Government launches Hospitality Sector Council to support industry

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Top team: the Government has launched a new Hospitality Sector Council that has many sector leaders (credit: Getty Images / Luis Davilla)
Top team: the Government has launched a new Hospitality Sector Council that has many sector leaders (credit: Getty Images / Luis Davilla)

Related tags: Government, Pub

The Government has launched a Hospitality Sector Council with members of the industry to help England’s pubs, restaurants and cafes, business minister Paul Scully has announced.

The council is made up of experts who represent a cross-section of the sector, to support the delivery of the government’s Hospitality Strategy. 

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said the council will identify and oversee actions related to the 22 commitments in the strategy, create sensible solutions using their expert knowledge and assess the strength of the sector. 

The council is co-chaired by minister Scully and hospitality entrepreneur and chair of Prezzo Karen Jones. The first meeting of the council takes place on Wednesday (29 September).

Council members from the pub sector include UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls; Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association; Greene King chief executive Nick MacKenzie; British Institute of Innkeeping chief executive Steve Alton; Small Independent Brewers Association chief executive James Calder; and Fuller, Smith and Turner chief executive Simon Emeny.

Incredible creativity

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “The hospitality industry has shown incredible creativity and resourcefulness through the pandemic, pivoting to new ways of doing business like alfresco dining and takeaway pints to stay safe, meet changing consumer demands and protect livelihoods. 

"With the launch of this council, we’re taking the next step in the journey to build back better from the pandemic by unveiling the experts who will be driving the reopening, recovery and resilience of the sector. It’s a real ‘Avengers Assemble’ moment for the industry."

Entrepreneur and Hospitality Sector Council co-chair Karen Jones said: "The lockdowns have shown us many things, particularly the importance of our people and our teams and the key role hospitality has to play in lighting up our high streets and city centres."

Capitalise on factors

She continued: "We now need to capitalise on our combined energy, creativity and innovation to continue the creation of a world-class hospitality industry: the Hospitality Sector Council will aid in making that a reality.” 

The Hospitality Strategy aims to  supports the reopening, recovery and resilience of the sector following the pandemic. This includes making it easier for pubs, restaurants and cafes to offer alfresco dining by making pavement licences permanent and extending takeaway pints in England and Wales until September 2022 to further boost sales. 

The strategy also sets out ways to help the sector grow and boost its creativity, including through exploring options for vocational skills and training such as apprenticeships, boot camps and other qualifications. 

Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, added:
"I'm pleased to see the Government is now taking the hospitality sector seriously and recognising its relevance to the greater economic benefit of the country."
"I would have liked to have seen more independent venues represented on the Council. Big, city centre chains are the media face of the sector, however it is the independent, family run pubs and restaurants which are the true backbone of this industry and they are the operators who have faced the most difficulty during this pandemic."
He added: "I know many of the representatives who have been selected for this Council have publicly criticised the Government's handling of the crisis and its lack of support for the hospitality sector over the past 18 months. I hope that, given they are now working alongside the very same ministers they were once criticising, that their calls for improvements and change continue and that the sector now begins to receive the recognition and urgent support it deserves during its recovery."

Related topics: Legislation

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