Over the course of lockdown there have been many high-profile initiatives across the sector with hospitality brands from all areas of the industry innovating to help key workers, the public, the vulnerable and also more recently hospitality people themselves. The industry’s brilliant Recruitment agencies have also been very active in this regard, and we wanted to shine a light on a few such programmes which demonstrate their love and commitment to the sector:
Reaching a Milestone
Marcus Weedon, Founder and Director of Milestone has been working on a new kind of careers hub for jobseekers. “The key here is to provide an accessible, empowering and in-depth careers hub post Covid-19 and hopefully beyond,” he explained. “Recruiters and employers will provide honest support, advice and guidance for the hospitality and catering industry. This will answer many of the questions that job seekers ask, with the hope that this will propel them further in their quest in securing a new role.”
Marcus has certainly done his research and from the many conversations he has had, he found a big area of concern was the job seekers mental health. “So many people were and still are being made redundant and then entering a flooded job market,” he said. “Some for the first time after holding jobs for lengthy spells. Many are applying for hundreds of jobs and not getting anywhere, the emotional and mental strain on many is unimaginable.
“I remember someone telling me in the past ‘you can’t help everyone’, and this is true but with collaboration from Caterer.com,EXP101 and with the support from the industry employers, we will be able to help, support and guide as many of the struggling job seekers as possible and guide them back to work.”
Marcus says he really wants to create positivity, confidence and optimism for the UKs job seekers during this time. “I wholly believe as an industry we can do this through the Careers Hub we are building,” he said.
Helping Out with Eating Out
Ed Vokes, Director of Evolve Hospitality is working to provide hospitality businesses with cost price staff, that are continuing to run the Eat Out to Help Out scheme through September. “This is the first of a few ideas we are going to launch through September and October to help our clients and the Industry,” Ed said. “This was a natural thing to do to support our clients and Industry friends who continued with the scheme so we thought why not offer it out across the Industry and help everyone brave enough to roll into September with this. We have staff crying out for shifts and getting them working is really important too so marrying the two up was a no brainer to us.”
Disrupting Recruitment and Shaping the Industry
Abi Dunn founder of Sixty Eight People is also doing her best to help restaurants. Following significant kickback from operators around no-shows, SixtyEight launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness around the issue. “We wanted to highlight to customers, not only the financial impact, but also the emotional impact on an industry on its knees,” Abi said. Coverage of the issue was immense with 12 million twitter impressions, a national billboard campaign and national TV coverage. “CGA Insights reported a 25% reduction in customers no showing in the week following the initial campaign,” Abi said.
Abi and Sixty Eight are determined to make a difference. “We are on a crusade to not only disrupt recruitment, but to shape the industry,” she said. “This was a problem effecting small and large operators and we are so proud to have had this impact.”
A positive project with real purpose
Another amazing industry initiative that has garnered a great response is ‘now pause’. The brainchild of Craig Prentice founder of mum, now pause is about finding time to stop, taking time to relax and look after ourselves and has been put together with the help of wellbeing coach Andrew Johnson and creative by marketeer Peter Kerwood. Andrew has created a series of free podcasts to help people learn how to relax, sleep deeply, stay positive and live less stressfully.
Craig said, “Early in lockdown, it became clear so many people were struggling with stress and anxiety and dealing with so many unknowns. I felt there was a massive need to support people through this very difficult time. There was a lot of pressure at the time to be online, stay connected, take up all kinds of new hobbies, and whilst important, I felt it was more about pausing and taking time for ourselves.” Andrew, Peter and mum partners UKHospitality, The Caterer, Hospitality Action, Umbrella Training and Caterer.com all supported and helped in bringing now pause to life. “I am so chuffed we got to work on such a positive project with real purpose,” Craig said.
mum are also behind the Walk for Calm. On 24th October 2020, a series of socially distanced 20km fundraising events in support of Hospitality Action and CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) which will take place in locations across the United Kingdom including London, Birmingham and Manchester. Hospitality businesses and people from across our sector are being encouraged to unite and get involved.
Getting the industry back on its feet
Marcus thinks these projects really make a difference “This really matters, to have industry recruiters providing their guidance, their support, their help and advice to those who are very unfortunate to find themselves being unemployed and struggling to get back into work or even noticed,” he said. “It’s truly invaluable to have this help and support coming directly from the horse’s mouth. By having the industry collaborating right now is massively positive and totally demonstrates that we are all here to get our industry people back on their feet.”