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London Marathon 2024 & The Hospitality Industry

We were in London over the weekend of the 20-21st April. It was to support my partners daughter, Gemma running in the marathon, a gruelling 26.2 miles. She had trained diligently, a structured, systematic and well-planned approach leading up to the big event. What an amazing day, the weather was perfect, cool, bright, and dry. Never have we seen crowds like it, supporting and encouraging the runners. We spent the day moving from one vantage point to another as the race progressed. We were lucky to see Gemma on three occasions, what an awesome performance, always smiling, even when the going was tough, incredible positive attitude. Amazing to see her finish and achieve her goal, a huge tick for the bucket list!

It allowed me to reflect a bit about how working in the hospitality industry is similar to preparing for, and running in the marathon.

At first glance, these two realms may seem worlds apart, but dig deeper, and you will uncover striking parallels that bind them together in a tapestry of challenges and triumphs.

Imagine the hospitality industry as a marathon, with its ups and downs unfolding daily and weekly. Just like a marathon runner faces hurdles along the course, hospitality teams encounter several obstacles in their day-to-day operations. From last-minute cancellations to unexpected emergencies, each day presents a new challenge to navigate. It’s a relentless journey that demands mental resilience and adaptability. Getting up each day to face marathon training does have a parallel with the long hours on your feet and getting up next day to face it all again in the world of hospitality!

Much like a marathon runner relies on a mentally fit mind to support a physically fit body, success in the hospitality industry hinges on the harmony between mental alertness and operational proficiency. Amidst the chaos of a bustling hotel reception area or a busy restaurant, maintaining composure and clarity of thought is paramount. A sharp mind can anticipate guests’ needs, defuse tense situations, and find innovative solutions to unexpected problems.

However, just as marathon runners don’t compete alone but have a team of supporters behind them, the hospitality industry thrives on teamwork. Behind the scenes, a team of staff work tirelessly to ensure the business goes smoothly while creating unforgettable guest experiences. From housekeeping staff meticulously preparing rooms to chefs crafting culinary masterpieces, each team member plays a crucial role in the collective success of the establishment.

Just as marathon runners encounter moments of doubt and exhaustion during the gruelling race, hospitality professionals face their own share of setbacks. From negative reviews to unforeseen crises, adversity is an inevitable part of the journey. However, it’s how we respond to these challenges that defines our character and shapes our success. Like marathoners summoning reserves of inner strength to push through the pain, hospitality professionals draw upon their resilience and determination to weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.

In the end, whether you’re navigating the twists and turns of the hospitality industry or pounding the pavement in a marathon race, the journey is about more than just reaching the finish line—it’s about embracing the ups and downs, drawing strength from teamwork, and finding the courage to keep moving forward, one step at a time.

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