For three days, the Ukrainian festival of hotel and restaurant business — HoReCaSHOW Lviv gathered business owners, top managers of hospitality companies, and real stars of Ukrainian show business.

Ribas Hotels Group also participated in this large-scale event. We spoke to the festival Director, chef, oceanman 2018 champion, and co-founder of the Chef's UA AWARDS, .

— Ivan, you crossed the Bosphorus in the summer. Is there anything in common between the six-and-a-half-kilometer butterfly race and the organization of an event on a national scale?

— When it gets hard for everyone on the third leg, we add strength to have a handicap at the finish. This is my sports strategy that helps in business. And it always works, believe me.

As for HoReCaSHOW Lviv, I brought this idea from America. However, there it is a purely restaurant event. Our event was divided into several vectors: exhibition part, lectures, cooking classes. That is, some guests bought tickets specifically to attend lectures, while others did not leave the zone of master classes from leading chefs of Ukraine.

By the way, we have a rule: we invite all speakers without fees. We explain that we provide a platform for them to develop their business as well. We'll stick to this rule as long as we can.

— The restaurant industry was really very wide open at the festival.

— It's closer to me now. But I understand that in the future I need to divide this event into three areas. That is, first only: hotel and restaurant. Then we'll add bar.

By the way, I think hotels are a very interesting vector of development, because they have higher budgets and standards. In other words, there are standards in principle. Therefore, we will develop together. I will say more: we are planning a hotel forum in the spring.

— By the way, every year we hold training events. Last year we went to Bukovel with a series of lectures. This year, we held a two-day intensive event for hoteliers in the southern region. So we could consolidate our efforts.

— You know, I look normal in a tuxedo and would love to wear it to properly integrate into the hotel industry. In addition, I can join your seminars as a volunteer. I like to gain experience and believe that all people have some tools of their own. I am interested in getting them and implementing them in some projects.

— Ivan, at HoReCaSHOW Lviv 2018, people who have already become brands performed: for example, Dima Borisov, Yevgeny Klopotenko, Oksana and Taras Seredyuki, and others. However, people are always interested in the backstage. Tell us, what was the most difficult part of preparing and holding the event?

— Retain partners. It seems to me that the reason is the upcoming elections. Big business saves money. This is a strategy. And we are in such a flow. I do not agree with this strategy, because there is practical experience in which Lviv bypassed market leaders during the crisis in 2008 and 2014.

Lviv then continued to work and was a kind of outlet. We were in mourning every day, but people were working. And the guests came, came, came. They completely replaced the foreigners who were afraid of anxiety. But the lions have not ceased to earn. And this only confirms that when we gain momentum in moments of decline, we get a handicap at the finish. And we will have a long finish.

— Apparently, you are not going to stop at holding large-scale events in Lviv. But, as you have noticed, many business owners save their budget. Share three tools to scale your business during this difficult period.

1. Marketing.

We can't do without it right now, and we have to keep that in mind. If our company is not a global or market leader, then we simply have to promote our product. In other words, there is never enough marketing.

2. Reinvestment.

Now everyone is focused on profit. However, it is necessary to increase the percentage of reinvestment in order to gain momentum when everyone, on the contrary, accumulates resources and reduces advertising budgets. The field is wide open. People don't have enough to show. They are ready to see your product. Go ahead!

Thus, reinvestment by increasing the volume of promotion can become a winning tool. For example, we have 20% on our development account. Increase them to forty and, definitely, in 2-3 years you will have an increase of 60%.

3. Staff.

They are known to solve everything. (smiles) to be honest, I don't know exactly what to do now to get qualified staff. I think we should use some kind of partner programs and attract people to our business. I know interesting examples where owners give up a share of their business in order to get qualified staff. So that he works not for a salary and with great enthusiasm. When you turn an employee into a partner in your business, they automatically stop being the person who sucks your budget. He becomes a specialist who wants to get more benefits together with you.

— Thank you for the conversation. We hope to see you not only in a chef's jacket, but also in a tuxedo at events of the hotel segment.

— Necessarily. I am absolutely open to any suggestions and ideas.

Christina Vier spoke