It was a very good year: May to August 2017

A summary: May to August 2017

It has been a busy and successful year at EP with many groundbreaking campaigns launched, sold-out events hosted and thought provoking content communicated. Here’s a summary for the middle four months of the year.


By May the country was suffering ‘screen fatigue’ as ebook sales plunge 17 per cent, hotels began to sell rooms by the minute and the popularity of eco-friendly destinations increased. At the same time EP was asking why are there not greater numbers of emerging leaders knocking on the door, to be leaders?

The world of work is shifting and contract, temporary, freelance and casual models are growing. With human capital at a premium, do full-time employers need to focus on encouraging retention or adapt the traditional working week?

EP’s ‘Reinvention‘ campaign continued to grow at speed and started to support those who have become lost or would like to find a new direction in their career. Bespoke campaigns can be created that engage people with the external market and this opens doors and creates ideas for what they would like to do next.

There was a new momentum to the old discussion piece that says that the industry is not viewed as a profession and as a result loses out. This is an argument of the past. Industries are judged today by performance, innovation, service and people and hospitality scores highly in all these areas. There are other sectors that face greater crisis but don’t lack the self-confidence. The irony is that Hospitality will often be better.

Key stats during the year:

  • In 1997, the average executive received 25 letters per day. Today, the average executive receives over 150 emails. This is too many to mentally take in.
  • 70% of emails are often dealing with internal rather than external issues.

It is estimated that 1:4 executives suffer from mental illness.

It is all about balance and businesses are beginning to work on frameworks that:

  • Create social hubs for informal discussion
  • Ensure that leaders are once again accessible and developing an emotional connection with their teams. (The British are tribal and do desire personal leadership not brand leadership)
  • Develop a framework for greater reflection
  • Look at techniques to manage the flow of emails and communication
  • Create a greater framework for knowledge share and connecting
  • Develop strong communications

Does your workplace maximise productivity?

In May EP hosted a lunch at AVEQIA with Sodexo discussing trends in foodservice. Research presented said 67% of those surveyed declared to have left their previous roles because their workplace was not optimised for work. Employee engagement is changing and the modern workplace must inspire their employees in collaboration with their food offer.

Stephen Fry argued that there is a danger that we are all letting technology lead change too much:

“Whether it is winter that is coming, or a new spring, it is entirely in our hands so long as we prepare. While it’s hard to calculate the cascade upon cascade of new developments and their positive effects, we already know the dire consequences and frightening scenarios that threaten to engulf us”.

It became clear during the year that there is a need to find a balance between digital change and life. By not preparing we could face the worst of science fiction’s predictions.

In June The World Economic forum  announced that the top 10 skills in 2020 will be:

Complex Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Creativity, People Management, Co-ordinating with others, Emotional Intelligence, Judgement and Decision making, Service Orientation, Negotiation and Cognitive Flexibility.

Donald Trump’s tweet baffled the internet for some days

Insights & Action was launched.

The magazine was designed to bring together the thought leadership, ideas and opinions of leading consultants and operators from across the industry. With a vision to create an open narrative and debate that explains the perspective and thinking on the market and Industry. The magazine has gone from strength to strength.

All aboard the Silver Sturgeon

An insightful breakfast with Neil MacLaurin, Chairman of One Event Management was held on the Thames, The IndiCater sponsored event included fascinating insights as Neil shared his experience and knowledge of the foodservice, events and luxury industry.

EP held a fascinating Think Tank in June with Alastair Stewart, Managing Director of etc. venues. Alastair shared his 30 years of experience and argued how it’s all about people and politics.
“Imagine bringing a potential client into one of your sites and offering him a coffee. If that coffee is bad or your front house operation is rude, that coffee could cost you millions”.

In the middle of the year EP continued to promote an initiative to change people’s thinking around leadership.

The campaign continued to grow and is focused on the need to develop knowledge and thinking amongst middle executives and to encourage companies to invest more in leadership development. Not so much training but through learning from the experience of proven leaders, as well as developing life experience and greater understanding. It is time generations come together to learn from each other. Great people, Great culture = Great business.

EP and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise brought the industry together to sample and experience a broad range of food and drink suppliers from New Zealand. The ‘Raise the Game’ event included a live broadcast of a lions game and an insightful interview with Doug Tetley, UK Managing Director of Delaware North.

In July EP brought together many of the sector’s leading consultants for a discussion on the changes taking place in the market. Together with a handful of operators the lively conversation entered into real depth with a number of truthful observations and shared lessons. This became the grounding for the Hospitality Insights Conference held in November.

Hospitality can be the social force

Investing in talented people of all ages and backgrounds. Whilst there are generational differences, the feeling is that change is coming in one way or another and the hospitality industry can play an important part in this social change.

The industry is a major force in society for the simple reason that it employs a high number of people and is actively involved in every community and economy across the UK. How many other industries can lay claim to such an important role and have such potential to create real change for a better future?

Britain’s fourth largest employer is still arguing for the platform it deserves

New research from Ignite Economics and BHA announced:

  • Hospitality accounts for 3.2m direct jobs and 2.8m indirect jobs
  • Ranked as a top six employer in every region of the UK
  • Labour productivity in the sector has grown at more than double the rate of the overall economy since 2008
  • Last year, hospitality and tourism brought £73bn to the economy, or £161bn including the indirect impact

However the government doesn’t seem to want to focus on supporting the people situation the industry is currently going through. So therefore EP argued we need to look at talent acquisition and retention and focus on:

  • Sharing knowledge
  • Improving public speaking

Teams – fun working together

London Unites for Grenfell Towers

In July the Hospitality Industry came together to support the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. Together London’s Hospitality leaders raised over £100k in support of the victims from Grenfell Tower in a charity dinner at The London Novotel West.

By August Edinburgh Fringe was in full flow, one of the best one-liners:
“Henry VIII’s second wife would never rush into a room; she’d just amble in.”
– David Ephgrave

Hospitality is often at high risk for terrorism

Employee wellbeing is often spoken about as an essential need in many companies but one that isn’t always fully supported. It is important because staff exposed to trauma and distress can impact their life. It can also be argued that poor staff wellbeing in hospitality is costing the sector. As an industry we fundamentally understand the need to look after guests but is it fair to ask if staff are at times forgotten when looking at mental health and wellbeing?

“Life is a journey of waves, ups and downs. Most believe that success is when one is at the top of the curve but success is when you are at the bottom and striving to go back up. One has to accept the good and bad of life as we all experience it and it’s how we handle what is thrown at us.”

Surinder Arora, Founder and Chairman of the Arora Group spoke to EP about building a successful billion pound business almost from scratch.

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