Hospitality can change its image

Monica Or, columnist and Hospitality Consultant at Star Quality Hospitality Consultancy discusses how monthly challenges such as Dry January and Veganuary are turning in to lifestyle choices, but the industry has their own challenge to set..

The festivities are now over and January is the month when we decide it’s time to breathe in and tighten our belts. Not just in relation to our waist line but also with our purse strings. January is traditionally one of the quieter months for our industry and also the time the monthly challenges come along.

Dry January is the challenge to give up alcohol for a month in order to save money and start the year off leading a healthier lifestyle. According to Alcohol Change UK Dry January started in 2012 with 4,000 people and it has now become an annual event with 4 million people taking part in 2018. A lot of participants rise to the challenge and use it as an opportunity to raise money for charity too.

The most recent challenge is ‘Veganuary’. This challenges individuals to become a Vegan for 31 days. According to BBC News last year 50,000 people signed up to it.

How do all these challenges impact your business? As a public spirited Hotelier you would want to take in to account these campaigns, and as a commercial operator it would make sense to adapt your drink offering and menus to assist your customers that may well be taking part. For the month of January you will have a proportion of your customers consciously focusing on more healthy options, and for some this may well turn in to a lifestyle choice.

With the world becoming more environmentally focused, these challenges become more than fads and soon become commonplace. Ordering a mocktail is no longer frowned upon. With challenges such as Dry January this is now accepted as a wise choice.

Although it seems that consumer attitude is dictating to our industry what we should be serving our customers. It is high time the hospitality industry put a challenge of our own to the public.

One of my frustrations is how the public still can’t see how great the hospitality industry is to work in. Working in hospitality should be a natural career choice. With the media attention our Chefs get you would think this would be the perfect launch pad. Although with shows such as MasterChef successfully running for many years, it has actually had a negative effect with people saying they don’t want to become a chef because of the amount of stress shown in the kitchen.

Results from Caterer.com indicate that the increasing skills shortage in the hospitality industry is partially due to popular cooking shows such as MasterChef and The Great British Bake Off, with 62% feeling they wouldn’t be able to cope with the pressure of working in a professional kitchen.

So my challenge to you is for us all to educate the public that the hospitality industry is a great place to work so it becomes a natural career choice. Why can’t being a Hotel, Restaurant or Bar Manager be held in as high esteem as being a Doctor, Lawyer or Accountant? What other industry gives you the opportunity to run a million pound business in your early twenties?

About Monica Or: Working with the owner/managers of independent hotels and restaurants, Monica assists her clients with their operations and service delivery. She is the Amazon Best Selling author of her three books: ‘Star Quality Hospitality – The Key to a Successful Hospitality Business’, ‘Star Quality Experience – The Hotelier’s Guide to Creating Memorable Guest Journeys’ and ‘Star Quality Talent – Inspiring Hospitality Careers’.
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