Strategically on course thanks to courage and leadership

Strategically on course thanks to courage and leadership

The delegates' meeting (DV) of GastroGraubunden takes place every year in a different tourism region. After the host cities of Poschiavo and Davos, the largest hospitality employers' association in Graubunden organized the 109th edition of the event. issue in Savognin, as GastroGraubunden announced on Wednesday. The place where in 1978 pioneers started the first snowmaking system in the Alpine region and tourists from all over Europe made a pilgrimage there. On 28. March 2023, 150 representatives of the hotel industry, gastronomy, mountain railroads, politics, administration, business and education traveled to the family-friendly Jufa Hotel in the freshly snow-covered Val Surses.

Turnover partly better than before Corona

Although snow was scarce last winter, Franz Sepp Caluori, president of GastroGraubunden, had good news to report: "Most businesses had a very good winter season in terms of turnover – like before Corona or even better."However, it is also clear that the challenges for the hotel and catering industry are neither decreasing nor diminishing. The shortage of labor continues to worsen, a major consequence of demographic change.

Studies forecast a gap of 32,000 full-time jobs for the canton of Graubunden by 2040. This because more people are retiring than new ones entering the labor market and the economy is growing at the same time. "There are no quick and short-term patent solutions. For this challenge, we need patience and, above all, staying power," says Caluori.

Converting unused real estate into living space

The industry association wants to tackle the "small and big mountains" in partnership and across sectors. With its more than 1000 members from the hotel and catering industry, with partner associations and politics. From the latter, GastroGraubunden demands, among other things, urgent relaxation of the third-country regulation and official adjustments to the retirement age, so that retirees can remain in the industry at least with part-time jobs. The association also wants to work for more attractive living and working conditions in Graubunden, especially in tourism. Franz Sepp Caluori sees a feasible option, for example, in converting vacant municipal buildings, schools and hotels into living space.

Leading members instead of managing them

GastroGraubunden is strategically on track. The new strategy 2023-2026 follows on from the previous one and comprises four fields of action: Education and training, promotion of young talent, policy and cooperation, and sustainability. The focus is on measures against staff shortages, for more junior staff and for the professionalization of all levels of work. Furthermore, the association wants to make its members fit for the future: ecologically, economically and socially sustainable.

For the first time, GastroGraubunden has formulated a vision for the hotel and catering industry, showing that it wants to lead rather than just manage its members. "We show what's coming for the industry and offer tools to prepare for it," says executive director Marc Tischhauser. The vision is: "In 2030, the Graubunden hotel and restaurant industry will be progressive, traditional, inspiring and courageous. The offer is of high quality and makes a quantum leap in sustainability, regionality and digitalization. We actively communicate our values and successes to the public and thereby strengthen the image of the industry. Employees and guests appreciate us. We live the hospitality of the Grisons."

The vision should appeal to the simple broom pub as well as the luxurious 5-star hotel and at the same time serve as a beacon for the association. Moderated by Melanie Salis, President Franz Sepp Caluori and Managing Director Marc Tischhauser explained the vision and emphasized that every business must find its own way between tradition and innovation.

Foodsave instead of Foodwaste – 30 pioneers wanted until the end of May

GastroGraubunden wants to make a quantum leap in regionalization, which, according to Caluori, "has to be visible and measurable". The goal is to save several tons of food by 2030. Foodsave instead of Foodwaste is the motto on which Markus Hurschler, Managing Partner of the consulting firm Foodways, gave an input presentation. He showed how food waste can be reduced in establishments and highlighted the various benefits for restaurateurs. "If you do pioneering work on this issue, you can score points with young people as an employer," Hurschler knows. In addition, it has social, meaningful and team-building effects.

The Foodsave project is supported by the Canton of Graubunden and numerous partners. Experience shows that catering businesses save an average of 35 percent on food after the one-year project phase. GastroGraubunden is looking for 30 pioneering businesses to start the Foodsave project in June or August. The deadline for applications is the end of May 2023.

High praise from politicians

As invited guests, Tarzisus Caviezel, President of the Chamber of Commerce, and Marcus Caduff, Member of the Government, addressed the hotel and catering industry. Caviezel emphasized its great importance for the canton and the national economy and expressed his thanks and appreciation to the restaurateurs. "Every place in Graubunden has a restaurant, and Graubunden hospitality is a culinary experience for which people travel from near and far," Caviezel said. Government Councillor Marcus Caduff built a bridge from the snowmaking pioneers in Savognin to the present day. "This spirit of innovation is still in demand in the tourism industry". The current situation is paradoxical, he said: "Tourist demand is high, but due to a lack of staff, the supply is only available at a reduced level". The Minister of Economy also stressed that the future is in the hands of all together. "I can neither place workers nor build staff housing. But I can offer a hand for pilot projects," said Caduff. For the latter, he said, the canton has a commitment credit of 40 million francs.

Voting and networking

The delegates approved the annual accounts 2022 as well as all statutory proposals. After a tour of the Jufa Hotel followed by an aperitif, a shuttle bus took those present to the historic Hotel Piz Mitgel, where a good 150 guests enjoyed fine cuisine with lively discussions and networking.

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