What would you answer if I asked you what banks have to do with the sense of hospitality? Off the top of your head and in the best of cases, you would burst out laughing.
Still, a keen hotel owner or manager can be inspired about hospitality even by banks. How? Now I am going to tell you.
In beautiful Piazza Cordusio in Milan there is a Banca Intesa branch, and already by looking through its windows a careful observer will see that it is organised as a co-working space.
I walked in, in order to see better, and this is what I found: a long, shared working table, small meeting rooms, free-of-charge wi-fi and even a coffee machine. The access is not limited to account holders: it is free. Some people go there to study, others to read the newspaper in a comfortable place, others still to find some internet connection or hold a small business encounter. This bank organises its space and makes it available to the public.
But what does it gain from it? It conveys the perception of a brand that is in line with times, but above all it delivers useful and concrete value to people.
Why not follow this example in hotels? How many empty and monastic hotel lobbies have we seen? Space without life. Organising co-working areas in the common spaces would help to create a strong image of our establishment, to generate a positive word of mouth, and possibly some sales from the bar!
We spoke about this type of innovation during our training course. Let nobody sleep! This is a different way to make a profit from hotel space. Several international concerns have started experimenting in this direction: we are in good company.
Are you going to say that this would create confusion, that guests would not like it, or security would be compromised? I believe that many customers, today, prefer hotel lobbies where there is movement and liveliness, and even security is not an insurmountable obstacle. Sometimes, the only obstacle is the hesitation to seek and find new solutions.
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