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Do you have plans to make curbside pickup permanent?

The concept of buy-online-and-pick-up-in-store (also known as “BOPS”) is not new. The pandemic just pushed more restaurants and consumers to use mobile ordering for curbside pickup services.     Curbside pickup is good for business   When COVID hit, many restaurants might have used curbside pickup simply to cover the loss from their dine-in services. It turned out that restaurants offering curbside pickup during the pandemic fared better than those without such a service.     It did not take long for restaurant chains to realize the benefits of curbside pickup. Panera Bread, Burger King, Shake Shack, and Taco Bells are among the first chains that rolled out new store design plans to embrace curbside pickup. Chipotle even introduced a digital-only restaurant that only offered delivery and curbside pickup services without a dining area. Using Chipotle’s digital-only restaurant as an example, the owners can:   Open the business in a less premium retail location with a lower startup cost
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Luxury travel is back!

About two years ago, I expected home-sharing and luxury hotels to recover sooner than other lodging products based on a consumer survey about travelers’ shifting intentions to use various lodging products after the pandemic (Kwok, 2020). We have already seen how well home-sharing facilities and extended hotels have been doing since summer 2020. Now that we are gradually recovering from the pandemic, has luxury travel come back yet?      People want to travel again in 2022   Unlike 2020 or 2021, where almost half of the consumers had canceled or postponed their vacations, only 5.5% may push their plans to a later date, and less than 4% want to cancel this year (Jacob, 2022). People are ready to hit the road again. Moreover, many people want longer trips and will book them early. Some luxury vacations are already fully booked this year.      Luxury vacations are trending now   Not everyone lost jobs or struggled during the pandemic. Those who accumulated more wealth in the last two year

Groups will have a robust comeback in 2022

There is no real sense of recovery in the hospitality and tourism industry until people travel for business again. The good news is business travel and groups are anticipated to come back in 2022.     Business travel recovery is coming   Amex Global Business Travel , the world’s leading B2B (business-to-business) travel platform, released its 2021 financial results earlier. Business travel recovery is “well underway and gaining momentum.” Particularly, corporate travel recovery is accelerating. Its total transaction value in the last week of February 2022 had already reached 45% of the 2019 levels.   An earlier projection only predicts the entire year of 2022 would reach 49% of the 2019 levels.       American Express CEO believed that the remote work trend also resulted in a new segment of business travel (Hur, 2022). For instance, more workers will travel to the companies’ headquarters to meet with their teams for a few days. He also added that the overall travel and expenses in the

Are you ready to conduct business in the metaverse?

Facebook converted all of its apps and technologies into a new company and brand called Meta in October 2021. Metaverse resurfaces as a new buzzword. People want to know if we will soon live in the metaverse.     Some companies have already gotten into the metaverse   It does not take long for some   pioneers to jump into the metaverse . McDonald’s is one of them. On February 4, the company filed 10 trademark applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for both McDonald’s and McCafĂ©, such as:     Virtual food and beverage products, including NFTs (an NFT is a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on the blockchain that can track a unique digital asset’s transfer, ownership, and properties, according to   Napoli, 2021 ) Operating a virtual restaurant online with home delivery features Online actual and virtual concerts   The idea is: when people feel hungry while hanging out in the metaverse, they can just “walk” into a McDonald’s there without coming back to the r

Recover 2022: Which part of the world will take the lead?

Travel and tourism are set to recover. New research by the World Travel & Tourism Council shows that the industry is expected to generate     North America   There are no quarantine restrictions for people traveling to the U.S., although travelers might be asked to show a negative result from a recent COVID-19 test (e.g., within 48 hours) before getting onto an airplane.   Canada   announced that it would open its border to fully vaccinated international travelers starting February 28 (Scherer, 2022). Inbound travelers still need a rapid antigen test, which is cheaper and can show results within minutes, instead of the traditional molecular test.     Europe   Denmark, having an 81% vaccination rate, was the first E.U. country to lift all COVID-19 restrictions. According to a recent   BBC update   (2022), the U.K. is also in the phase of removing all COVID-19 restrictions starting as early as February. COVID tests have been waived for fully vaccinated travelers in the U.K., either b

Will outdoor dining stay after the pandemic?

In early February, New York City Council’s two committees that oversee zoning and land use   voted to favor   zoning changes for permanent outdoor dining. This is the first step for NYC to have a permanent al fresco eatery program. Another vote by the entire 51 members of the Council is scheduled for February 24.     Why do we need outdoor dining?      Prior to the pandemic, restaurants in NYC were operated in narrow districting zones. An emergency Open Restaurant Program was introduced during COVID-19, allowing restaurants to use sidewalk adjacent and curbside roadway space in front of their establishments for outdoor dining. Outdoor dining was estimated to save about 100,000 restaurant jobs during the pandemic.     What is the timeline to make outdoor dining permanent in NYC?   According to   the city's website , legal actions will take place between fall 2021 and fall 2022, including an amendment to zoning text, changes to local law, rulemaking, design, and application details.

Will the labor problem revolve in 2022?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics ( 2022a ,   2022b ) released the latest labor market statistics. The unemployment rate further declined to 3.9% in December 2021. The number of unemployed persons continued to decrease by 483,000 to 6.3 million. The leisure and hospitality industry added 2.6 million jobs in 2021, but employment was still down by 1.2 million, or -7.2%, since February 2020.     Highlights from the accommodation and foodservices sector   (October 2021 vs. November 2021) Job openings: 1571 vs. 1310 thousand, or -261,000 (largest decrease among all sectors) Hires: 1075 vs. 1079 thousand, or +4,000. Separations (layoffs, discharges, retirement, death, disability, and transfer to other locations of the same firm): 918 vs. 1048 thousand, or +130,000 (largest increase among all sectors) Quitting: 761 vs. 920 thousand, or +159,000, (largest increase among all sectors)   Is the labor shortage over already?     Just because the industry has fewer job openings in November, it does not