The operator’s CEO Keith Knowles has vowed that Beds & Bars will offer a bed, with breakfast and a daily dinner, in any of its UK hostels to members of staff with the launch of LoveHouse amid the instability brought to the hospitality sector by Covid-19.
With more than 50 nationalities represented among Beds & Bars staff – with a large number comprising European, Australian and New Zealand expats who have emigrated to the UK to work – many of its team members are unable to return home in light of travel restrictions.
An employee must either work for Beds & Bars or have recently worked for them and taken the decision to leave due to employment uncertainty in order to qualify for temporary housing.
“During these difficult times, we have a responsibility to protect and support our incredible people who form the backbone of our business,” Knowles explained.
“It’s the least we could do to ensure nobody is without a home. They are welcome to stay with us so they don’t have to go through this unprecedented situation alone.
“We’re doing what we can to make their situation better and putting strict health and safety procedures in place at each venue, as recommended by the World Health Organisation.”
Health and wellbeing of utmost importance
While announcing the launch of LoveHouse, Beds & Bars confirmed that almost 95% of its staff had been placed on furlough or its European equivalent since it closed both its venues in the UK and on the Continent throughout the beginning of March.
“We are very pleased to say that we held out for as long as we financially could and did not lose any UK team members, only saying farewell to those that decided to head back home to stay with family if they could, while the storm passes,” managing director Murray Roberts explained. “We are very grateful for the team’s trust in us, and us in them.”
The group also explained that alongside a packed weekly schedule of live streaming, including activities such as yoga, meditation, exercise classes, live DJ sets beamed from living rooms and dance challenges, it is maintaining staff engagement via Facebook Workplace.
“The health and wellbeing of our amazing people is of utmost importance, and we will continue to put them first throughout the Coronavirus crisis,” marketing and sales director Sophie Herbert added.
“It is important to keep everyone as engaged as possible because this is a difficult time for everyone, especially for those who are away from home.
“Shortly, this will all be over and we will want our community to come back positive, feeling refreshed and prepared – ready to rebuild our incredible business and come out of this bigger and better.”