Hospitality should be 'new national service'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

New national service: sector deserves more respect and should be seen as career option (Pictured: Tanya Wicks (left), Clive Price (centre) and MA news editor Nikkie Thatcher (right) at MA Leaders Brighton)
New national service: sector deserves more respect and should be seen as career option (Pictured: Tanya Wicks (left), Clive Price (centre) and MA news editor Nikkie Thatcher (right) at MA Leaders Brighton)

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Hospitality should be a “new national service” as the sector offers varied experiences across all skill levels, according to Barons Pub Company managing director Clive Price.

Speaking at the MA Leaders conference in Brighton, East Sussex on Thursday 15 September, Price stated the work hospitality businesses do gets overlooked, even though it plays a part in everyone’s lives.

He said: “Hospitality should be the new national service. It gives you a taste of everything whether its back or front of house.

“The work we do gets overlooked, but we provide people with a social life, wakes, weddings, parties, we are part of the community.”

Furthermore, Barons Pub Company director of legal compliance and operational Tanya Wicks added a lot of the sectors workforce looked for “something different” as the nation came out of lockdown, but the pub company was on a mission to showcase hospitality as a career opportunity which deserves more respect.

Career choice 

She said: “If anything could change before we retire, it would be that hospitality receives more respect.

“The best thing you can invest in is yourself, and you can invest in you when you get education and training.

“We are desperate for people understand [hospitality] is a professional choice, a lot of people think you fall into hospitality but we want to show it is a career choice.”

According to Wicks, Barons employs some 450 to 500 people, 50% of which have been with them for more than two years, 15% more than five years and 7% more than 10 years.

To retain staff, Wicks explained Barons celebrates what its people do and encourages them to work through the industry and understand it “from the roots up” through the company’s training academy, which started 12 years ago, offering work experience opportunities and utilising Government schemes, such as Kickstart. 

However, Price urged operators to ensure they hired employees who understood the business’ values as “standards get more important as you expand”.

Everyone can make a difference 

Price encouraged licensees to recruit using a “basic template” which can be refined to move with the times while observing enthusiasm for the sector and how perspective employees cope under pressure.

He added: “Where we have grown from smaller to bigger, its general good advice to have things written down for standards.

“People like being good at their jobs. They like to understand why we have asked them to do things this way and why it’s better.”

Furthermore, Price explained Barons had become better at being honest with staff to help achieve their goals and “make a difference” as well as protect the business if someone isn’t “working out”.

He added: “Everyone at every level can make a difference.

“The whole process of recruiting, training, and hiring, we have got much better over the years at, if someone isn’t working out, we sort it out. If you let someone into your business who isn’t right, it can be damaging.”

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