EDITOR’S VIEW: Handpicked industry superheroes must show off their powers

Andrew Seymour

A group of top executives put together to help England’s pubs, restaurants and cafes thrive has been described as a “real ‘Avengers Assemble’ moment” for the industry as it looks to ensure no stone is left unturned in the quest to restore business to pre-pandemic levels.

The recent formation of the Hospitality Sector Council by the government is a positive step, if only because of the calibre of the business leaders involved.

With directors from Nando’s, Greene King, Fuller’s, Starbucks and Burger King on the list, as well as the chief executives of various influential trade bodies, the council is made up of experts who represent a cross-section of the sector.

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They will identify and oversee actions related to the 22 commitments in the government’s Hospitality Strategy, creating sensible solutions using their expert knowledge.

The council is co-chaired by business minister Paul Scully, who 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.”

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 September 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.

As Prezzo’s Karen Jones — who is co-chair of the organisation — made a point of saying, if the lockdowns have shown us anything it’s the importance of people and the key role hospitality has to play in lighting up high streets and city centres.

It is vital that the industry now capitalises on its combined energy, creativity and innovation for the benefit of a thriving hospitality sector.

The founding members of the Hospitality Sector Council have the power to ensure that happens.

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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