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Catch up with the latest developments involving BII licensee support, taking member statistics to the heart of Government, and interviews with CEO Steven Alton.

"Hospitality & the October Budget" - BBC Radio Derby

Steven joined Donna Alos on BBC Radio Derby to talk about the October 2021 budget, the realities of trading, the importance of supporting your local pubs and why combining cycling and fantastic British beer helps the environment.

New Hospitality Council announced to guide the sector's recovery

A team of industry experts has been assembled to help England’s pubs, restaurants and cafes to thrive, Business Minister Paul Scully has announced today.  

The Hospitality Sector 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 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 today. 
 Council members include UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls, Emma McClarkin of the British Beer and Pub Association, Nando’s UK & Ireland Chief Executive Colin Hill, Greene King Chief Executive Nick MacKenzie, Starbucks UK General Manager Alex Rayner and Mowgli’s Nisha Katona. 
 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 al fresco 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’ll be driving the reopening, recovery and resilience of the sector. It’s a real ‘Avengers Assemble’ moment for the industry.”  
British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) CEO Steven Alton said:
"The BII team have been taking our member’s voices to the heart of Government highlighting their trading realities, their challenges and the support that they will need moving forward. Our communication with Ministers and Officials has always centred around why pubs really matter economically, providing skilled jobs & careers, as well as the critical role they play at the heart of their communities. 
"We are encouraged that the first ever Government published Hospitality Strategy, formally recognises this significant contribution that pubs make economically, and in social value in every community across the UK.  The formation of a Hospitality Sector Council provides an opportunity to turn this strategy into the actions that will be needed to allow our member’s pubs, and the wider hospitality sector to thrive once again.  I am delighted to be a member of this team, and look forward to making this happen."
Entrepreneur and Hospitality Sector Council co-chair Karen Jones said:  
 “I think 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. 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.
“I am honoured to be Co-Chair alongside Minister Scully and, together with a group of hospitality leaders, to put in place all that our wonderful industry need to flourish."
The Hospitality Strategy supports the reopening, recovery and resilience of the sector following the pandemic. This includes making it easier for pubs, restaurants and cafes to offer al fresco dining by making pavement licenses permanent, and extending takeaway pints in England and Wales until July 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, bootcamps and other qualifications like a T Level. 
Since the strategy was launched on 16 July, progress includes: 
  • The National Employers and Partners Team creating a steering group to find hospitality vacancies and support employers in filling them. The Department for Work and Pensions has also been filling vacancies by using their work coaches and Plan for Jobs programmes including Kickstart and Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs).   
  • The Department for Education adding hospitality and catering qualifications to Free Courses for Jobs. This offers adults without Level 3 qualifications a range of free courses which now includes food and beverage supervision, professional cookery, and patisserie and confectionary.  

The Government wants to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business and is working with the country’s small businesses to seize every opportunity to grow. 

The ‘Help to Grow: Management’ course is 90% subsidised by Government and equips business leaders with the tools to take their business to the next level, combining a practical curriculum with 1:1 support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions and an alumni network. The course is designed to be manageable alongside full-time work and helps business leaders develop their strategic skills, create jobs and boost their business performance.  

Today’s announcement builds on the Plan for Jobs – the Government’s blueprint to protect, support and create jobs across the UK and help people gain the skills they need to get into work through schemes such as Kickstart, apprenticeships and traineeships. 

The full list of council members are as follows:

  •  Business Minister, Paul Scully (Co-chair) 
  • Hospitality leader and Chair of Prezzo, Karen Jones (Co-chair)  
  • British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) CEO, Steve Alton
  • British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) Chief Executive, Emma McClarkin 
  • UKHospitality CEO, Kate Nicholls 
  • The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) Managing Director, Nick Summers 
  • Small Independent Brewers Association (SIBA) CEO, James Calder 
  • Restaurant Group PLC. CEO, Andy Hornby  
  • Nando’s UK & Northern Ireland CEO, Colin Hill  
  • Limewood Hotels Ltd. Chairman and CEO, Robin Hutson 
  • Fuller, Smith and Turner PLC. CEO, Simon Emeny  
  • Greene King CEO, Nick MacKenzie 
  • Revolution Bars Group CEO, Rob Pitcher  
  • Turtle Bay, Caravan Restaurants and FlightClub Darts Chair, Jane O’Riordan   
  • Nightclub and Events Entrepreneur, Rich McGinnis  
  • Mowgli Street Food Founder and CEO, Nisha Katona MBE
  • Co-Founder and CEO, Hawksmoor Chairman, Rockfish Restaurants, Will Beckett
  • Starbucks UK, Austria and Switzerland Vice President and General Manager, Alex Rayner  
  • Deliveroo Vice President, Consumer, Emma Simmonds
  • Burger King UK CFO, Tim Doubleday
  • Budweiser Brewing Group UK, Ireland, Spain and the Canary Islands President, Paula Lindenberg 
  • Westbury Street Holdings Ltd.  Chairman and Chief Executive, Alistair Storey  

The future of our nations’ pubs hangs in the balance as their recovery is derailed by escalating costs

The latest member insight report from the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) highlights the fragile state of our nations’ pubs. Their recovery is being undermined by the combination of summer trading below 2019 levels, rapidly escalating costs and increasing taxation.  

84% of member’s pubs’ summer trading was below levels in 2019, with 54% trading below 75%.

The majority of the BII’s members, operating single pubs in every community across the UK, will at best be breaking even moving forward.  Revenues remain below 2019 levels, the cost of food and drink is rapidly escalating, wages are having to be significantly increased to attract and retain staff with taxation also rising as Government support falls away.  

The impact of closure and severe restrictions over the last twelve months has left pubs with an average pandemic specific debt of over £50,000 which will now take over 4 years to pay back.  With 1 in 4 also having insufficient funds to keep up with outgoing costs. The fragility of these small, independently run businesses will significantly undermine their ability to be at the heart of the economic recovery. 

Already, 1 in 2 operators will not invest any money into their businesses in the next twelve months due to both lack of funds and levels of existing debt.

Pubs are facing a wall of rapidly escalating costs in all areas of their businesses;
  • 76% are paying higher wages to attract and retain staff with 70% of these paying at least nearly three times the rate of inflation
  • 2 in 3 pubs are seeing over 10% increases in food costs
  • 1 in 3 pubs are seeing over 10% increases in drinks costs
  • 1 in 2 have utility costs increasing over 10%

Operational challenges are also significant with 61% not being able to recruit enough staff to keep up with their workload, 33% experiencing no-shows and supply issues, leaving 72% of pubs running out of core lines in their food and drink offering.

Steven Alton, BII CEO commented:

“The Government has now formally recognised the significant economic, employment and social value of our members’ pubs with the recent launch of the Hospitality Strategy. This insight from our membership clearly shows that further investment will be required by Government to safeguard the future of our nations’ pubs and enable them to be at the heart of the economic recovery. Our members will need trading support over the coming months and years in three key areas; a full business rates holiday for England alongside a fundamental reform of the rates system, an extension of a reduced rate of VAT for our sector and a rapid introduction of a duty cut for draught products served in pubs, to both support them and the local brewers that are dependent upon them.

“If Government do not recognise the support that is desperately needed by our fragile small businesses in the coming weeks and months, there is a very real danger of widespread business failure in our sector. I have this afternoon written to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for BEIS, highlighting not only the stark realities for our members, but also the immediate need for these three key areas of ongoing support to be urgently addressed.”

Click here to read our full survey

The Critical need for collaboration between Local Authorities and hospitality businesses

The One Voice group of industry and consumer trade bodies have today written to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government regarding the news that the temporary extension to Pavement Licenses has now been made permanent.

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