Hospitality in the News cover photo

Every week we comb through the news to find employment trends affecting the hospitality industry so you don’t have to. This week’s topic: what we can expect from back to school season and how it may impact the hospitality industry.  

Believe it or not, the 2021-2022 school season will be the third one living with COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Most parents were hopeful that at this point, students would be returning to in-person classes. But as we usher in a new school year, an increase in cases across the country has led to some schools instituting online-classes or a hybrid learning model.  

Recently the CDC updated its guidelines for COVID-19 prevention in schools, which “recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.” That said, it’s still up to state and local governments to determine what health and safety restrictions are put in place. Some states, like California, are requiring education staff to get the vaccine or be subjected to weekly testing. Other states, like Texas, are attempting to ban mask mandates while local municipalities argue their necessity.  

At the university level, “Hundreds of colleges have said the Covid vaccine will be mandatory for fall 2021,” according to CNBC and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Like local and state governments, it’s up to the university or college to decide what pandemic-related restrictions are put in place.  

Now that we understand what we can expect from back-to-school season, you may be wondering what impact this may have on the hospitality industry. Here are our predictions:  

Recruiting efforts may improve with kids returning to school 

For businesses looking for part-time or seasonal employees, students heading back to school can be a good opportunity to recruit parents looking to make some extra money. Just be sure to offer flexible shifts that can fit into their schedules.  

College hiring efforts will increase 

Colleges and universities will likely be boosting their hiring efforts to account for all the students taking in-person classes. On campus events, banquets, and the dining facilities are just a few examples of where staff will be needed. Many of these institutions will turn to staffing partners to help them accommodate the hiring needs they have throughout the school year. (Need a trusted partner for staffing at your school? LGC can help. Contact us today.) 

Restaurants may experience a lull 

As parents get used to their new schedule with kids back in school, it’s possible that restaurants will experience a lull in business. It also seems likely that the Delta variant will prevent some people from spending too much time in shared spaces with health concerns on the rise.  

Hotels should expect early holiday business 

Though TSA checkpoint numbers are still lower than they were in 2019, an average of 2 million people per day have been traveling through airports. For that reason, hotels can expect a much busier holiday season than last year. Families will be eager to travel to see loved ones or go on (overdue) vacations, so it’s a good idea to start creating your holiday staffing plan now.