Executive Insights – Interview with Kevin Osterhaus, COO, Ennismore
Kevin Osterhaus is responsible for the global operations of The Hoxton and Ennismore’s independent restaurant group. In our latest Executive Insights interview, Kevin tells us about the creative new initiatives to not only expand the brand’s reach, but to connect and support their team members through these challenging times.
What have you learnt about your business as a result of the current pandemic? Where were you resilient and where were you vulnerable and why?
I’m proud of the resilience of The Hoxton brand in our markets. We have a strong team and it’s been rewarding to see the creativity and productivity as we’ve planned to relaunch. Flexibility has become vital and our booking strategies needed to change instantly in order to adapt. It’s been rewarding to see the response to the flexible model of our shared workspace, Working From_. Things are changing quickly right now, affecting travel, working, and dining. Our offerings and policies need to support this.
What resulting changes in strategy do you see for the future?
Our Restaurant and Bars team has been working non-stop to ensure we can creatively expand our offering and get it in front of our customers. We’ve grown our independent restaurant concepts to broaden our delivery outreach and to take advantage of our kitchen spaces across London. We’ve expedited digital initiatives like QR code menus and the ability to order and pay by mobile phone in our lobbies and guest rooms. We’ll continue to focus on creative ways to extend our reach using our existing kitchens and teams.
Innovation has always been central to the Hoxton brand, how has this continued in these challenging times?
We’re continuing to focus on creative initiatives to support our guest room, restaurant and shared workspace offerings. Now is the time – we have the inventory to get creative and learn from trying new things. Our “The Floor is Yours” initiative, offering private use of entire floors to guests, has been received very well in our markets and we have more fun surprises on the way. Camp Hox is an exciting one. We’ll learn a lot with this and we’ll explore how to be even more creative with it in the future.
This has been an incredibly hard time for team members, how have you supported your team through this period?
As you can imagine, our People teams and leadership worked hard to ensure that our teams remained connected and supported. We’ve developed a “Discover Your Best Self” series that we adapted to lockdown life with daily posts covering physical, mental, nutritional and financial well-being, to learning something new – anything from a language to photography. We introduced a global bootcamp training session every week and launched a global book club, Ennismore Reads, which has continued with a monthly video call with members from across all our sites.
We also offered resources for online mental health training. For the return to work, every team member has attended a virtual welcome back session running through our Covid polices, a refresh on our company values and opening up the conversation around mental health to reduce the stigma. Our teams have truly been amazing through this difficult time.
Hoxton has launched Camp Hox as an antidote to the city, are you a camper and do you own a pair of wellies!
I’m still shopping for the perfect pair of wellies! No, I’m not a camper but even I would enjoy Camp Hox. It has all the comforts of a Hoxton in a stunning outdoor setting. It’s obviously touched on a need…the response has been amazing!
Kevin is responsible for the global operations of The Hoxton and Ennismore’s independent restaurant group. Prior to joining Ennismore, Kevin was the President of New York based SIXTY Hotels. Before SIXTY, Kevin held the role of EVP of Operations for Standard International, overseeing hotel operations in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Kevin’s hospitality career has included leadership roles with companies such as Bunkhouse, ClubCorp Resorts, and Hyatt Hotels. Before moving to New York, Kevin spent 15 years in Austin, Texas where he acquired a taste for live music, trips to Mexico, and good margaritas. He’s passionate about the magic and community created by design, hospitality and an amazing team.