Hospitality has a great opportunity and role in bringing communities together as they rebuild after lockdown.

Throughout countries all across Europe, there have been stoic examples communities trying to create a community spirit behind the tightest of lockdowns.  Whether this has been the singing from balconies in Italy and Spain to the hand clapping for the NHS in the UK, Hospitality does have a major role to play in bringing these communities together again post lockdown.

One of the genuine opportunities that the Hospitality Industry does possess is how it can be the centre point of communities and be able to play a major social role in bringing communities together again. Maybe from this crisis, there are also lessons that can be learnt in terms of help it can be a focal point.

For many reasons, few operations have really grasped this opportunity in the past. If one looks back to olden times, most communities had a number of leading players that would play pivotal roles – the local priest, the bank manager, the family lawyer, the doctor and the hotelier. In recent years, with the ever greater transparency of life through social media, the respect of many of these disciplines have declined or their roles have become increasingly centralized and less personal. The one survivor is the hospitality manager who can play a key social role if so desired. One would hope that in times of crisis, it is the core hospitable values of the business that should be to the fore.

Hospitality is about hospitable and caring for the well-being of others. It is about creating experiences that do make guests feel safe and create either an escape from daily life or an environment that a guest wants to experience again. Talk to anyone in any walk of life and they will recall, with a smile, a great culinary experience, a memorable night in a hotel, a special moment of shared love in a restaurant or hotel or even a great evening with friends spent together. Hospitality is a framework that does create lasting memories.

So often over the years, many within the Industry have questioned the respect that the industry attracts from the leading professions. The irony is that so often the leading professionals will look towards hospitality with an envious eye. They see a vibrant, growth industry full of interest and great craft. It is for the Industry to step up and believe in itself. That too comes from leadership that has passion and belief.

Of course, it is going to be very difficult afterwards as businesses will need to rebuild but this is where the true spirit of hospitality can score and win over many admirers. Hospitality is about service and care for others and this will be needed more than ever post lockdown.