The last few years has clearly demonstrated that the hospitality industry is full of passionate people with incredible resilience and a relentless drive to succeed. The willingness of the industry to share knowledge as ‘one voice’ and the palpable sense of community spirit across the sector, is making a big difference to many businesses right now. And there is still a long way to go.
Zupa has been investing a lot of time getting under the skin of what’s really going on at the coal face of the hospitality industry, finding out what great ideas are bubbling under the surface, and uncovering what are people feeling and thinking really. Not wanting to keep all this great insight to ourselves, we've decided to launch our very own video podcast series, Recipes for Success, enabling us to share these relatable real-life stories and experiences with a wider audience.
Our podcasts will be in-person guest interviews with key players from across the whole sector, all hosted by me from my new podcast studio (a.k.a my study!) at home. Through Recipes for Success we’ll explore a range of topics and thinking affecting hospitality businesses today, helping to share perspective, fresh ideas and expert insight.
In the first podcast of 2023, I get straight to the heart of what is helping the sector to retain its resilience, in a thought-provoking interview with hospitality veteran and CEO of CH&Co, Bill Toner. As a charity trustee and inductee into the British Travel and Hospitality’s Hall of Fame, Bill shares some insight from his longstanding career and talks candidly about what lessons he’s learned since he first walked into the world of hospitality at the age of just 14 and was hooked.
From trips down memory lane to exploring the big issues affecting hospitality businesses right now, Bill explains how the industry must try to see things differently and needs to constantly re-engineer itself. From bold marketing initiatives that keep your customers informed and engaged, to retaining your people with effective communication, training and career development, coping with rising costs, and driving sustainability, Bill explores how the sector has instinctively gone into ‘survival mode’ in this time of crisis. He also gives expert insight into the key initiatives and innovations that are helping hospitality businesses face challenges head on, such as dark kitchen hubs and central production kitchens, embracing technology and social media, and the importance of the resolve to dig deeper when it comes to sourcing and selecting products and ingredients.
It's no secret that hospitality is a tough place to operate in at the moment. Bill remains optimistic and believes that timing and great ideas are everything.In this special interview he explains the importance of organic growth to the success of CH&Co, as well as offers some sage advice around how smaller businesses with limited means can also succeed in the current climate and adapt to the future changing world.
Learning together through shared experiences really will make a difference to many businesses this year - and hospitality is no different. Pooling knowledge will become ever more important as the industry continues to navigate turbulent times.
You can listen to my full video interview with Bill Toner here. Please let me know what you think and stay tuned for future episodes of ‘Recipes for Success’ podcasts coming soon.