Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, insists the government has started to listen to industry demands since independent trade bodies, the British Hospitality Association and the Alliance of Licensed Multiple Retailers, joined together as one earlier this year.
Under the umbrella of UKHospitality, the combined entity has brought together hospitality businesses across all sectors to create an ‘unrivalled’ platform which represents the industry and shares best practice within the community.
And the trade association claims to have already saved the hospitality sector over £1.5bn by campaigning on trade issues such as business rates and national living wage.
Speaking during an exclusive podcast hosted by BRITA Professional, Mrs Nicholls said: “We now have hospitality being asked for comment and being involved in number 10’s weekly briefing sessions.
“If the industry talks with one voice it seems more grown up. The government then takes it more seriously and the government then knows who to talk to.”
The trade association has said it’s making sure the hospitality industry, the third largest private sector, is getting the respect it deserves.
UKHospitality was formed from the merger of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and the British Hospitality Association in April 2018.
Mrs Nicholls said: “It’s only this year we have been able to get most of these businesses around the same table and have one single unified voice for hospitality, rather than five or six or two main trade bodies that they had last year.”
“Prior that we had lots of different trade bodies all vying to talk for hotels, for pubs, for restaurants. The government found it too difficult so it would invite nobody.”
UKHospitality argues this was due to the industry being fragmented with 90% of hospitality businesses being small to medium enterprises.