In most parts of the world hospitality businesses are about to clock up a year of being in crisis mode and every one of those 12 months has felt like a 3-minute round facing Mike Tyson. We have reached however the phase of recovery. With a vaccine roll-out well underway, the hospitality industry can now see a light at the end of the tunnel. Businesses are now faced with determining which combination of hooks and uppercuts will best lead them out of crisis. How will our business be relevant for the ‘new normal’? How do we future proof ourselves against future crises? How do we renew our company’s offering, our purpose? What have we learned, what good things have emerged from crisis? Who is still on board the bus, who needs to get off, who do we need to bring on?
One thing is certain – any hospitality business expecting to emerge from Covid-19 operating and behaving in exactly the same way as pre-crisis is doomed to failure. No matter how large the cash reserves a company may have, or how fantastic a product it has with a fully retained team, there are simply too many economic and marketplace variables for things to have remained the same. How businesses respond in the next eighteen months may determine their long-term relevance.
At HoCoSo we have identified five key areas that are top of mind for hospitality operators, owners and stakeholders as they look to position themselves for strong recovery. Jonathan Humphries, Co-founder and Chairman of HoCoSo reveals the importance and need for Creativity and Innovation.
It is clear the hospitality sector needs more innovative and experiential concepts. The industry needs to repurpose its existing assets to make them future-proofed, by being more flexible, adaptable and focussed on communities within the hospitality establishment and locally. There are consumer needs which are still not being addressed, many around mental and physical wellbeing, such as those HoCoSo has explored in its Hospitality Resilience Series topics, including sleep, nutrition, personal transformation and community building. Hospitality Resilience Series | HoCoSo
Customisation of experiences, services and product offerings are going to be key, at all price points. Customers today, are tailor-making their own environments, networks, interactions and consumption. Research into the future hotel room for the year 2035, led HoCoSo – in a collaboration with architects, designers, students and a brand agency – to create MyHeya, a room set-up which can be selected by the guest, prior to their stay. Heya (squarespace.com)
There also needs to be an integration of technology in order to enhance the consumer experience. Stay KooooK, which HoCoSo has been supporting SV Hotel with over the last few years, has one of the most seamless tech-guest experiences in the hospitality industry. This frees up their hosts, who are no longer focussed on mundane processes (sometimes labelled as services), such as check-in – “how was your journey?”, “could you sign the registration card?”, “here is the key to your room” – to customised conversations with the guests – “we notice from your social media that you like jazz music, did you know that there is a new show in town and we can book tickets for you if you like?” (85) Stay KooooK. Stay You. – Development – SV Hotel – YouTube
Hospitality needs new concepts and it needs them fast. With so many mega trends converging, global mobility, work-from-home, wellness, customisation and technology integration, investors and management companies need to be doing original consumer insight to determine their USPs and ensure that they stand out from the crowd.
Jonathan leads the HoCoSo team in all projects and initiatives and thrives on collaboration with his clients, teams, students and partners to find transformative solutions for the future of hospitality.
Focussed on sharing ideas, knowledge, expertise and opening up networks, he has created and launched three new platforms in the past year: HoCoSo CONNECT, The Hospitality Resilience Series and HoCoSo CONVERSATION.
A visionary, he believes the industry is in need of innovation today more than ever before and seeks to collaborate with those committed to create solutions for the future, on projects that fully engage all users of the hospitality concept-experience with a special focus on mental health, wellbeing and community-building.
The future for hospitality, after a year of darkness, is beginning to look more hopeful. However, in order to be able to stand with hands aloft in victory, once the bell sounds at the end of the twelfth round, businesses still have a hard road ahead. We would do well to heed Winston Churchill’s advice to “never waste a good crisis.” Consumer habits will dictate the rise of new concepts, products and experiences; investor sentiment will drive more purpose-led growth strategies; technology will enable and encourage greater productivity, consumer experience and profitability; operations will be run more efficiently and by a multi-skilled workforce; organisations will be leaner and fitter and will be led by leaders who demonstrate a more inclusive and empathetic leadership style combined with an ability to flex and shift at short notice. Those that ultimately emerge victorious will be those who put every part of their business under the microscope and look at how to best reinvent, innovate and improve themselves, in order to retain a meaningful customer proposition and competitive edge.
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HoCoSo are advisors with a difference.
We create tailor-made and innovative solutions for clients’ hospitality-led projects by bringing together the optimum team of sector specialists.
Jonathan Humphries, Chairman and Owner of HoCoSo, and his direct team specialize in the extended-stay, co-living, and hotel-alternatives hospitality market; luxury, lifestyle and boutique hotels; and resort developments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Our strengths lie in the following core services:
- Product & Concept Creation, for portfolio & individual asset developments.
- Strategic Development Projects with a focus on new-market / new-concept business expansion planning, operator selection, market and financial feasibility studies.
- Transformative Asset Management for brand re-positioning, asset re-evaluation and concept re-structuring.
- Hospitality Education for companies and academic institutions, with a focus on bespoke course development, training and teaching.
- Workshops, Keynotes and Conference Moderating for boards, leading international conferences and incubators.
During the covid19 crisis, HoCoSo launched HoCoSo CONNECT, an initiative aimed at bringing the industry together to brainstorm and collaborate; HoCoSo CONVERSATION, a podcast channel encouraging the discussion with thought leaders from around the globe, for the hospitality industry; and, in collaboration with Atlas Coaching and Cervus Leadership Consulting, we also launched the Hospitality Resilience Series , a combination of online events, insights and discussions aimed at helping build your personal resilience and inner immunity.