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The hospitality industry

The hospitality industry finds its wide presence in every country of the world and the industry is diverse and complex in nature. The industry encompasses a range of different freestanding businesses that together make the industry. Hospitality is also a component of several other venues whose main function is not hospitality. The overall structure of the hospitality industry can be depicted in the following table. Table: Structure of Hospitality Industry Free-Standing Hospitality Businesses Hospitality in Leisure Venues Hospitality in Travel Venues Subsidized Hospitality Hotels Casinos Airports Workplaces

Holiday centers Bingo clubs Rail stations Healthcare Quasi hotels Night clubs Bus stations Educations Cruise ships Cinemas Ferry terminals Military Time-share Theatres Aero-planes Custodial Bars Sports stadia Trains Retailers Restaurants Theme parks Ferries Attractions Health clubs Source: http://www. heacademy. ac. uk/assets/hlst/documents/johlste/vol1no1/0007. pdf Hospitality companies have started managing a range of natural activities that extends beyond the minimal renting of rooms and selling meals and drinks. The firms in the industry strive to identify and meet the changing customer demands.

This has made hospitality an integral part of leisure and several other venues, though their prime function is not that of extending hospitality. With the development in the economies, the hospitality industry is consolidated. This led

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to the replacement of unaffiliated venues by chains of hospitality businesses as the key operators in the industry. This is evident from the fact that in the UK between 1985 and 2000 quoted and unquoted hotel chains grew room stock by 56 percent of the total hotel rooms in the UK with a net average of 5300 rooms every year (The Hotel and Catereing Research Centre, 2001).

The rapid growth in the hospitality industry gave rise to the development of consultancy businesses offering varied services centering the main activities of the firms in the industry. The consulting firms offer valuable assistance and guidance to the firms in all situations whether a new facility is being built or an existing facility is to be refreshed or redeveloped. The services of the consultants encompassed several sectors within the industry including exhibitions and conference centers, healthcare, hotels and restaurants, retail and leisure and sports and stadia.

The services included development of new concepts and studying the feasibility, advising on strategies relating to the provision of food and beverages, design and planning of venues, support on operation management, auditing and monitoring the functions on an ongoing basis. The presence of such professional consultancy firms offering integrated professional services covering all facets of the business was considered extremely helpful for the growth of large and middle-sized firms in the hospitality industry.

However, with the changes in the economic scenario the external environment of the industry and the internal environments of the consulting firms in the industry have been subjected to several changes, which made the progress of the consultant firms rather sluggish. The objective of this paper is to present a comprehensive report in the context of the consulting business within the hospitality industry. By way of illustration, this paper presents a case study on Tricon Food Service Consultants UK. Analysis The hospitality industry in the United Kingdom has employed more than 1.

96 million people as of the year 2007. This represents a 5 percent increase adding 94,400 more people to those working in the industry during 2006. There has been a higher inflow in the hospitality services sector, which showed an increase of 6. 9 percent during 2007 adding 27,100 new people (caterersearch, 2008). With a view to present, a report in the context of consulting business in the hospitality industry, which is growing, analysis of the internal and external environment of the hospitality industry in general, and the consulting business in particular was undertaken.

An integrated understanding of the external and internal environments is essential for firms to understand the present and predict the future (Zahra & George, 2002; Sirman et al, 2003). The firm’s external environment is divided in to the general environment, the industry environment, and the competitor environment. The general environment is composed of dimensions in the broader society that influence an industry and the firms within it (Hitt et al, 2002; Hamel & Valikangas, 2003). The industry environment is the set of factors that directly influences a firm and its competitive actions and competitive responses (Fahey, 1999).

The PEST analysis is an important tool that can be employed to assess the external environment. An important objective of studying the general environment is identifying the opportunities and threats. Compared to the general environment the industry environment often has a more direct effect on the firm’s strategic competitiveness and above-average returns. The industry environment and the intensity of competitiveness in the industry can be gauged by using the Porters Five Forces Model

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