Is the Government Taking the Hospitality Industry Seriously Enough?

A recent report entitled “Leading through Complexity” from the British Hospitality Association details how leaders in the sector view the challenges facing the hospitality industry today.

Is the Government Taking the Hospitality Industry Seriously Enough

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Key Findings

The British Hospitality association’s report has found that there is an increase in the challenge to consumer confidence and a fragile economic outlook. Uncertainty regarding the outcome of the European referendum was felt to impact hospitality businesses and most of the leaders appeared to be in favour of Britain remaining in Europe as far as the industry is concerned although less of them would personally advocate voting to remain.

Leaders did feel that the government was increasingly out of touch with the sector and its importance to the UK economy. Their criticism includes the perception that the government continually undermines and undervalues the industry. This was illustrated by comments on the changes to national minimum wage rates which were made with little or no consultation with the hospitality industry, despite the fact that over a million people are employed in hospitality.

Challenges to the Industry

Challenges include the fragile economic outlook, and leaders have stated that they need the government of the UK to make tourism and hospitality an economic priority in the same way as countries such as the United States, China and many European countries.

Expenditure on equipment remains an expense for the industry, although purchasing professional machinery such as commercial warewashers from 247catering can simplify the process. This expenditure can, of course, be set against corporation tax.

Views of Hospitality Staff

A number of the leaders commented that tips were frequently ignored by the media and the government when discussing wage rates. One particular CEO had done a survey of his 9,500 employees and found that the vast majority of them were happier to keep things as they are, although the living wage was not viewed negatively in general. Most leaders questioned felt that their companies should be given time to comply with the changes.

Hospitality and catering staff include restaurant and hotel managers, chefs, waiting staff and many with auxiliary roles in a kitchen such as operating commercial warewashers or other machinery.

A major aspect of the report is the criticism by some of the industry’s leaders of the Government’s continual “undermining and undervaluing” of the industry.