Great place to grow

In addition to concerns about his employees, Seib also has a complicated job replacing people who have already left. "We did our best to keep as many people as possible, but we had to let some go. Now that things are picking up, filling all those positions can be challenging. I think we’re an attractive employer and I’m proud that our employee surveys are always very positive. Employee satisfaction was even higher than usual during the Covid pandemic, and I’m very proud to say that we were named Top Employer in 2021. But despite all of that, it’s still incredibly difficult to find people."

Of course, as an employer you have to offer a great place to work, but Seib firmly believes that the hospitality industry also needs to be a great place to grow if they want a shot in the battle for talent. "Employer branding is a key focal point, not just for us, but for the entire hospitality industry. As an industry, we've done ourselves a disservice in recent years by treating hospitality work as a transitional job. Something you do temporarily before you find something else. We need to start marketing it as a career with a good salary, professional prospects, and development opportunities, otherwise we'll never be able to retain our talent."

walterseib.jpg

unlock & roll

  5 min

interview

"The most important thing is your people"

cirkel-wit.svg
cirkel-wit.svg (copy)
cirkel-wit.svg (copy1)
cirkel-wit.svg (copy2)
cirkel-wit.svg (copy2)

When Covid brought the world to a standstill, HMSHost International took one of the biggest hits. With food concepts in high traffic locations in 19 countries, business screeched to a halt virtually overnight. Now that the world seems to be opening up, HMSHost International is also refocusing. Food Inspiration spoke with CEO Walter Seib. 

Joost Scholten   HMSHost International, Chantal Arnts en Koos Groenewold  Xiao Er Kong

CEO HMSHost International Walter Seib sees his company as a great place to grow

HMSHost International is a large organisation, but their work on multiple continents and in different cultures has always kept them flexible. Seib believes that approach is paying off as the world slowly starts to reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic. "No one has a script for a pandemic. You have to move smoothly as an organisation and the most important thing is involving your people in every development. There’s fear, sickness, and uncertainty about work and the future. Employees who are suddenly without work during a pandemic are also at real risk of feeling lonely and aimless. Some people in our organisation were really struggling. Of course, we aren't doctors, but we try to help employees who are suffering through the effects of the pandemic with programmes designed to boost mental health. It’s been tough financially, but we’ll recover. I’m more concerned about how hard it has been emotionally for a lot of our people. Everyone, young and old, has suffered in their own way with being alone and unable to do their job. The Covid pandemic was a very vulnerable time for quite a lot of people."

hmshost_utrecht-stadskamer_comptoir-libanais-utrecht.jpg

© Chantal Arnts

HMSHost International is a large organisation, but their work on multiple continents and in different cultures has always kept them flexible. Seib believes that approach is paying off as the world slowly starts to reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic. "No one has a script for a pandemic. You have to move smoothly as an organisation and the most important thing is involving your people in every development. There’s fear, sickness, and uncertainty about work and the future. Employees who are suddenly without work during a pandemic are also at real risk of feeling lonely and aimless. Some people in our organisation were really struggling. Of course, we aren't doctors, but we try to help employees who are suffering through the effects of the pandemic with programmes designed to boost mental health. It’s been tough financially, but we’ll recover. I’m more concerned about how hard it has been emotionally for a lot of our people. Everyone, young and old, has suffered in their own way with being alone and unable to do their job. The Covid pandemic was a very vulnerable time for quite a lot of people."

hmshost_schiphol_amsterdam-bread-co.jpg

©  HMSHost International

hmshost_roermond_starbucks.jpg

©  HMSHost International

the magic of the guest

The time to look ahead is now tentatively here. Seib is looking forward to reconnecting personally with his team. "I am really looking forward to travelling again. In the last few years I'd started to tire of spending so much of my time on the road, but now I can't wait. I’m especially looking forward to looking the people on our global team in the eye again, thanking them for their work, supporting them, and celebrating that we overcame this difficult time together. I want to share that pride and spread it. And everyone in our organisation is looking forward to welcoming guests again. That is the lifeblood of our brand and our work: making guests who are often on the road happy with that little frisson of excitement that comes with a flight or business trip. We’ve all missed that magic.

happiness

"I believe that the number of particularly short business trips is declining with the rise in online conferencing. But overall, I believe in growth for our industry and I have a very positive outlook on the future. Personally, I’m a happy-go-lucky person. I’ve been through a lot in my life and I know how important it is to enjoy the now instead of always chasing after the next thing and more. I didn't need a pandemic to give me that insight. I find my happiness in music, in a good conversation, or in a new encounter, but the trick is to fill yourself with that and not already be thinking about the next thing. And take good care of yourself, then you can take care of other people. That’s the most important thing there is.”

hmshost_schiphol_amsterdam-bread-co3.jpg

©  HMSHost International

hmshost_schiphol_amsterdam-bread-co3.jpg

©  HMSHost International

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.
facebook twitter linkedin insta insta (copy)
walterseib.jpg

  5 min

"The most important thing is your people"

CEO HMSHost International Walter Seib sees his company as a great place to grow

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.

When Covid brought the world to a standstill, HMSHost International took one of the biggest hits. With food concepts in high traffic locations in 19 countries, business screeched to a halt virtually overnight. Now that the world seems to be opening up, HMSHost International is also refocusing. Food Inspiration spoke with CEO Walter Seib. 

Joost Scholten   HMSHost International, Chantal Arnts en Koos Groenewold  Xiao Er Kong

cirkel-wit.svg

HMSHost International is a large organisation, but their work on multiple continents and in different cultures has always kept them flexible. Seib believes that approach is paying off as the world slowly starts to reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic. "No one has a script for a pandemic. You have to move smoothly as an organisation and the most important thing is involving your people in every development. There’s fear, sickness, and uncertainty about work and the future. Employees who are suddenly without work during a pandemic are also at real risk of feeling lonely and aimless. Some people in our organisation were really struggling. Of course, we aren't doctors, but we try to help employees who are suffering through the effects of the pandemic with programmes designed to boost mental health. It’s been tough financially, but we’ll recover. I’m more concerned about how hard it has been emotionally for a lot of our people. Everyone, young and old, has suffered in their own way with being alone and unable to do their job. The Covid pandemic was a very vulnerable time for quite a lot of people."

HMSHost International is a large organisation, but their work on multiple continents and in different cultures has always kept them flexible. Seib believes that approach is paying off as the world slowly starts to reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic. "No one has a script for a pandemic. You have to move smoothly as an organisation and the most important thing is involving your people in every development. There’s fear, sickness, and uncertainty about work and the future. Employees who are suddenly without work during a pandemic are also at real risk of feeling lonely and aimless. Some people in our organisation were really struggling. Of course, we aren't doctors, but we try to help employees who are suffering through the effects of the pandemic with programmes designed to boost mental health. It’s been tough financially, but we’ll recover. I’m more concerned about how hard it has been emotionally for a lot of our people. Everyone, young and old, has suffered in their own way with being alone and unable to do their job. The Covid pandemic was a very vulnerable time for quite a lot of people."

cirkel-wit.svg (copy)
hmshost_utrecht-stadskamer_comptoir-libanais-utrecht.jpg

© Chantal Arnts

cirkel-wit.svg (copy1)
hmshost_roermond_starbucks.jpg

©  HMSHost International

the magic of the guest

The time to look ahead is now tentatively here. Seib is looking forward to reconnecting personally with his team. "I am really looking forward to travelling again. In the last few years I'd started to tire of spending so much of my time on the road, but now I can't wait. I’m especially looking forward to looking the people on our global team in the eye again, thanking them for their work, supporting them, and celebrating that we overcame this difficult time together. I want to share that pride and spread it. And everyone in our organisation is looking forward to welcoming guests again. That is the lifeblood of our brand and our work: making guests who are often on the road happy with that little frisson of excitement that comes with a flight or business trip. We’ve all missed that magic.

hmshost_schiphol_amsterdam-bread-co.jpg

©  HMSHost International

happiness

"I believe that the number of particularly short business trips is declining with the rise in online conferencing. But overall, I believe in growth for our industry and I have a very positive outlook on the future. Personally, I’m a happy-go-lucky person. I’ve been through a lot in my life and I know how important it is to enjoy the now instead of always chasing after the next thing and more. I didn't need a pandemic to give me that insight. I find my happiness in music, in a good conversation, or in a new encounter, but the trick is to fill yourself with that and not already be thinking about the next thing. And take good care of yourself, then you can take care of other people. That’s the most important thing there is.”

cirkel-wit.svg (copy2)
hmshost_schiphol_amsterdam-bread-co3.jpg

©  HMSHost International

Great place to grow

In addition to concerns about his employees, Seib also has a complicated job replacing people who have already left. "We did our best to keep as many people as possible, but we had to let some go. Now that things are picking up, filling all those positions can be challenging. I think we’re an attractive employer and I’m proud that our employee surveys are always very positive. Employee satisfaction was even higher than usual during the Covid pandemic, and I’m very proud to say that we were named Top Employer in 2021. But despite all of that, it’s still incredibly difficult to find people."

Of course, as an employer you have to offer a great place to work, but Seib firmly believes that the hospitality industry also needs to be a great place to grow if they want a shot in the battle for talent. "Employer branding is a key focal point, not just for us, but for the entire hospitality industry. As an industry, we've done ourselves a disservice in recent years by treating hospitality work as a transitional job. Something you do temporarily before you find something else. We need to start marketing it as a career with a good salary, professional prospects, and development opportunities, otherwise we'll never be able to retain our talent."

cirkel-wit.svg (copy2)

Overview magazines

Food Inspiration Magazine is the online magazine for foodservice professionals in search of inspiration and innovation. With the magazine we collect, enrich and spread inspiration. The free subscription magazine is published eight times per year and is an abundant source of inspiration for food and hospitality professionals. Our readers can be found in the U.S., Northern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Fullscreen