Crisis innovation: A study of Michelin-starred restaurants' strategic renewal and alignment

Debora Gottardello*, Solmaz Filiz Karabag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using the lens of crisis innovation and strategic alignment, this study explores how a segment of the restaurant sector that may be less agile than others—Michelin-starred restaurants—perceives and aligns with the challenges brought about by the COVID-19-pandemic.

The study collected data from 19 Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain using a qualitative interview method. The data were analyzed qualitatively and organized thematically.

Four key categories of strategic challenges were identified: human resources, uncertainty, control and economic challenges. In response, chefs displayed both behavioral and organizational strategies. Those organizational strategies were new human resource management, reorganization, product and service innovation and marketing. While the new human resource management actions adopted to align with the human resource challenges identified, a misalignment remains between some of the other strategic actions, such as product and service innovation, marketing and economic and uncertainty challenges.

The findings offer new insight into Michelin-starred restaurant chefs' challenges and (mis)alignment strategies, an area that has been understudied in the current literature on innovative responses in the hospitality sector post-pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Hospitality Review
Early online date5 Sep 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Sep 2022


  • crisis innovation
  • strategic alignment
  • COVID-19 challenges
  • hospitality industry
  • Michelin-starred restaurant


Dive into the research topics of 'Crisis innovation: A study of Michelin-starred restaurants' strategic renewal and alignment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this