Brushing up on responsible consumerism with Hilari Voorthuis of Accor

Brushing up on responsible consumerism with Hilari Voorthuis of Accor

Responsible for bringing restaurants and bars to the forefront of Accor’s hotels, Hilari Voorthuis, F&B manager of Accor India, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, explains responsible consumerism in all its forms.

What is responsible consumerism and how are customers embracing it?
As consumers, we are confronted with the reality that our way of life is no longer sustainable if we are to save the environment. Being a responsible consumer is about being conscious of the choices we make, actively opting for goods and services that positively impact our future and reducing our ecological and carbon footprints.
People no longer want to be bystanders; there is a noticeable shift in how people choose their food, fashion and travel, but this doesn’t mean it’s enough. There’s a struggle in moving toward sustainable options because of the lack of infrastructure, availability, high prices and convenience.  

How are Accor’s F&B outlets embracing responsible consumerism?
We prefer to communicate it as conscious consumerism. As property managers, we should be helping and encouraging our guests and teams toward responsible consumerism, recognizing that one of the key levers to make that change is positive messaging. People feel more empowered to make a change if the message is straightforward and optimistically formulated, like providing a choice of being conscious rather than forcing the “burden” of responsibility on someone.
Besides communication, the transition toward sustainable choice needs to be easy. We have adopted a holistic approach, looking at the full circle: building, sourcing, technology, training courses and even menus.

How would you describe customers’ attitudes toward sustainability and nutritional menu labels?
People have different preferences as to how they want to be informed about a particular topic. Thoughtful nutrition is an established trend that’s been given a boost by the pandemic, as people have become more aware of their own mental, cognitive and physical wellbeing, and the effect food can have through the “second brain.” They are increasingly aware that a well-balanced diet that includes less meat is not only good for the body, it is also good for the planet. In short, conscious consumerism has the support of our guests, and it’s here to stay.


For her full FHS session, you can find it here:

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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