Business Chief talks to Anthony Bennett, Founder of Bennett Hay, to discuss the current trends, emerging technologies and challenges within the corporate hospitality industry.
What are the current trends within your industry?
The corporate hospitality industry is constantly changing, with new trends emerging all the time. Wellbeing, sustainability and the concept of workplace lifestyle are some of the biggest trends we’re continuing to develop. With a new generation of workers revolutionising the office space and how we work, we have entered a time where a season ticket loan and a dental plan isn’t enough, offices must be innovative in order to keep up with the changing demands being placed on them.
Out of these trends what do you feel will be the biggest disrupter to the industry?
Sustainability is really going to change the landscape of the industry; it’s a subject that’s very prominent and it’s generating some challenging conversations about how service providers can operate in a truly low-carbon footprint manner. It’s an excellent opportunity for us to reflect upon our practices and develop more ethical ways of doing things, whilst continuing to provide world-class service for our workplace guests.
What innovative technology do you see emerging in the near future?
Technology is constantly adapting, not just to innovate service delivery, but also to keep up with public demand and knowledge. Everyone is a sofa surfer and has an opinion of how technology can better serve their needs. Within the hospitality industry, the rise in automation is coming, robotic and AI technology is becoming more prominent in our day to day that it will continue to evolve and further drive change within business and hospitality sectors. Being able to automate deliveries to meetings and having AI concierge at office spaces and events, even to tackle basic admin tasks, would make service more efficient, while opening a wealth of time for development in other areas of business and learning.
What are the biggest challenges within your industry at the moment?
There are challenges in any industry; for us, it’s keeping up with the ways in which workplace changes. The different elements of service provision is growing at an exponential rate, often creating challenges in being able to adapt at speed – as a provider of blended services in a number of workspaces, we strive to frequently update our offering in order to remain at the forefront and providing the best possible environment and (importantly) lifestyle for our workplace guests.
How is your company evolving alongside new trends?
The cornerstone of Bennett Hay is providing excellent service and we pride ourselves on being a great place to work. To do this we are fully committed to making the changes our workplace guests need and that they want to see. Part of that is making sustainable changes throughout offices and workspaces in line with our CSR initiatives, and listening to feedback. There are many elements to delivering an effective and happy workplace, and we are constantly looking for ways to develop and innovate, whether through technology, wellness, catering, sustainability or workplace design.
How is your company utilising innovative technology (AI, ML, Big Data, robotics etc.)?
It’s something we are exploring; we currently engage our teams and workplace guests across numerous sites using an app to assist in concierge services, however it’s something that has definite room for development. We look at what other businesses are doing and achieving to evolve their efficiency and client needs; for instance, we have been inspired by Starship Technologie’s delivery robots; this is something we could see being utilised across many of our workspaces.
What would you say is your company’s biggest success to date?
At Bennett Hay we acknowledge achievements on all levels, however our greatest success has been our ability to grow and innovate as a company. We provide exceptional service for all of our workplace guests, and have continued to expand our offering into hospitality, catering, concierge and reception services. We have also created engaging workplaces for our guests, creating not just a well-run office, but a workplace lifestyle to better look after people at work, something we feel places us ahead in the industry at present.
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