Government launches hospitality strategy to aid sector's reopening and recovery

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Government launches hospitality strategy to aid sector's reopening and recovery

Related tags Government Karen Jones Hospitality Strategy Coronavirus lockdown

The Government has launched a new hospitality strategy to 'support the reopening, recovery and resilience' of England’s pubs, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs.

It is hoped the strategy will help ensure hospitality venues can thrive long-term and adapt to consumer demands, and includes measures to 'build back better' and greener from the pandemic.

A Hospitality Sector Council made up of industry leaders and Government is being created to oversee the delivery of the strategy, which will be led by Prezzo executive chair Karen Jones and Business Minister Paul Scully.

Measures being introduced to aid the sector's reopening include highlighting opportunities in the hospitality industry to jobseekers through DWP's dedicated Work Coaches, in order to help address the current recruitment crisis​.

Recovery measures, meanwhile, include working with the Government-owned British Business Bank and directly with lenders to support access to finance for hospitality firms so they can invest in their businesses. 

It will also be easier for pubs, restaurants and cafes on the high street to offer al fresco dining and serve more customers outside, with pavement licenses being extended and made permanent.

Takeaway pints will continue for another 12 months as the temporary permissions for off-sales of alcohol are extended in England and Wales.

To help strengthen the long-term resilience of the sector, there will also be initiatives focused on making hospitality a career option of choice, boosting creativity, and developing a greener sector. 

They include exploring options for vocational skills and training that support careers in the sector, including apprenticeships, boot camps and other qualifications like a T-Level, and working with the sector to raise the profile of careers in hospitality; supporting innovation and productivity by using the Government’s Help to Grow programmes to strengthen the sector’s digital and management skills, and bringing hospitality businesses together with universities and other innovators to support the next generation of hospitality start-ups; and helping the sector reduce emissions, including by cutting waste and single-use plastic consumption.

“Hospitality is absolutely fundamental to the country’s economic and social wellbeing, so this new strategy which recognises our unique role is very welcome," says Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality.

"It provides our sector with a strong platform to deliver the supportive regulatory and trading environment we need to recover, rebuild resilience and thrive.

"We look forward to working closely with the minister and as part of the sector council to deliver an action plan that enables our nation’s hospitality venues to bounce back from the devastation caused by the pandemic and return to creating jobs and careers – supporting Government’s agenda on levelling up.”

The Hospitality Sector Council will agree an action plan to deliver the recommendations, review progress against this plan, and monitor the overall recovery of the sector as businesses transition from reopening to recovery to resilience. 

“I think the last 16 months has shown us many things, underlining 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," says Jones, who also represents hospitality on the Government's Build Back Better Council.

"We need to capitalise on the energy, creativity and innovation that will be released post-pandemic to continue our creation of a world-class hospitality sector: this Strategy will aid in making that a reality."

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