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Review of the Year 2019

Join us for a look back at some of the 2019 events we were involved in.

Review of the Year 2019

2019 was a rollercoaster of a year for the hospitality industry. Fabulous new openings, some devastating closures, and a political landscape that has offered both the uncertainty of an ongoing Brexit and the opportunity of a Sector Deal.

For employers, 2019 has been no less breath-taking. Deep into a labour shortage, they know there will be no quick solution for their workforce requirements. For many years the sector has talked about its need to make changes in the way it engages future and existing employees – we are now seeing significant action taking place where innovation is key, leading to successes that any sector would be proud of.

At, we’re focused on working with hospitality employers, supporting them to be in the best shape possible when it comes to attraction, retention and development. We work with the industry, for the industry, innovating to solve hospitality recruitment challenges with our unparalleled audience and technology.

We’re proud to have partnered with so many inspirational employers, employees, organisations and charities to create events and content research that help employers address their challenges. The aim has been to provide insight and guidance that is truly useful to the sector.

Here’s an overview of the main challenges we have tackled together this year…and a link back to all the resources.

Entry Level Talent

The Entry Level Talent campaign, looking at the barriers to engaging with young people, reached over 83 million people and raised awareness of the opportunities within hospitality.  Fronted by Michelin chef Tom Aikins and backed by research from over 3,000  parents, educators, young people and industry bodies, the campaign highlighted how hard it is to change parent’s and educator’s perceptions of hospitality as a career choice for young people and the lack of understanding of the opportunities available.

The campaign was supported by a podcast interview with John Guthrie, Employment Policy Adviser – UK Hospitality, Anne Pierce, Chief Executive – Springboard, Louise Davies, Founder – The Food Teachers Centre, James Grist, Head of Talent – D&D London, Robert Richardson, GM of The Grand Hotel in Kent and Adam Rowledge of Rowledge Associates.

Untapped Talent

Employers are increasingly looking for new talent streams to address the skills gap and the Untapped Talent campaign brought together charities and organisations with the hospitality sector to raise the profile of untapped talent pools – a vital source of recruits in an ever more challenging market.  Untapped talent looked at helping the homeless, military veterans and ex-offenders into work within hospitality. 

At a screening room event in November, nearly 90 employers attended to hear Alex Head of Social Pantry speak about the challenges and rewards of working with vulnerable groups. 

Greg Mangham of Only A Pavement Away gave an inspiring talk about the reality of life for vulnerable people and how hospitality can help.  Only A Pavement Away has found employment for 52 rough sleepers in 12 months, saving the government over £2 million.  We also interviewed Greg Mangham, Founder & CEO of Only A Pavement Away, Janene Pretorius, Director of People for The Ivy Collection and Dulal Ahmed, Employment Services Manager Crisis for their views on how the industry can get involved

Fill A Flask with Only A Pavement Away

As part of the Untapped Talent campaign volunteers from brands within the industry took to the streets of London in July, handing out refillable water flasks to rough sleepers.  A partnership with Only A Pavement Away resulted in raised awareness of the work the charity does and supported them in achieving their goal of getting the homeless, veterans and ex-offenders into work within hospitality. 

In November hospitality businesses collected winter clothing and, through our sponsorship of the Winter Warmth initiative, 450 rough sleepers received winter coats, sleeping bags, gloves and scarfs to help them survive the cold winter months.

Why Hospitality

To try and reach young people considering a career in hospitality we asked industry experts  “Why Hospitality’ as part of activities to promote the industry in The Caterer Careers Guide 2019.   The goal was to capture the unique elements that a job/career in hospitality offers.  There were no wrong answers and the industry responded with enthusiasm, resulting in a double-page spread featuring quotes from some of our biggest clients including Red Carnation, Accor, Dorchester Collection, Honest Burgers, Corbin & King.

Quotes included “In a world where you can create lasting memories and experiences for others, there are endless opportunities in hospitality. From all the different roles that are available to you (think bartender to engineerto PR manager) to all the different locations in the world (from London to Miami to Tokyo); every day is different and working with colleagues from all different nationalities is both fun and enriching.”  Ana Coles, talent officer, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London.

See more on our social channels: LinkedIn | Twitter| Instagram

Speaking Out

2019 was a busy year for podcasts. Each episode addressing the most pressing issues in hospitality recruitment, retention and development with top names from the industry.

Topics have ranged from health & well-being in the workplace to how to retain great talent.  In June and July the focus was on Inspiring young people to enter the industry and featured Tom Aikins and his thoughts on what more the industry can do to promote and create new careers.

Catch up with all our 2019 podcasts here

2019 People Awards

Hosted by Rob Beckett, the 2019 People Awards were a night of celebration when over 500 guests joined us at the Park Plaza, Westminster.  The Awards have grown year on year and are now a ‘must-attend’ event.  

Recognising the very best in recruitment, retention, training and innovation this year the awards showcased the future of recruitment into the 2020s with the Dorchester Collection picking up the Global Talent Attraction Strategy Award for their initiative to recruit Canadian nationals to the UK hospitality sector. 

With a widening skills gap and depleting pool of talent, Award Winners were looking at new and diverse ways to attract the talent they need, including gamification and escape rooms.

The Awards offer employers an opportunity to share best practice and innovation with the industry and to reward hard work.  2020 is the 10th anniversary of the People Awards and plans are already taking shape for what will not only be a memorable celebration of the past 12 months but a look forward to what the 20’s hold for the hospitality industry and everyone that works in it.

We have some exciting plans for 2020, so keep up to date with the trends and changes in the hospitality by regularly checking our blog for updates and following us on our social channels.: LinkedIn | Twitter| Instagram

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