The Hospitality Show: Q&A with Ellis Hospitality’s Jyoti Sarolia

The first of its kind, The Hospitality Show is a bold new event for the entire hospitality ecosystem with one shared goal: operating hotels efficiently and profitably. Brought to you by The American Hotel & Lodging Association and Hotel Management, the event will bring together top industry leaders, senior executives of hotel brands, owners, operators, management companies and procurement specialists—and their teams—to discover, network and drive profitability.

Business accelerates when the right people are in the room, and this new weekly series of speaker interviews goes 1:1 with the industry’s best and brightest as they build the inaugural event to be held June 27-29, 2023 at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas.

In this installment, we catch up with The Hospitality Show Speaker Jyoti Sarolia, co-founder and principal at Ellis Hospitality.

What issues are currently causing headaches for the industry?

Sarolia: The biggest threat facing our industry remains labor. Labor for our company is a huge line item on our expense report and there are many factors that contribute to it being a huge expense. First, employees do not want to work full time anymore and also are seeking remote work, something that the pandemic attributed to. Second, certain department employees are requesting to do project-based work vs working 40 hours a week. Third, we are also paying competitive wages and while doing so we also offer benefits that we were not able to before the pandemic. Lastly, if we place a help wanted listing, for every ten applicants, we are lucky if one shows up motivated to work in hospitality. The outlook does not look great as baby boomer’s are retiring and motivating the Gen Zs to work in our industry. They don’t like the 40-hour work week nor the unflexible schedule.   

Our second biggest threat in our industry are legislative and advocacy. For example, drive by lawsuits as well regulations like the Pro Act.  This type of misplaced legislation increases the costs of doing business along with threatening the value proposition of franchising. 

What new trends do you see affecting the hospitality industry the most in 2023? 

Sarolia: The biggest trend I see affecting the hospitality industry most in 2023 are two things for us. First, A greater focus on company culture and offering benefits beyond a salary. Second, investing in technology to improve the efficiency of our operating model.  We continue to look at ways that reduce labor hours and look into cloud base programs to drive more profitability.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity for the industry as we make our way through 2023?

Sarolia: The biggest opportunity for hoteliers would be to leverage off of our collective scale to offer our team members better benefits, especially as it relates to health insurance. 

Share one key takeaway Show attendees can expect to gain from your session.

Sarolia: Although we are in the business for ourselves, we are not in the business by ourselves. We will share some best practices on how to navigate around some of the challenges we are all facing. This type of networking and exchange will allow us to collectively improve our businesses and weather the many challenges our industry faces.