4 Nov 2020

Storytelling is the future of hospitality – here’s why

The lights are out, benches are wiped clean, equipment has been packed up and it’s just me under a small light fiddling alone in the factory of the first businessman to believe in me – John Guccione.

I’ve got my wrench in my hands, tightening the screws on a set of castors I’m testing for a new room service delivery system that’s taken months to perfect, and all that can be heard is the sound of metal-on-metal tinkering.

I’ve come to know these as the sounds of hard work. Of innovation in the making.

People often ask me about how IHS began, and it was there – in the after-hours when no one was around when it started – just me, a 22-year-old knock-about from a Greek migrant family, who one day decided to pursue the innovation of an idea that wouldn’t rest in my mind. I was working at the Hilton in the day and spending my nights in a factory, hoping my hard graft would pay off.

It did.

Ask any one of the world’s leading chefs we work with or hospitality figures who use our products daily, and they’ll say something similar – that there’s a story in every one of their successes and it’s that story that separates them from the rest.

It’s why we choose things over others, after all. Because it’s good. Because we know where it came from. Because we liked the story.

Beckham was famous for it – staying out on the pitch strike after strike at the net until he landed it perfectly, consistently. Lennon stayed up for days on end perfecting the right time for the lyric and the chord to meet.

It’s hard work fueled with a refusal to accept mediocre that creates genius. If you have it. You need to tell the story behind it.

Why am I saying this now?

Because people love stories. More than that – they need them. Especially now.

Because expectations of the hospitality game have changed. People don’t just expect the best – they want beyond it.

They want escape, curation, experience, theatre, thrill.

They want interaction, creativity, connection.

They want visual integration and surprises. They want to know where your food comes from, why you’re here, what you’re doing differently that makes you the best.

Or what Creative Director Franz Aliquo writes in Forbes, “this kind of interactive experience satisfies our craving for something more.”

Hospitality and conferencing at its best is the modern theatre of today, we go to be entertained and enthralled – that’s why at IHS we have created a whole new category we are calling Digital Theatrics, using the best of technology and media to bring your experiences to a whole new level.


Because post-Covid service safety standards and rules make our experiences regimented, we need to get creative and turn the obstacles into opportunities.

Let the show go on bigger and better than ever before.