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August 2021

Calling all Jeff Manning’s of the Hotel Industry!

Let’s go back to 1993—the time when the milk industry was trying to reverse a precipitous decline in sales. Jeff Manning, Executive Director of the California Milk Processor Board and creator of the incredibly successful Got Milk? Campaign, very clearly laid out the dilemma, “Compared to the proliferation of brightly colored beverages in a myriad of imaginative packages—such as Gatorade, Snapple, Mountain Dew and Sprite—milk has an image problem.”

Milk’s dilemma in the ’90s is eerily similar to the labor crisis the hotel industry faces right now.

Much like the consumers drawn to the vibrancy of the products mentioned above, the current hotel labor force is exiting the hospitality industry at an alarming rate – just substitute Gatorade for Amazon.

Maybe it is time for the hotel industry to start thinking about the creation of their own ‘Got Milk?’ campaign.

While listening to a hotel industry podcast last week, the panel member, a leading hospitality CEO running a full-service/luxury portfolio, stated, “Intentionally, we will never go back to pre-covid staffing levels.”

Elite hospitality organizations will find this statement perplexing. However, there are too many industry decision-makers focused on labor efficiency rather than a true emotional connection with their employees (and guests). The hotel industry is on a collision course with an “employer of choice” image problem.

So, I ask again, where are the Jeff Manning’s of the hotel industry? – We need help NOW!

David Mansbach
Senior Partner