How can invisible service encourage more meaningful experiences?
Hospitality venues and hotels are making some radical changes to appeal to the Airbnb generation, opting for 'invisible service', to give guests a more genuine and local experience.
Early this year, a brand new concept bar popped up in Frankfurt, Germany. The bar, aptly called Bonechina is beautifully designed and features an origami elephant sculpture that spouts tonic water and can comfortably fit around 20 people at a time.
The venue, which looks more like someone's very well designed home kitchen than an inner city hospitality venue, encourages patrons to serve themselves by removing bartenders and the bar counter entirely. However, to ensure things run smoothly, two hosts are on standby... just in case.
From April 2017, a new boutique hotel will open in Philadelphia, which aims to provide a different kind of hotel experience by introducing ‘invisible’ service and eliminating the concierge & front desk.
Instead, The Lokal Hotel hopes to anticipate all their guests needs ahead of time and will provide in-room curated guides that offer a local’s insight into the city. Each room features a kitchen, living room and washer / dryer - facilities that tempt both long and short-term revellers.
The Lokal Hotel and Bonechina are just two venues that are redefining hospitality. Appealing to the Airbnb generation, they're delivering more genuine 'local' experiences in an effort to give guests more autonomy and make them feel more comfortable. Although somewhat a niche trend for the moment, they challenge the concept of good service entirely - do we need bartenders or door people to give us good service? And... are experiences (from a bar to a hotel) more meaningful if we have the ability and authority to do things ourselves?