More money is not enough

Plus: What leading hospitality companies are doing to improve their environmental impact

Today, you’ll find:

  • Why some people are not returning to the hospitality industry (and what one group is doing to address this)

  • What leading hospitality companies are doing to improve their environmental impact

  • How cocktail and coffee cultures are evolving (and the impact on operations)


More money is not enough

That’s the title of a Vox story this week on the challenges of hiring in hospitality. It’s something we cover in this newsletter because without the right staff, delighting your guests is very difficult.

“People in our industry are asking themselves ‘What am I doing here? Why am I doing this? Am I getting ahead? Do I have a shot at the American dream?,’” said D. Taylor of Unite Here, a union that represents workers in the hotel and food services industries.

The reason some people aren't returning to their companies or positions is because they didn't see growth, said Guy Maisnik during the recent Boutique Lifestyle Leadership Conference.

"The people that didn't want to go back in the industry saw no place for them. It's a little bit surprising to me, because one would think that hospitality of all places would provide that kind of growth."

For Jim McPartlin, chief people officer at Highgate, said his company instills three pillars for its employees: education, mentorship and career tracking. "There is a conversation now, aside from just wage and benefits, which are important, but also around 'What about me?'" he said. The generation of those that are 25 to 30 years old want to know there is a career path ahead of them. Hotels must do a better job to create that pathway, he said, and inspire people to say "I want to get on that path."

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Net positive travel?

Today I was listening to an interview with investor John Doerr who is going all-in on tackling the climate crisis. Made me wonder what the travel and hospitality industry can do to contribute to the solution. A recent New York Times profile on Rick Steves shared their self-imposed carbon tax on each tour they book. 

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, which unites leading hospitality companies comprising 30% of the industry, has announced the development of a Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality for the planet. The Pathway aims to enable every hotel to improve their impact, whatever their starting point on their sustainability journey. It will encompass four clear stages and practical tools that guide the industry towards a regenerative impact on our planet.

"Climate change calls for collaboration, not competition. We believe that working with our peers and partners from the hospitality sector is the most effective way to make substantial change happen. The pathway is an important step in that journey." - Brune Poirson, Chief Sustainability Officer, Accor

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The evolution of cocktail and coffee cultures

According to a recent story from Jeanette Hurt for Hotels Magazine, guest preferences for alcohol and coffee are changing. While some guests are seeking lower alcohol by volume (ABV) cocktails, overall consumption is up.

The challenge, said Bradley Moore, vice president of food and beverage operations for Evolution Hospitality’s Taste & Theory Group, is that often the drinks guests want take too much time, manpower and bar know-how to make and keep up with demand. A solution? Batched cocktails.

“We’re consulting on two rooftop bars, in Dallas and in Atlanta, and I will tell you, the majority of signature drinks are batched,” he said. “We don’t have the skillset or the number of associates to be able to offer the $14 cocktail guests are seeking without batching, and guests do not know that the cocktails are batched.”

“It’s about how can we streamline but still offer the quality?” added Angela Kuzma, VP of lifestyle for Evolution Hospitality, which operates the Taste & Theory Restaurant Group. For hoteliers struggling with being short-staffed right now, this type of creative thinking to delight guests is key.

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Tweet of the day

My favorite of this list? The Okcs Retreat Setouchi Aonagi:

Architect Tadao Ando installed smooth concrete walls in this towering seven-room property to help inspire visitors with creativity, compassion, and calm. It’s a reminder why architecture is such a critical part of guest experience. Adding to my must-visit list now….