Customers demanding inclusive policies in hospitality

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Research reveals: three in 10 consumers say they are more likely to visit a venue if it promoted its equity, diversity and inclusion policy (image: Getty/andresr)
Research reveals: three in 10 consumers say they are more likely to visit a venue if it promoted its equity, diversity and inclusion policy (image: Getty/andresr)

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More than six in 10 consumers think a hospitality venue’s equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is important, a new survey has revealed.

The research by UKHospitality (UKH) and CGA by NIQ also found 30% of consumers were more likely to visit a site if it promoted its EDI policies.

The 13th​ edition of the Future Shock ​report focused on EDI within the sector and highlighted customer sentiment towards the topic.

Around a quarter (26%) said venues’ adaptations to improve accessibility was also an important factor in venue choice.

UKH’s EDI committee aims to bring together leading operators to ensure EDI has a loud voice in the trade body.

People-first business

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Hospitality has always been a people-first business and has a tradition of being one of the most inclusive sectors in the world.

“I know day-to-day there remains a huge amount taking place to ensure that remains the case and we continue to enhance our equity, diversity and inclusion credentials.

“These new statistics show this work is clearly valued by the public and is actually a significant factor in where they choose to visit.

“It’s encouraging customers want to see and understand the work we are doing and is a clear indication to businesses to bring this work to the forefront of their activities.”

Nicholls outlined how there was a lot to be vocal about when it comes to what the sector is doing around EDI.

“I’m delighted to dedicate this latest edition of the Future Shock ​to EDI and showcase the work the sector is doing to be as equitable, diverse and inclusive as possible,” she added.

Elsewhere, the report also showed a drop in the number of licensed premises​ between December 2022 and March 2023.

Challenging quarter

When broken down into different segments of the sector, nightclubs saw the biggest fall of 1.9% to 865.

Community pub numbers decreased from 18,382 to 18,254 (down 0.7%), food pubs were down by 0.5% to 11,754 while there were also 0.5% fewer high street pubs (to 6,040).

CGA director of hospitality operators and food EMEA Karl Chessell added: “By any measure, the first quarter of 2023 has been challenging.

“Nevertheless, there are some encouraging signs as we look ahead to the rest of 2023. Most importantly of all, CGA’s research consistently proves the public’s appetite for the special experiences only hospitality can provide.

“While some consumers are being forced to tighten their purse strings at the moment, visitation levels have not yet been significantly affected and we can e confident they will rise again when people feel more cash in their pockets.

“Hospitality is a resourceful and resilient industry with a bright long-term future despite the current challenges.

“It is also a very responsible sector and committed to improvements on big ethical issues like sustainability and diversity.”

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