Why the Hospitality Industry Need To Embrace Collaboration

Collaboration is not only a trend, it’s also a good strategic move that can transform hotels, restaurants and businesses alike.

As hospitality leaders, we often collaborate with others – whether that’s suppliers, other local businesses, local networks, other hospitality leaders…

But, do we make the most of these collaborations and networks?

As I visit hotels and restaurants around the world, one thing I love to learn more about is who they are collaborating with but, many times, I find that we underplay these opportunities.

Shout About It!

When hospitality leaders engage with local businesses, artisans and cultural experts they unlock the door to a world of authentic experiences that money can’t replicate. So, for example, if your food is locally sourced, SHOUT ABOUT IT on your menu and on socials, you could even host a special night where you invite someone down from the artisan bakery or butchers or suppliers. Ensure your guests can enjoy the whole experience – trust me, this will add to their experience and they will look out for the local farm on their travels or tell their friends they had the best Wagyu steak ever – where the cow was played classical music and massaged daily! It’s a true story! 

It’s so important to ‘set the scene’ and sell the whole experience – I talk about this a lot as part of the modules; Product Leadership and Customer Service Leadership, in my new Hospitality Hero masterclass. (https://thehospitalityhero.com/hospitality-hero-on-demand/)

Collaboration Over Competition

But, collaboration goes further than the supply chain…Did you know that you can collaborate with your competitors? Trust me, it’s good for business.

For me, one of the best tactics I’ve done in all my career is, I’ve collaborated and worked with other hospitality leaders and got involved in the local associations and community projects.

Even when I couldn’t find anything, I started my own hospitality association. And that was as simple as door knocking on my competitors and my neighbours’ doors and saying, ‘We’ve got some challenges in our city — shall we face them together?’ It’s been priceless.

It puts you on the map. It really does set you up as a leader and shows that you want to engage and collaborate with others for the better good of the region, the business and those businesses around you.

Don’t Work in Silo

I was recently interviewed for an industry leadership feature and one of the questions was – ‘What’s one common mistake you often see new entrepreneurs and leaders make?’ And, my answer was – working in silo! We often get so busy doing the doing and stuck in our little world/bubble/circle, that we forget to look up, look beyond or ask for help.

What are the local Associations, Chamber of Commerce, Business Groups, what are the wider Regional Associations and potentially, where should you be seen? Where do you stand in your local community and where are your connections with local council and wider stakeholders?

These will be crucial to how you grow and how you’re perceived as a business owner in your neck of the woods. If there isn’t any local groups or networks, why not look to start one yourself – in your venue! Boom!

You can also show up online and join online networks and forums. This is a key opportunity to show you as an individual leader, separate from your business. Follow and support as many in the industry as you can, join some of the groups and be active. Prove your industry contribution, let people know you’re out and about, talk about your successes and celebration of all things Hospitality.


In this tricky industry we are navigating, it’s good to link arms, inspire, encourage, support and learn from others. 

Last year, I spoke at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium at a fabulous entrepreneurial event called ‘Bee Inspired’, run by the amazing powerhouse, Dani Wallace. She often uses the term ‘festooning’ – the definition of festooning is an act in which bees connect to each other by their feet to form a chain or curtain. The bees come together to create something new, when they are constructing new comb or repairing old comb, they help each other by hanging together between the frames that they are building, in a single line, linking arms. How cool is that?

And, with The Hospitality Hero, this is exactly what I am setting out to achieve, a linking of arms, to offer support, inspiration and encouragement to those who need it. In order to help us all to keep going…


Remember, you can also announce your collaborations – using them as a PR and marketing opportunity.

I recently made an exciting announcement that The Hospitality Hero will be collaborating with Downtown in Business to support the Visitor Economy and hospitality venues across the DIB network over the next two-years.

Downtown will be helping us to promote the Hospitality Hero conferences and the new Hospitality Hero online training courses. Together we will also be hosting a series of Roundtable events and forums across the country, focussing on what can be done to support, protect, and grow the Visitor Economy. Exciting times!

 Come Together…

When we collaborate together, we are able to utilise our collective; experience, knowledge, and skills for a shared goal.

I’d love for you to join The Hospitality Hero Movement, please connect with us via our FREE Facebook Industry Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1621768265306685

 Let’s together empower each other, challenge norms and create a vibrant, sustainable future for hospitality.