19 May 2022

Opinion from Adrian Leopard & Co

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Staffing the catering trade – what is going to happen when the hospitality industry starts up again?
Adrian Leopard 278

Staffing the catering trade – what is going to happen when the hospitality industry starts up again?

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With luck we may see a reduction in the numbers of unemployed and perhaps more British people will try and fit into hospitality roles

The hospitality industry has had a big knock and thousands of employees have lost their jobs. Indeed thousands of licensed businesses have closed down for good.

On the other side of the coin, some businesses have made good use of the furlough scheme and there are still staff on furlough who will be hoping to return to their jobs once the sector gets up and starts again – at least they hope so.

Traditionally the hospitality industry has employed large numbers of its staff from other parts of the world, the European Union of course being a favourite source of staff. Sadly British people have tended to be rather sniffy about the catering trade, feeling it is not good enough for them. What a shame. But hotels in our country and restaurants have been full of delightful staff from European countries, places like Romania, Spain, France and others. And our hospitality industry has been better off for it.

We are about to open up to a completely new norm within the country. The combined effects of Brexit and Covid-19 have more or less decimated the employment side of the hospitality industry so now we can expect things to look rather different. For a start, the number of foreign workers available to work in our hospitality sector is going to be far lower. With the changes in ability to work as a result of Brexit, many Europeans have quite simply “gone home”. This is in fact a great shame because these people bring their own national traits to our society, a society which after all must be one of the broadest in the world.

We hear talk of racism every day but the British people are not fundamentally racist at all; sure there will be some who are but when you look at the diversity of catering establishments and who patronise them you can readily see that racism does not figure. On the contrary, some of the country’s favourite foods are Indian and Chinese! So much do we love Indian curries that the British invented one for themselves – yes the vindaloo!

But with the loss of so many employers and the loss of foreign workers, we shall see a major rearrangement and perhaps we shall find British people coming out of the woodwork to seek employment in one of our major industries – food service and preparation and hospitality generally.

Insofar as there will be change, let us embrace it and make our internationalism and hospitality sector all the stronger.

Adrian Leopard 15-03-21

Photo Liubov Ilchuk

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Adrian Leopard & Company is the trading name of Alderney Offshore Ltd, a company registered in Alderney, Channel Islands number 1220.

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Adrian Leopard & Co is represented in the UK by 3CL (UK) Ltd trading as Adrian Leopard Associates.

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