The Age of Originality
…this is one of the most inspiring of times.
Interestingly, there are many mixed reactions to the challenges ahead. There is a school of thought that believes Brexit will lead to a tough two-year period, others are just getting on with the challenge and believe that it is just another challenge to face and overcome. Many however believe this is one of the exciting periods of time in Hospitality and that the pace of change has never been faster. So fast is the change that it is nigh on impossible to forecast performance for once again, the consumer is king and the challenge is for the larger companies to be able to listen and change their strategies in response to consumer needs. For those that are able to, good results will follow.
So, the picture is a confused one. The challenge is however not just the economic outlook but also whether the core service and product excites and engages the market. People are eating out just as much as ever and they will spend on a service and offer that inspires them.
Hospitality is not just a service anymore; it is also theatre/entertainment. Research is showing that people are eating out more and more and they want to see new ideas, original concepts and to be constantly entertained and challenged. There is a view that F&B strategies can no longer be reviewed annually but almost in quarterly cycles as the market is moving at such a pace.
This may be slightly extreme but there is little doubt that the consumer wants to be excited by original ideas that can display something special. It is strange how life so often repeats history. Some see this period as being akin to the 1930s which were difficult days economically but which displayed great style, and flair in Hospitality. Admittedly, this period is different but the consumer still wants to see flair and creativity and fortunately there are many great new ideas that are coming through.
One will look back at this period and see it as the Age of Originality which encouraged entrepreneurial thinking. There are many that today are opting out of Corporate life to develop their own businesses. It is argued that the student loan is also encouraging young talent to be entrepreneurs from a younger age. The fear of the level of debt has created a hunger to create wealth at a faster rate.
The consumer is International, tastes are International and this has allowed for a platform for new thinking – fusions between food styles, a hunger to experience the new, the innovative. At the same time, hard days lead to a desire for luxury and indulgence and the consumer is happy to pay for something exceptional.
This leads to a number of questions:
- The question for Corporates – are you allowing original thinking to be developed within your businesses? Are you aware of the consumer’s desires?
- For Investors – are you supporting great new ideas?
- For those with entrepreneurial ideas – this is your time as the market wants new ideas and for talent to express itself
Never before has the market been so open to the new, the original and the exciting. EP’s Entrepreneurs Club is now working with over 110 young businesses giving them support and opening opportunities within the Hospitality market for them.
We are also working with exciting new ideas for hotels and resorts that will firmly take hospitality forward into a new era.
Admittedly, we may face challenges ahead but this is definitely one of the most exciting times for all.