• Stephan Busch

Hospitality as helpless as politics. A lot will be lost!



Christmas is almost around the corner and there can be no talk of better business. We are still a long way from going back to normal. People want to travel, enjoy restaurants and family celebrations, but the restrictions will not allow it this year either.


The booking prospects are good in the cruise industry, but how far the restrictions will hinder business remains to be seen. Uniworld reports bookings to India, Vietnam and Egypt of 425% increase for the next year. Oceana Cruises sold out the world tour for 2023 in a single day.


In Germany, however, everyone first struggles with lost income, restrictions and rising costs.


Angela Inselkammer, President of the DEHOGA Association, said on Friday evening: “The current regulations will put an end to the hospitality industry.” That unvaccinated employees now undergo a PCR test twice a week at their own expense and pay 800 euros a month for it would be utopian. The companies could not meet these costs either. "The result will be that the hospitality industry will lose massive numbers of employees, as '3G plus' does not apply in many job-related areas such as retail - just as little as the obligation to wear a mask during work," said Inselkammer. There is a threat of the "personnel shutdown of an entire industry".

(https://www.merkur.de/bayern/corona-bayern-gastronomie-3g-2g-pcr-test-kosten-dehoga-impfung-impfpflicht-tn-91101681.html)


“The trembling of those in the hospitality industry continues. The Ratskeller landlord is certain that the pandemic will break the neck of many more restaurants. "Dying is only just beginning."

(Merkur.de/bayern Nov 2021)


“In the hospitality industry, which has been badly shaken by the Corona crisis, there is little hope of a conciliatory end of the year. According to a survey by the German Hotel and Restaurant Association of 388 hospitality ventures in North Rhine-Westphalia, the restaurants received significantly fewer bookings for Christmas parties and other events in December.”

(https://www.tageskarte.io/gastronomie/detail/zwei-drittel-der-gastronomen-und-hoteliers-berichten-von-weniger-buchungen-fuer-weihnachtsfeiern.html)


The winner are big coorporations with poor service and poor quality

McDonalds. The profit climbed in the third quarter compared to the previous year by 22 percent to 2.15 billion US dollars (5.3 billion euros), as the Burger King competitor announced.

Business is flourishing at Starbucks, the world's largest café chain. In the three months to the end of September, the company increased revenue 31 percent year-on-year to $ 8.1 billion.

(https://www.tageskarte.io/gastronomie/detail/mcdonalds-steigert-umsatz-und-gewinn-deutlich.html)


The self-service shops are flourishing and are being supported by helpless political action. As is known, MacDonalds does not pay any taxes in Germany, but has received the complete sales reimbursement from German tax money.


” We have done a pretty good job with lowering expectations, but that spiral can only descend so far.”

(4) Rescue From Mediocrity. The Decline Of Service Etiquette – A Sequel - by John R. Hendrie, Hospitality Performance, Inc. 2006


There are suggestions on how to counter the problems, but the following DEHOGA suggestion seems hopeless to me.


“DEHOGA has presented a seven-point plan that aims to make the job more attractive for employees again. The paper provides for significant wage increases for trainees, skilled workers and auxiliary workers. Accordingly, remuneration should increase by up to 60 percent.

In the future, skilled workers should earn at least 15 euros per hour (previously 11 euros), assistants should receive 12 euros (previously 9.60 euros). The wages of the trainees are also to rise: to 1,000 euros in the first year, 1,100 euros in the second and 1,200 euros in the third year. According to DEHOGA, this corresponds to increases of 60, 42 and 30 percent compared to the current remuneration.

The wage increases for employees are to be offset by price increases.

(9. November 2021 https://www.tageskarte.io/politik/detail/dehoga-in-rheinland-pfalz-gehaelter-und-preise-im-hotels-und-restaurants-sollen-deutlich-steigen.html)

How should one finance wage increases of up to 60% through price increases? Who can still pay for that? How many guests will be lost? Why not influence the state and enforce tax breaks? Wouldn't that be the more important task of the association? I would love to see these wage increases but is that realistic?


Much is lost. Quality! Staff! Revenue! But also the pleasure of being able to afford to go out and, in the end, the variety of hospitality!

It will continue to be interesting!


Stephan Busch has an invaluable and diverse experience in the hospitality industry ranging from senior management positions with the most renowned hotel and resort companies to the project development - launch of operations, business development- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.

His expertise includes not only planning, opening and operating of hotels, international golf clubs, airports, resorts and cruise ships, but also successful restructuring and repositioning of businesses during the financial crisis in Asia.

Stephan Busch earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA and served many years as Academic Director / Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism at the State University for Humanities RGGU Moscow as well as the Swiss International University St. Petersburg.


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