Industry Update
Opinion Article 3 March 2020

What This “New World” Means for us in Hospitality

By John Ragsdale Hendrie, Customer Experience Facilitator at Hospitality Performance

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Nowadays, for those of us who work in Hospitality throughout the world, it is getting harder to get out of bed. It seems as though everything is going "…to Hell in a handbasket". And, of course, the soothsayers emphasize worse rather than better horizons.

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It is worrisome, beyond the New York Stock Exchange drop and the Coronavirus explosion. We now need to prepare, react and manage that disruption to our marketplace. We are already accepting cancellations, condensing flights, awarding vouchers for future dates, postponing events and limiting our restaurant hours and menu. Many are tackling their human capital resources for cost savings yet hoping to maintain service consistency.

We know this is just the start, so "shake a leg" - this is the time to shine amidst the gloom. That is what Hospitality professionals do - we inspire, like making that wonderful lemonade concoction out of those rascally lemons. We are creative, and we care.

Even laying there in bed, you need to dismiss the gloom. Start the day thinking about what Hospitality really means and how that impacts your soul and business. We provide safety, attention, succor, respect and nourishment to that weary citizen out there. They depend upon us to provide that relief, no matter the turmoil in the community.

Even with our new reality and the fact that you will probably have to cut back on staff, activities, and services, you can still radiate the positives. You have high standards. Your staff have been trained and are motivated. You also have an opportunity to "dress up" your hospitality operation/business. For example, almost everyone can paint a wall. Reach out to your community, make alliances, affinities. We are all in the same boat.

You have an effective communication "tree" with your guests and customers. Keep them informed of your activities. Knowing of your commitment will make them proud and engaged, and, certainly, as times improve, they will become your biggest fans (and, repeat customers).

Historically, we have been through global crisis before - wars, famine draught, disease. Much of our current situation is still unfolding, but as Hospitality professionals, we are at the ready. So, jump, do not stumble out of bed. Each day is a new opportunity to take on a challenge and persevere. All of this effort for one expression - you care!

John Ragsdale Hendrie

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