Awards season is well and truly underway. With the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Oscars all grabbing headlines at this time of year, it is an opportune moment to look at the impact awards can have on people strategy and overall business goals.
Winning awards, receiving nominations or simply making a red-carpet splash can help shape reputations for years to come, drive business growth and set the bar for high standards.
With awards bodies such as The Michelin Guide, Forbes Travel Guide, The Cateys and Hotel Cateys, the hospitality industry has a vibrant awards season which can have a significantly positive impact on hotels, restaurants, and the professionals within.
However, like any system of recognition, there are considerations and the emotional, financial and time investment should be weighed up before committing to participate.
In this article, we look through some of the details you may wish to consider before implementing an awards strategy. This could help you and your team make the right decisions for the future growth and development of your business, while continuing to prioritise your workplace culture.
Michelin and Forbes: Setting Industry Standards
The Michelin Guide and Forbes Travel Guide ratings are among the most coveted recognitions in the hospitality industry. They are awarded based on rigorous criteria that assess the quality of food, service, and overall guest experience. Inspectors do not announce their visits (either on arrival or departure) and the smallest details can have a significant impact on the rating.
- Boost in Prestige and Business: Achieving such awards can significantly elevate a property’s status, attracting more guests and increasing revenue. A Michelin star, for instance, is not just a mark of culinary excellence but also a powerful marketing tool that can put a restaurant on the global map.
- Benchmark for Quality: These awards set very high standards, encouraging establishments to strive for excellence. They serve as a benchmark for quality, pushing the industry, and those in it, forward in terms of innovation, service, and culinary artistry.
- Establishing Trust: For guests and employees, these accolades are a mark of trust and quality assurance. When choosing where to dine, stay or work, awards from Michelin or Forbes can be decisive factors for those seeking high-end luxury experiences, or a workplace that aligns with their own values and ambitions.
- Pressure and Stress: The pursuit of these awards can create immense pressure on owners and employees. The stress of maintaining standards for Michelin or Forbes evaluations can be intense, sometimes leading to a stressful work environment.
- Cost Implications: Striving for such high standards often comes with significant financial investment, which can be a challenge, especially for smaller, independent establishments. Many operators have argued that the higher revenues don’t necessarily lead to higher profit.
Individual Awards: Recognising Personal Excellence
Awards like the Cateys and Hotel Cateys celebrate the achievements of hospitality professionals, from chefs and managers to front-of-house teams. Entrants are nominated by peers and senior management and entries are submitted for judging by a panel of industry experts who volunteer their services. The ceremonies are often glitzy affairs in grand hotel ballrooms.
- Career Advancement: Winning an individual award can be a significant boost to one’s career. It not only recognises talent but also opens doors to new opportunities, networking, and professional growth. From a recruitment perspective, there is no doubt that winning awards will raise an individual’s profile and attract attention from headhunters.
- Motivation and Morale: Such recognitions can greatly motivate staff, enhancing morale and fostering a sense of pride and accomplishment. They highlight the importance of individual contributions to the success of an establishment.
- Industry Benchmarking: These awards set benchmarks for individual excellence, inspiring others in the industry to strive for similar achievements.
- Subjectivity: Unlike awards based on specific criteria and mystery guest visits, individual awards are often based on a written application, which can be more subjective, sometimes leading to debates over the deservingness of winners.
- Overemphasis on Recognition: There’s a risk that the pursuit of awards might overshadow other important aspects of the job, such as teamwork and guest satisfaction.
- Limited Recognition: With so many deserving candidates in the industry, individual awards can only recognise a few, potentially leading to feelings of undervaluation among others.
Awards in the hospitality industry, whether for establishments or individuals, have a profound impact. They drive competition, encourage excellence, and provide a framework for what constitutes high-end service. For consumers, these awards simplify choices, offering a guide to exceptional experiences.
However, it’s crucial for the industry to balance the pursuit of awards with the overall well-being of employees and the financial health of the establishment. The pressure to maintain or achieve these accolades should not come at the cost of employee well-being or lead to unsustainable business practices.
Moreover, while awards are important, they are not the sole measure of success. Many outstanding establishments and professionals thrive without them, focusing on delivering exceptional experiences that resonate with their guests. Ultimately, the true measure of success in hospitality lies in the satisfaction and loyalty of guests, and the fulfillment and well-being of the staff who make those experiences possible.
If you would like to chat to us about giving your people strategy the red carpet treatment, then get in touch on +44 20 8600 1166.