The Lowdown: Hospitality Rising

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The Lowdown: Hospitality Rising

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The shortage of workers in the hospitality sector is being tackled by a bold recruitment campaign targeting young people.

This was launched last year. Why are we talking about it now?
Good question. The premise behind Hospitality Rising was indeed announced last year but this week things have moved forward with the launch of what is being described as ‘the world’s biggest hospitality recruitment initiative’. Its aim is to help fill the current jobs gap in the sector, which currently stands at around a whopping 400,000 vacancies.

That’s a serious number of people to attract. How is it going to do that?
Let’s rewind first. For those of you unfamiliar with Hospitality Rising it is the brainchild of former Pret a Manger and YO! Sushi marketer Mark McCulloch, who is hoping to raise in the region of a not-so-modest £5m by asking backers to pledge £10 per employee to support the recruitment drive. McCulloch believes that the only way to plug the skills gap is to go big on promoting the sector as a great place to work and climb the job ladder through a ‘Government sized’ collaborative campaign.

You can do a lot with £5m…
You can, but he’s not there yet. So far Hospitality Rising has raised £850,000 thanks to the support of 300 businesses including Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Zonal, Wireless Social, Whitbread, Pret, Soho House, Prezzo, Revolution Bars, Claridge’s, Hawksmoor, Pho, Wahaca, The Pig, Comptoir Group and Ole & Steen. High-profile chefs including Tom Kerridge, Rick Stein, Angela Hartnett and Raymond Blanc have also given their support. More companies need to get involved, however, if they – and the industry as a whole – is to benefit from such a wide-reaching campaign.

Yet it’s already begun?
This is where we get to Rise Fast, Work Young, the campaign that has clearly set its stall out on targeting young people that want to fast track their careers. The website instructs youngsters to not grow old for a living and instead embrace a career ‘that will keep your heart young, your future close and one which really can take you anywhere’. It does sound a bit like a slogan for an Expedia advert, but the aim is to appeal to people’s more aspirational sides.

It’s rousing stuff. How are said youngsters being targeted?
Through op-ed pieces in The Telegraph and prime time ad spots during Coronation Street, of course. Actually, not that, but rather via the only medium that youngsters seem to use these days (aside from Netflix) - social media. The proposed ad campaign will involve TikTok creators and digital ads but there will also be an outdoor campaign in ‘high-profile’ spots across the UK with slogans such as ‘9-5ers wouldn’t get it.’

That sounds more like it
It does. Tik Tok has already successfully been used by restaurant groups with brands such as Wagamama and Nando’s having amassed impressive followings on the site. It’s also already been successfully used for recruitment in hospitality, with a post by Pho restaurant looking for people to join its team being viewed more than 310,000 times and resulting in hundreds of job applications.

So, can the industry expect a flood of new applicants as a result?
At the time of writing Hospitality Rising was yet to hit double figures in terms of followers on Tik Tok but it’s early days and its reach will spread once it receives support from all parts of the sector. Job seekers can also visit the Hospitality Rising website, where there are thousands of vacancies listed for roles including baristas, bartenders, waiting teams, management, chef and kitchen, and hotel positions. Once the campaign gets going and word spreads only then can its full impact be measured.

How do I sign up?
That’s the spirit. Visit its employer site ​here, click on the ‘pledge now’ button and be part of something positive for the sector.

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