Hospitality can lead in society but are we ready for such a role?

Let’s Lead in Society

#LetsMakeADifference

There has been a genuine change whereby food and hospitality today is no longer a commodity but plays a central social role.

As last year progressed, all the lights were flashing that there is a genuine need for change as working life is simply becoming unacceptable. There is a major problem in play when in a leading society:

  • 1:4 are suffering from a mental illness
  • 1:10 are suffering from depression
  • Employee productivity appears to be less than in France which many have poked fun at for their approach to the working week
  • 350,00 people a year leave their jobs due to mental illness
  • 47% of employees are looking for work
  • 1:5 trust their leadership at work.

It is not a pretty picture. This is not related to just our sector, but all industries and hospitality can lead a change agenda in society as great food today can bring people together, improve social communications and behaviours and help relieve stress and pressure.

In simple terms, behaviours need to change and hospitality can play a leading role in achieving this in all environments – in the workplace, in communities, in busy city centres.

There is a genuine sea change happening across society; maybe best seen by the #MeToo campaign. The emerging generations are asking their leaders to show a higher benchmark than previously existed.

It is interesting that President Trump may make many of us wince but arguably he has changed politics forever with the simple point that he is the first politician of many decades that talks openly to the electorate – through Twitter and bypassing the traditional institutions. We may not like what he says but we have long for asked for an openness of opinion.

Arguably JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Nixon and even Bill Clinton would not only not win any election today but not even be competitive. The world has moved on and a higher social bar is being asked for.

This is an opportunity for hospitality to show genuine leadership. The old-fashioned bank manager or doctor does not play the traditional role anymore in society. However the hospitality manager can.

Hospitality can play a real leadership role but are we ready for it and are we up for it?

The answer is that we should be, need to be and already there are some great examples of great actions that are making real differences in communities and in workplaces.

The challenge is for us all to do more – to make a genuine difference; to support charitable works, support local communities and to lead through actions. It may be asking more but it does also deliver bottom line benefit.

Every hotel in every market can be the centrepiece for that community. Every transaction can make a difference to the problems that are clearly affecting daily life. Service, care, empathy and action does have an importance – and hospitality can lead where others have arguably failed.

In 2018, EP are delighted to have launched #LetsMakeADifference which will highlight the great works that hospitality does in society. We will also be hosting two major charitable walks (Venice to Florence and Lyon to Dijon) to support The Adopt a School Programme, Elephant Conservation and other key social charitable causes.

We are also developing an initiative based off the core ethos that better people = better professionals. The “Beyond the model” concept we have launched aims to encourage people to do activities beyond their normal scope – cultural, charitable, social – to go outside of one’s comfort zones and embrace some of the great traditional aspect of society and life and in return learn and grow.

Hospitality can be a leader where it matters and have people that really do make a difference.

For more on EP contact; Ben.Butler@epmagazine.co.uk

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