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. Alphy Johnson, Managing Director, Americas, stresses on the need for Operational Effectiveness.

Hospitality operations have realized that labour costs and the availability of staff have moved from the horizon to the present.  The COVID crisis has advanced the realization that the organizational structures have accelerated their rate of change to being better connected, flatter organizationally, less siloed and with a greater reliance on automation.

The essential role that hospitality front-line staff perform will become more valuable and valued as these changes evolve. Successful companies will realize the greater value of their line staff and create a shared sense of purpose of how they benefit the community at large. Organizations will need to recruit, compensate, train, motivate and re-train and retain staff to adapt to the changing environment.

Preparing for these changes will need an agile management team who can make fast decisions, delegate authority and responsibility, shift away from the “Command and Control” mindset to flatter, fitter and faster fit for purpose teams and overall realizing that staff are an asset, not an expense.

Alphy Johnson is Managing Director of the Americas at HoCoSo

Alphy supports HoCoSo’s leadership by providing advisory services for its bespoke and international clients. He represents HoCoSo in the Americas and is constantly working on contributing to the expansion of its network. He specializes in creating strategic plans for new brands, executive education, high-performance service teams in multi-cultural environments, Brand Architecture for start-up hotel companies, and mentoring hotel GMs and executives, particularly through crises.

He is a LEED-Accredited Professional, Certified Hotel Administrator, Certification in Advanced Hospitality & Tourism Analytics and is certified in Six Sigma Total Quality Management (TQM)

>> READ MORE about Alphy Johnson

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.



About HoCoSo

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:

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.