The petition for a Minister for Hospitality was created by Chef & Restaurant Magazine’s Editor Claire Bosi, back in October. Since then it has attracted over 40,000 signatories, and at the same time frustration from some in our industry that it is not already closer to its target of 100,000.
At 100,000 the petition’s motion will be considered for debate in Parliament. You can add your name to it here.
Earlier today a ZOOM call saw circa 100 hospitality people come together to plan the next phase of the campaign for a Minister for Hospitality.
The meeting was chaired by Robin Hutson, Chairman & CEO, The Pig Hotel, Lime Wood Group, who joins many others across the industry in getting wholeheartedly behind the petition campaign.
In his introduction Hutson announced that Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive, UKHospitality was unable to make the call but had pledged her full commitment to the cause and that of UKHospitality.
Tom Kerridge, owner of Two Michelin star pub The Hand & Flowers followed Hutson with a rousing address underlining the importance of hospitality as part of the very fabric of the UK, and the need for young people in the industry to get involved with the campaign.
Kerridge was followed by Harry Murray MBE, Chairman Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, who in true statesmanlike fashion covered much of what hospitality had achieved over the past 30 years that it can rightly be so very proud of.
Murray then reminded all on the call: “We are also in the happiness business and play a huge role in lifting the spirits and well-being of the nation.” Echoing what had been said by Kerridge and much to the appreciation of all attending.
Freya Morton and Lydia Rigby, alongside a group of ‘young’ management trainees within Home Grown Hotels have created #SEATATTHETABLE, an online campaign to inform people of the petition and its importance to not only the hospitality industry, but the nation as a whole. Rigby and Morton who both work with The Pig Hotel then presented the strategy and tactics that all in the industry can get behind and be a part of, #SEATATTHETABLE. A new dedicated website has all details here.
Over the next 30 days more than 90 hospitality providers will be featured as part of #SEATATTHETABLE which will be executed primarily through social media, with Instagram central to reaching a young hospitality audience. A variety of social media and other marketing assets have been created by Rigby and Morton featuring many of the ‘names’ that were on the ZOOM call.
Angela Hartnett, Chef and Proprietor, Murano then spoke keeping her message simple, again underlining the importance of targeting youth in our industry. Hartnett had also spoken with Gordon Ramsay and secured his support for #SEATATTHETABLE, which will help significantly.
Claire Bosi, Editor, Chef & Restaurant Magazine was invited by Robin Hudson to then address the call as the creator of the petition that has attracted a tsunami of industry support to date, that undoubtedly will grow in the days and weeks ahead.
Bosi spoke with presence and passion comparing the link between hospitality and government in France and Italy in stark contrast to that in the UK. The summary of Bosi’s observations being that the hospitality industry in the UK needs to look to our continental counterparts and aim to mimic the relationships they enjoy with government and society as a whole. A strong message and one that we all know needs to be interwoven through everything we do.
Prior to the close of the meeting a number of people put forward ideas and pledged to initiate action.
Molly Shaher, Chair, Professional Association for Catering Education assured all in attendance that today she would send details of #SEATATTHETABLE to more than 100 colleges across the UK. The way she pledged her action reassured all it was as good as done already.
Claire Bosi summed up the morning session eloquently saying: “To see young hospitality professionals pouring their time and energy into supporting the petition for a Minister for Hospitality fills me with confidence that our industry’s future is in great hands.
“It has never been more important for government to recognise the economic and social value of our sector. We must encourage more youth into our industry, we must recover and rebuild after this pandemic. We need to attract investment and tourism back to the UK and hospitality is a key driver for this.
“Our government must realise and recognise the value of the hospitality sector and invest in us, as an industry, by giving us a #seatatthetable.”
The event was quite something to be a part of. An industry getting together and mobilising an action plan that undoubtedly will realise its goal.
A feeling of family of hospitality pervaded.