Interview between Fabrice Collet, CEO B&B Hotels and Vanguélis Panayotis, CEO MKG Consulting. The time of a confined coffee (Le temps d’un café confiné), return on the Coronavirus crisis and its impact on the B&B Hotels group. Video of the interview in available in French.
How were those first few weeks?
“It was very hard psychologically because the goal of a hotelier is not to stop welcoming people, stop serving breakfast and have empty hotels… It was complicated because we had to do something we had never done before. No one has ever had to do what our generation is doing now. […] It causes real problems, a hotel is not meant to be closed, there is no metal shutter you can pull. […] There’s also something positive, it was an extraordinary group effort with an absolutely sublime will, commitment and dedication from the teams.”
Crises reveal the level of mutual support and solidarity within the group, in your case it was revealing
“Yes, it’s not a myth. It’s something I think is specific to the profession as a whole, you’re not a hotelier by chance. You’re a hotelier because you naturally have the values of hospitality, solidarity, conviviality and strong human relations. […] At B&B there is also a strong attachment to our values, our brand and our history. This has produced extraordinary results. […] It has been done with the same impetus throughout Europe, with courage and commitment.”