As the Minister for Hospitality debate in Parliament approaches, support for Claire Bosi’s ministerial campaign is growing. Evidenced by The Company of Entrepreneurs, a Company of the City of London earlier this week hosting ‘Hollering for Hospitality’, a live Zoom event that focused on how to maximise the opportunity.
Introduced and compered by highly acclaimed former BBC presenter Jon Hammond, the session saw a panel of industry leaders discuss and debate the need for a minister, and how to best support the initiative.
Kate Nicholls OBE, CEO, UKHospitality opened the event before heading off to a meeting at No 10 Downing Street.
Nicholls was eloquent setting out the scope and scale of hospitality and the benefits to government from it. The most significant being £1 in every £3 of hospitality industry revenues going back to The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak.
Nicholls was forthright saying: “We need a voice at the top table of government, a strong voice, a champion of hospitality, standing up for the need for more money and more support.”
Claire Bosi, Editor, Chef & Restaurant magazine followed underlining her first hand experience of running hospitality businesses before entering media.
Bosi cited how Albert Roux, OBE, KFO who sadly passed away on Monday, led a revolution alongside his brother Michel and many others taking British restaurants to the top table of global cuisine. Following that journey to the top table of government is Bosi’s objective, and she made her point fluently.
Bosi said: “What other country can do a pub like the UK? None, and just like France and Italy are rightly so proud of their hospitality industries, so should we.
“The idea of having a Minister for Hospitality has been with me for years, especially when I was operating Michelin starred restaurants. We were always so busy though, it’s a shame it has taken a pandemic to make time to activate the campaign, but the time is now, and I am delighted with the support it has been given to date.
“Hospitality needs to be in and amongst the political discussions and decisions at the top table of government. We need to be pro-active not reactive. It’s not just about money, it’s about influence.”
Tony Matharu is a serial entrepreneur, the founder and Chairman of Integrity International Group, a former winner of ‘Best Small Hotel Company’ and ‘Hotelier of the Year’. Matharu most recently founded London’s latest independent hotel chain, Blue Orchid Hotels. He spoke passionately and immediately expanded the discussion to the diverse network of suppliers and others impacted through hospitality businesses being forced to close due to the pandemic.
Matharu stated his view clearly saying: “The appointment of a Minister for Hospitality is vital. It needs to sit alongside a roadmap for hospitality, not just to survive, but to lead a recovery for UK PLC.
“Hospitality drives jobs, we build and operate hotels, we employ architects, constructors, IT networks, as well as all the key roles necessary to operate hotels when open.
“Given the opportunity hospitality can be at the forefront of a recovery, but it needs a long term plan from the Minister for Hospitality that we can all be a part of.”
Restaurateurs Pervin and Cyrus Todiwala OBE as always were enthusiastic. They reflected on the diverse team of people needed to run restaurants successfully, as well as the chance to do so more effectively in partnership with government support. Pervin led the Team Todiwala input to the discussions saying: “It’s all about people. From the unnoticed majority of silent people working away quietly doing their jobs diligently, to industry leaders with a voice. We must all work together, and we need a Minister for Hospitality heading up our team.”
Cyrus then followed Pervin’s theme saying: “Every chef knows that the KP is the most important member of a kitchen team. Everyone in hospitality is part of a wonderful industry and now is the time to come together, everyone at every level needs to back a Minister for Hospitality right now.”
Cyrus then explained how over many years he had been involved with both central and local governments to improve hospitality, particularly in education and training. He provided numerous examples of well-intentioned plans from government falling by the wayside. Summing up he stated: “Hospitality touches everyone in the UK, and for that reason and many others, a Minister for Hospitality is essential.”
Next to speak was Andrew Richardson, managing director of Home House Collection which features London’s most exclusive private members’ club. Richardson took a big picture view, focusing on consumer confidence and institutional investment. “We are living through the worst recession for 300 years and hospitality has the dubious honour of being the most impacted from it. As Tony and others have said, we need a Minister for Hospitality and we need that minister to lead the creation of a plan for hospitality involving all key stakeholders within our industry. It can be done.
“Home House Collection operates in one of the few truly global cities, London. As a global city that is home to tens of thousands of hospitality businesses we can lead the way in recovery. We now need a Minister for Hospitality to help restore consumer and investor confidence fueling demand and the fulfilment of that demand. The London Olympics in 2012 showed what we can do broadcasting UK hospitality into homes across the globe, showcasing exactly what we are capable of. Let’s follow that example now with the help of a Minister for Hospitality.”
Throughout the afternoon speakers roused emotions, reminding all fortunate enough to attend not just how special our hospitality industry is, but how it is truly deserving of a Minister for Hospitality.
H&C News would like to thank The Company of Entrepreneurs for the opportunity to take part in Hollering for Hospitality.
The Minister for Hospitality debate in Parliament takes place Monday 11th January 2021, 4.30pm. If you have not already signed the petition please do so here, and invite everyone you know to do the same.
News from the hospitality and catering industry is also being featured extensively in our Facebook and twitter social media accounts with the opportunity to engage with others in hospitality and share your views.
Hospitality & Catering News: Hollering for Hospitality – 7 January 2021 – Hollering for Hospitality highlights an industry deserving of a Minister
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