In this week’s news we applaud a campaign to attract new talent to hospitality in the face of growing vacancies and celebrate one restaurant’s community spirit. We also recognise the challenges that rising costs are having on the sector with the prospect of a £7 pint of beer and hope a call to our new PM to support hospitality is heeded.
Major hospitality recruitment drive launched
A new campaign billed as the UK’s biggest hospitality recruitment initiative has been launched to help fill the industry’s 400,000 vacancies. Hospitality Rising’s ‘Rise Fast, Work Young’ campaign has widespread support and aims to attract new recruits by showcasing the opportunities that come with a career in hospitality. It wants to inspire the next generation of talent and attract Gen Z job seekers who might not have considered hospitality as a career choice. It will highlight how quickly workers can climb the hospitality ladder with the message ‘you can’t go further faster.’ Backers include Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge.
The £7 a pint warning
The rising cost of living is enough to get us crying into our beer, but now comes a warning that we may be headed for the £7 pint. A Scottish brewer has warned that increased production costs, from the price of raw ingredients to higher energy bills, plus the scrapping of the alcohol duty freeze, could drive up the average price of a pint of beer to £7 in some cities. Brewgooder chief executive Alan Mahon fears spiralling costs could be a bigger long-term challenge to the industry than Covid lockdowns. Let’s hope not and that people continue to support their local pubs.
Our new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has a tough job ahead to meet the challenges facing the country. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls has called on him to help the sector in the face of rising energy costs, workforce shortages and waning customer confidence. He helped before as Chancellor during the Covid pandemic so she hopes he can work with the sector again. In particular she has urged him to extend business rates relief, reform the entire business rates system in the longer term and lower the current rate of VAT. There is no doubt hospitality needs support so we wish her well.
Serving the community
Despite tough times, there are venues up and down the country doing their bit to support the communities they serve. So let’s celebrate Persian restaurant Toot in Plymouth which fed children for free throughout this week’s half-term school holiday. The offer to help struggling families was open to children under 12 accompanied by a paying adult. Owner Edmond Davari’s generosity came after Toot was named in England’s top three Persian restaurants.