Happy New Year and a BIG welcome to all Hospitality Heroes and industry enthusiasts, to my first blog post for 2024!
I’m Steven Hesketh, The Hospitality Hero, and I’m on a mission to wake up the hospitality management world, urging leaders to become savvy, innovative and saviours of our beloved industry.
It’s time to shake things up, break free from the norms, and embrace positive disruption for the greater good.
Now, I don’t want to start the year with doom, gloom and despondency, but we need to check in and wake up… The reality is that hospitality is one of the largest economical generated revenues for many countries across the globe – however, the pandemic has cast a serious and long-lasting impact on the industry, the current state of play means that many restaurants and hotels around the world are simply putting ‘one step in front of the other’ as they try to survive. Many managers and staff have become monotonous, stuck on autopilot and have lost their mo-jo and we are seeing good staff shortages and recruitment/retention difficulties. Together with these issues, many hospitality venues are also having to navigate inflation challenges, including energy bills, wage increases and food prices… and alongside this, there is a dampening in consumer confidence, with many cutting down and being cautious when it comes to spending. All of this is leading to many hospitality businesses and upper management feeling they are on the brink – stretched, pressed and stressed!
I’ve been there; stretched, pressed and stressed! And, this is why I am passionate about giving hospitality management a wake up call in 2024, to truly become leaders, get savvy and save support the industry.
Let’s not sleep walk into a world where functioning on auto-pilot becomes the norm, where relying on apps, technology and robots is a given and settling for a second class service is standard!
There’s so many pressured elements within hospitality, it’s a stressful environment; earth wind and fire, the calm before the storm, the hurricane, then there’s the fire and rarely in hospitality do we get away without feeling the flambé – and let’s face it, feeling the heat in hospitality is often where a hospitality hero gains their superpower and learns how to fly with added flambé flavour!
We want to change the perception of hospitality; we want to change the reality of hospitality.
Passion and Commitment: The Heart of The Hospitality Hero
This year, I am passionate about giving hospitality management a wake-up call – a call to become leaders, get savvy and save our beloved industry from slipping into a world dominated by auto-pilot, technology reliance and subpar service standards.
The commitment lies in fostering positive change, inspiring leaders to evolve, and proactively addressing the challenges that threaten the very essence of hospitality, to which there are many.
You may ask, why HERO?
I’d like you to take a moment to think of the best hospitality welcome you’ve ever had in your life; the smile, the handshake, the welcome drink, the care, and the human touch… These people that we recall and remember, made our experience magical, and these are all Hospitality Heroes! But, the reality is, the savvy and smart Hospitality Hero is at risk of becoming an endangered species. There’s a gap that needs bridging between tried and tested tradition experts and those lacking training, confidence and know-how in all-round management and operational practices.
I feel the industry needs saving. So, I’m popping on my invisible cape and taking on the role as a champion for the industry, I’m dedicated to improving hospitality service and culture both in the UK and Internationally, I’m keen to share the good, the bad and the ugly of the industry, to facilitate progress and create more positive movements around customer experience and employee skillsets.
Leading the Charge
In a recent feature in Authority Magazine, I shared my journey to becoming The Hospitality Hero. With over 30 years of experience, I’ve not only weathered the storms but emerged stronger, transforming my vision into action. I am not just a hotel owner; I am a disruptor, committed to reviving the industry with a focus on people, place and perception.
I embraced a diverse and dynamic career in hospitality. From cleaning windows in an Australian resort to managing corporate hospitality in Chester, my experiences shaped my understanding of the industry from the ground up. Throughout my career, leading on to running my own business, I have faced financial distress, struggled with dyslexia and navigated the challenges of entrepreneurship. However, resilience and the ability to learn from mistakes led to rebuilding success, proving that the “flambéing” process only adds more flavour to the journey.
The Power of Positive Disruption
As I prepare to launch the International Masterclass this February, my commitment to positive disruption is stronger than ever. I believe in being a force for good, changing the trajectory of an industry headed in the wrong direction.
Let’s together empower each other, challenge norms and create a vibrant, sustainable future for hospitality.
I’d love for you to join The Hospitality Hero Movement, you can connect with us via our FREE Facebook Industry Group – <https://www.facebook.com/groups/1621768265306685>
Together, let’s wake up, lead with purpose, and transform the hospitality industry into a thriving, innovative force. Let’s write a new chapter for hospitality!