The potential substitution of squid for cod in the British national dish provides a perfect analogy for the flexibility needed by today’s hoteliers.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Deutsche Hospitality, last week for a Hotel News Now article you can read here.
Our conversation started with my question as to what German, or Deutsch, hospitality means in markets outside of Germany.
This might depend on where you originally are from, of course. We Brits if asked about Germans will mention their technology, efficiency and that their trains run on time; also the fact that they annoyingly keep winning in soccer, which might be related to their efficiency and technology.
What do Indians or Chinese (two markets Chhatwal mentioned), or any other people, think, though, of Germany?
When it comes to getting into markets, such considerations need to be pondered. Solutions need to be devised. Guests need to be made and kept happy.
A few details—some small, some not so—were mentioned that allow, according to Deutsche Hospitality, a sense of German-ness to pervade its hotels and balance the hospitality offering in whatever market they are in.
Chhatwal added as an aside that it would be unthinkable for hotels wishing to push Britishness not to provide fish n’ chips on their menus.
This is when the conversation turned insightful.
“There is a report,” I mentioned to Chhatwal, “that suggests because of overfishing and generally warming weather conditions that the new British national dish might soon be squid n’ chips.”
Chhatwal did not pause at this.
“Transition and flexibility is absolutely necessary in a modern hotel company,” Chhatwal said.
Hoteliers must keep their eyes on change—subtle or not so—and adapt as needs be. Squid n’ chips would not make an “English” hotel any less so, was the conclusion, if all the other ingredients are in place that make that property be what it is and own a sense of place.
Squid n‘ chips is the perfect analogy for a hotel company that is always thinking of the future, Chhatwal hinted.
Coming back from three weeks in Myanmar (I was so far removed from the Internet and news that I did not learn until 4 December than Cuban leader Fidel Castro passed away on 25 November), I remained unsurprised that seemingly nothing has happened in terms of the United Kingdom severing its links with the European Union, a process, as we all know, known as Brexit.
The latest reports suggest it might take up to 10 years before the severance is complete, and as, as well all know, too, seven days is a long time in politics. Multiply that by 521, and anything could happen in the interim.
The noise this week is that all sides are demanding the legal status should be agreed upon for all European Union citizens living in the U.K.
As we need the brains and cosmopolitanism of that group here in the U.K., that should be applauded.
Apart from that, for the next 3,652 days, business as usual, I guess.
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