The hotel and restaurant industries are going badly. Of hotels, nearly 2 have been closed every day for the past three years. 10 times more for restoration. As for the cafes that are disappearing, they have not been counted for the last two decades. The reason ? Economic models weakened for 20 years , a lack of customers and resources, a cascade of regulations imposed in the name of the famous (and sacred) principle of precaution, each more costly and unproductive than the other, and a burden of withdrawals mandatory become aberrant.
Everyone agrees with this observation that we ourselves detailed in our White Paper on Hotel and Tourist Modernization .
Small businesses feel bludgeoned by the operating conditions which have become asphyxiating, as the movement of the ” Sacrified” materializes today .
But in the hotel profession (CHR), it is fashionable to always and still accuse others of all its ills . A French evil, it seems. We hardly ever hear and read professionals and their unions accuse each other of failing, of having chosen bad paths or of simply being… bad. Self-criticism, however beneficial, does not exist there. We like to put our heads in the sand to see nothing and leave the world to fend for themselves.
The fault for this economic lack of the sector always comes from elsewhere, according to the accusers: stingy and demanding customers, the economy, the government, the policies, the crisis, the intermediaries, the weather, the young people-who-do-want -more-nothing-fuck, the left or the right, Europe,… It’s very simple: hoteliers and restaurateurs readily victimize themselves and do not feel responsible for anything. Or so little. Sometimes, a little upgrade on the ambiance by adding an outdoor heater especially on the winter could boost the reviews and the business overall.
What if CHR professionals were the first architects of their own misfortune?
• Today, more than one in two very small and medium-sized enterprises in the sector is in deficit or in fair balance in its accounts . Is it not a chronic lack of equity by their owners, an inability to reinvest and find financing which penalizes them and which generates this situation?
• Young people are no longer attracted to work in the CHR , which is the champion of all sectors of activity in unfilled vacancies. Hiring difficulties due to image, constraints, seasonality, but also to ignorance of the professions concerned, are they not primarily the responsibility of hoteliers and restaurateurs? How many Thenardiers are there in hotels and restaurants that do not make young people want to start and stay in the profession?
• The profession employs a lot of unqualified and untrained personnel, with little transmission of knowledge, accompanied by a maddening turnover. She railed against the initial training that would not be adapted to her needs. But isn’t it up to her to finally take this problem in hand?
• Hoteliers are given over to OTAs (online travel agencies) and pay a heavy price in the form of commercial dependence and high commission amounts to be paid. But, when only 1 in 5 hoteliers develop active marketingfor their establishment and more than 6 in 10 hotel sites do not allow online booking in real time , is this hegemonic hold by OTAs not not a fair return to commercial deficiency on the part of hoteliers?
The same is true with occupancy rates which plummet due to the lack of commercial development. Whose fault, once again?
• The Internet has taken on an extraordinary dimension in the purchasing actions of travelers, completely changing consumer behavior and giving them an enormous capacity for information. The lack of anticipation and a very conservative side of the sector are they not at the origin of this missed meeting with the Net?
• Households are highly equipped and besides this, hotels have fallen behind in modernity compared to the expectations of their customers who have better at home in terms of comfort. Here too, the lack of monitoring changes in lifestyles has plunged the hotel profession into a significant lack of attractiveness for its customers, who find other forms of accommodation that are more current and more accommodating.
• Bankers, but also public authorities and the media generally have a bad image of CHR. We like beautiful hotels and good restaurants, but we don’t necessarily like hotels and restaurants. This questionable and debated image encourages a temptation to tax and regulate RHCs over and over again by successive governments and by both assemblies. And the banks are no longer financing. And the media are attacking. Professional organizations and their ineffectiveness in terms of defending the sector and its image are they not to be pointed out as the first culprits and the source of this immense mess? The example of the drop in VAT in catering and the bad resonance it has given comes to everyone’s mind to evoke a monumental communication failure, which the profession still pays today.
• A majority of restaurateurs now only work with finished industrial dishes that just need to be reheated . Some still allow themselves to call them “homemade” . Can they then be surprised that the media are falling on them to denounce this generalized moral cheating?
However, as thereport Nogué sur employment in tourism,“the development of the sector will largely … the sector itself, its ability to organize network, its ability to develop its supporting organizations and advice to small companies, to strengthen partnerships between large companies and SMEs, but also its professional training structures, its ability to develop its lobbying, and to work in conjunction with the private and public actors present in the territories “. All is said.
With a dozen professional organizations in the hotel and catering industry, all rivals and ill-united, walking in dispersed order, little qualified to discuss with enarques in the ministries, not working on their files, lacking in courage and strategy … we do not do not see how an improvement can be envisaged.
But far from being able to dismiss all the wrongs to their representatives – whom they nevertheless elect, at least by default – the operators of the CHR have their share of responsibilities. Today they have to furiously take their fate and their future in hand: by themselves.
“The fisherman who fails for the third time can no longer blame the sea” , says a Roman proverb.