Hospitality Management

Hospitality Management can be a tough gig. It’s also exciting, hugely varied and an opportunity to turn people’s lives around in a great way, every day.

I’m passionate about getting things right in Hospitality Management. Because when you do, you can start to count on people’s custom. That means surety for you, your business and your team, along with increased profits, increased growth and a lot less grief. If that’s what you want – get in touch.

Hospitality Consultancy

Typically, areas where I provide Hospitality Consultancy for clients include:

  • Strategy, resourcing, management and planning
  • Profit improvement
  • Research and business case development
  • Startup and diversification
  • Business exit preparation

Case Study:

“Push Back” becomes “Push Up” thanks to a changing business model.

A franchise company was experiencing push back from their franchisee operators and engaged me as their Hospitality Consultancy to evaluate why and suggest some solutions.

After writing up the brief and scoping the project, I interviewed several franchisees and the comments were very consistent; they were feeling trapped, manipulated and continually leveraged to their disadvantage. I referenced their comments against what had been actually happening in the business and identified specific examples of behaviour that was causing problems.

The first stage of my solution was to facilitate frank and honest meetings between franchisees and franchisor. As an outsider I was able to maintain credibility with both parties. From there we set about working together to create better communication and an inclusive approach to change management. I set up strategic planning sessions where the overriding goal was to deliver real benefits for all parties.

A few years on, they are all making significantly more money and the franchise company has a very different culture. Acting on my advice, they continue to run at least one franchise outlet themselves which helps them maintain franchisee empathy that had been missing. They have an uncompromising commitment to franchisee success; both through training and by measuring the value of all initiatives on each site’s profit and sales growth.

This has resulted in significant increased success and profit for both franchises and franchisor. It has additionally made it much easier to sell new franchises, thanks to a much more successful business model. And as an aside, they have also found that they attract better quality franchisee applicants.

Yes, it’s taken a lot of effort and some hard conversations, but they now achieve the level of success they aspired to. I’m proud to have been instrumental in their achievements.

Sometimes failing faster is the key to success

I was engaged by a live food company to assist with business growth, including for a new food product for the International market. And while new products are exiting they are also hard work so my role is to educate, guide and provide objectivity when passions want to take over.

Few people understand the implications of developing food products for New Zealand consumption, let alone the International export markets. The type of food product you’re intending to produce, and the markets you intend selling in, dictate a robust set of compliances – long before you make your first sale. So researching your market is a vital first step, to ensure you’re not chasing an impossible (and expensive) mirage.

As a product development consultant, I know well the steps required to get a new food product to market. As a rough guide it goes something like this:

  • Create the food product
  • Peer review / taste testing
  • Define market place (farmer’s market, supermarket, export market etc…)
  • Market research (consumer / retailer / wholesaler)
  • Compliance requirements (food plan or food safety program)
  • Financial modelling (when / are you realistically going to profit)
  • Marketing strategy

The product in question was having problems passing the taste / packaging conflict. My experience helped me quickly ascertain that the current new product development process was unlikely to produce a desirable food outcome. It quickly became apparent that rather than launch a new product that diluted the existing quality inherent in the brand; the refocus should be on a far less expensive and immediately more profitable programme of promoting existing live food sales.

This refocus has led to an increase in sales, as every bit as importantly significant reduction in new product development costs. And when you remember that every dollar saved is a dollar that goes straight to profit, it’s created a sustainable future path for the company.

Sometimes we need a little help to fail faster – but that’s what gets us closer to success. And we’re proud to admit, it’s success they’re enjoying right now.

Mark Collins