and contributing to the economy, hospitality plays a vital role at the heart of communities up and down the country, giving a welcoming space for people to come together and so finding partners who can help to address some of the above issues is vital.
What are the most important conversations being had in the sector?
The UK is a world leader in the fight against climate change and the first major economy in the world to have legislated the end of its contribution to global warming by 2050. Reaching this target will require extensive, systematic change across all sectors, including the hospitality sector. The work we do now will be critical to ensuring hospitality businesses can flourish during this revolutionary transition. Many businesses in the hospitality sector are already committed to reducing environmental impacts and recognise the role that responsible, ESG-aware suppliers can play.
How we tackle climate change must, by virtue of its necessity, be the most important conversation that we are all having in the sector.
Who are the people currently making waves in this sector?
There is a whole plethora of people making waves in this sector across all of the different areas that exist, be it design, insight or product. Hospitality continues to be an exciting place to be a part of with its wealth of ideas and characters. I do feel that those who are at the vanguard of tech and sleep developments really could bring some significant value to Hospitality over the next few years.
The personalisation of the guest experience continues to be a huge area of interest.
What is on the horizon for the hospitality sector which makes your heart beat faster?
More and more properties are realising the role that sleep can play in their proposition. Great sleep is so important to us all, especially in these hectic lifestyles that so many of us lead. How Tech and ESG impact the role of sleep is going to be fascinating.
Whether at home or away, the benefits of a good night’s sleep are far reaching:
• Improved mood – Sleep restores your energy and helps you cope with stress and emotions. Getting enough sleep can make you feel happier, more optimistic, and less irritable.
• Healthy heart – Sleep lowers your blood pressure and heart rate, giving your heart and blood vessels a chance to rest. Getting enough sleep can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
• Regulated blood sugar – Sleep helps your body use insulin effectively, which regulates your blood sugar levels. Getting enough sleep can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
• Improved mental function – Sleep enhances your memory, learning, concentration, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Getting enough sleep can help you perform better at school, work, and daily tasks.
• Maintained healthy weight – Sleep affects your appetite and metabolism, which influence your food choices and energy balance. Getting enough sleep can help you control your weight and avoid obesity.