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More than half of sector’s ethnic minority staff have witnessed racism at work, reshuffles at M&B and Nightcap

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

People moves: the latest news on people moves, jobs and training from across the pub sector
People moves: the latest news on people moves, jobs and training from across the pub sector

Related tags: Racism, equality, Jdw, London, Mitchells & butlers, Pubco + head office, Jobs

On top of senior changes at Mitchells & Butlers and Nightcap and the launch of a Jobcentre Plus initiative by UKHospitality, Be Inclusive Hospitality has attempted to shine a light on the state of ethnic diversity in the hospitality industry.

Over 50% of hospitality staff from black, Asian or ethnic minority backgrounds have experienced racism at work

According to a new report by Be Inclusive Hospitality, more than half of hospitality professionals from black, Asian or ethnic minority backgrounds surveyed reported that they have witnessed or experienced racism in the workplace.

Published in June 2021, the body’s Inside Hospitality Report​ also found that of hospitality professionals surveyed, 42% of mixed hospitality professionals felt that their race or ethnicity has hindered their career progression, while 56% of Asian hospitality professionals and 41% of black hospitality professionals felt the same.  

By comparison, just 7% of white hospitality professionals felt their race or ethnicity has hindered their career progression. 

The report also uncovered a “clear appetite for education and training around race and ethnicity in the workplace”, with 60% of all hospitality professionals saying that while they have not received any staff training and education around race, ethnicity or anti-racism at work, they find the idea appealing. 

Only 28% of hospitality professionals surveyed have received training or education around race, ethnicity or anti-racism to date.

“I am a firm believer that you cannot monitor and improve if you do not measure, and I am dedicated to improving the industry for the better,” Be Inclusive Hospitality’s founder Lorraine Copes said in the report’s foreword. 

“This is the first Be Inclusive Hospitality survey taking a snapshot of the experiences of hospitality professionals, and this survey will be run on an annual basis with the hope of tracking positive change.”


UKH launches Jobcentre Plus initiative  

Hospitality trade body UK Hospitality (UKH) has joined forces with the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) to create a Jobcentre Plus scheme to promote sector opportunities to jobseekers. 

As part of the initiative, UKH will run sessions in tandem with Jobcentre Plus work coaches in every region of England, as well as across Scotland and Wales, to promote the hospitality sector’s full range of job opportunities. 

“We’re delighted to be working with the government to restore confidence in a sector which is a stable employer for millions of skilled and unskilled workers across a wide range of diverse roles, and which can play a constructive role in tackling unemployment,” UKH CEO Kate Nicholls said of the scheme. 

“Staff at all levels play a crucial role delivering wonderful hospitality at the very heart of their local communities and employers large and small offer high-class training schemes, apprenticeships and career development pathways,” she continued.

What’s more, Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP added: “It’s been a challenging time for the hospitality sector but our roadmap is giving employers the confidence to hire, and our brilliant Work Coaches are helping them recruit local talent.

“At the same time, our Plan for Jobs is levelling up opportunity across the UK, supporting workers of all ages to retrain, build new skills, and get back into work as we push to build back better.” 

Nightcap appoints new MD of London Cocktail Club 

Nightcap, the London-based hospitality group formed by investors Sarah Willingham and Michael Toxvaerd, has appointed a new managing director to lead the growth of its London Cocktail Club business. 

Dawn Donohoe joins from Enhanced Hospitality, a food and entertainment-led business that operates several venues situated in London’s Camden Market including Dingwalls and Shaka Zulu, as well as Blacks private members club in Soho and sister company, We Are Bar. 

Donohoe replaces Michelle Hall, who is leaving London Cocktail Club after six years to pursue other opportunities and is relocating abroad.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the team at London Cocktail Club,” Donohoe said of her appointment. “It’s a fantastic brand that I’ve admired for many years and I’m excited to be able to bring my love of the late-night sector and extensive management experience to the Nightcap team.  

“Together we have ambitious plans to rejuvenate and reimagine the on-trade for the future.” 

The news follows a £10m fundraising last month by Nightcap to further its investment strategy and to roll-out its latest acquisition, Adventure Bar Group. 


‘I can’t find anyone looking for work apart from teenagers’ 

Trade bosses have warned that there is a lack of confidence in hospitality as a career as pubs struggle to fill roles.

One pub operator described table service as draining amid struggles to recruit more front of house staff to keep up with the extra workload.

Kate Daws runs the Gloucester Old Spot in Bristol and has already had to recruit eight new staff members to keep up with the added pressures of table service.  

“I’m still looking to recruit more and there aren’t any,” she said. 

“I can't find staff looking for work, unless they’re 16 or 18 and have just left school or they have just come out of uni for the summer. That’s my next port of call but it's not permanent, that's the problem.” 

Daws said she will keep an aspect of table service beyond the next step of lockdown easing because it improves the quality of customers' experiences. 

Read more here

M&B reveals boardroom changes

According to reports by The Morning Advertiser’s (MA)​ sister title MCA Insight​, Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has announced that Ron Robson, deputy chairman and nominated representative of the group’s largest shareholder, the Odyzean Group, will be retiring from the board at the end of July.

Imelda Walsh, chair of the remuneration committee and Colin Rutherford, chair of the audit committee, will also retire on the same date.

The office of deputy chairman will not be continued, but an announcement in relationship to the chairmanship of the remuneration committee is expected to be made within the next few months. 

Following these changes, the board at M&B will be comprised of the non-executive chairman, Bob Ivell, two executive directors (Phil Urban, CEO and Tim Jones, CFO), three independent non-executive directors (Susan Murray, who will remain as senior independent director, Jane Moriarty, who will assume the role of chair of the audit committee, and Dave Coplin, who will continue in his role as non-executive director nominated for representation of the ‘workforce voice’) as well as three non-executive directors representing the interests of the Odyzean Group (Eddie Irwin, Josh Levy and Keith Browne).

“Ron, Imelda and Colin have provided excellent service to M&B throughout their time on the board, helping to achieve a significant period of stability for the company whilst assisting our governance and oversight arrangements,” Ivell said. 

“By making these changes now, the smaller, more agile board is in line with the company’s stated intentions at the time of the equity raise and it can now focus on supporting and challenging management over the coming months, as the business first recovers and then moves forward again.”

Tim Martin claims most businesses would support visa system for EU workers

JD Wetherspoon (JDW) boss Tim Martin has suggested most hospitality firms would be likely to be in favour of a preferential visa scheme for European Union workers to tackle the recruitment issues in the sector.

He went on to say the system could include countries geographically closer to the UK could be given preferential treatment. 

The pubco boss has been vocal about being in favour of Brexit, toured pubs to talk about it and launched beer mats, which featured a manifesto for the country’s exit from the EU in recent years.

Martin also outlined how the issues with recruitment currently being faced by operators across the country were impacting JDW.

Read more here

UKH data reveals 188,000 staff shortfall

New analysis by industry association UKH has revealed the extent of the staffing crisis facing the hospitality sector.

Based on a survey of hundreds of hospitality operators, UKH has found that shortage of front-of-house staff and chefs is particularly acute, with 80% of those surveyed reporting vacancies for front-of-house roles, such as waiting and bar staff, while 85% are in need of chefs. 

What’s more, some 47% have housekeeping vacancies and 43% are looking for assistant or general managers.

The survey suggests a current vacancy rate across the sector of 9% - which implies a shortage of 188,000 workers.

Discussing the findings, UKH CEO Kate Nicholls said the Government must restore confidence in the hospitality sector so that it is again seen as a stable employer and provider of fulfilling careers. 

“To facilitate this, it must stick to the re-opening roadmap, lifting all restrictions from 21 June,” she explained. “This will restore consumer confidence and give a strong signal to workers that hospitality will bounce back strongly.  

“Beyond this, the single biggest act of support that Government could give would be to encourage more UK-based workers to join the hospitality sector.

“It is also time for the Government to review its list of shortage occupations and consider the introduction of an Australian-style visa scheme to enable the workers we need, who don’t meet the point-based system, to come and work here,” she added. 

“The hospitality industry has invested heavily to ensure venues are safe places to visit and work. By lifting restrictions on the 21 June and with support, we can get back to what we do best - and power the engine of our economic and social recovery.”


Related topics: Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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