The hospitality and F&B industries continue to suffer—and innovate with months of the pandemic under our belts, and many months yet to go. Losses in the hotel industry are drastic, but recovery overseas is helping. Technology remains center stage, showing growth in mobile ordering, online liquor sales, and booking apps.
Read on for a snapshot of these hot hospitality news headlines from last week including where all that PPP money went, and what restaurants can expect in the coming months.
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- Hilton Introduces AI Customer Service Chatbot as Part of New Move in Digital Strategy [Hospitality Technology]
Hilton held a contest with guests and employees to design a cartoon character for their AI chatbot. The chatbot is a convenient resource for customers looking for hotel info, local weather, promotion details, etc. The service has a 94% approval rating so far.
- Marriott Swings to Loss, Cities Demand Recovery from Covid-19 Lows
[The Wall Street Journal]
Marriott International Inc. posted its worst quarterly loss ever, though improvements in China offer hope as the world slowly recovers from the global coronavirus pandemic.
- Annual US Hotel Occupancy Forecast to Decline 29% over next 12 Months With $75 Billion in Projected Revenue Losses [Hospitality Trends]
The Magid HTL Forecast Tracker projects a 29% decline in annual hotel occupancy over the next 12 months, amounting to $75 billion lost in room revenue alone. The figure is based on consumers’ self-reported travel plans which are subject to change as the pandemic unfolds.
- 6 National Restaurant Chains in Deepest Trouble Amid Covid-19 Include Outback Steakhouse, IHOP, and Denny’s [USA Today]
Casual dining chains are suffering and may not be able to pay back debts forcing them to foreclose. On the list of restaurants most likely to default include: Dave & Busters, Outback Steakhouse, Denny’s, Cheesecake Factory, Applebee’s/IHOP, and BJ’s.
- Dining While Infectious is on the Rise. Meet DC’s Restaurant Safety Enforcers.
A quarter of newly infected people ate inside a restaurant while contagious, according to a sample of 100. The DC ABRA fined 13 businesses $1,000 and issued warnings to 47 others last week for failing to comply with Covid-19 restaurant regulations.
- Restaurants, lawyers, and real estate agents: Who received 4.9M PPP loans and how long it will last them [USA Facts]
The PPP program disbursed over $521 billion to distressed business as of June. Full-service restaurants made up the largest number of approved loans. Healthcare and social assistance received the largest share of loan dollars since July.
- NPD Group: Digital Restaurant Ordering by Adults 65 and Older Increases 428% YOY in June [Nation’s Restaurant News]
The Coronavirus pandemic has pushed older Americans to use technology at a far higher rate. Digital orders increased overall YoY in June by 135%. Those 65 and up increased digital orders by 428%. Adults 55 and up increased digital orders by 200%.
- Restaurant Rewards Booking App Seated Nabs $30M, Acquires VenuBook to Add Events [TechCrunch]
Seated, a restaurant booking platform that rewards customers with credits for gift cards at other retailers, has raised $30 million in funding. They also acquired VenueBook which enables event planners to reserve space at restaurants and other venues.
- Drizly Raises $50M as eCommerce Alcohol Delivery Surges [Food Dive]
Drizly, an ecommerce alcohol delivery platform, has grown 350% YoY compared to 2019 and has doubled the number of participating retail partners. Earlier this year, only 2% of off-premises alcohol purchases were online. Drizly expects that to grow to 20% this year.
- Restaurant Operators Brace for a Long Ride on the Coronavirus Rollercoaster
[Nation’s Restaurant News]
While the impact of the pandemic on restaurants has exceeded early predictions, a recent poll shows that 68% of restaurant operators now expect things to get worse over the next 90 days.
- Drive-Thru Usage Up 43% Since April, Study Finds [Restaurant Dive]
Off premise dining is growing rapidly in all sectors. Mobile app usage went from 51% in April to 64% in July. Drive-thru usage increase 43% since April. And Curbside pickup has grown 13%.