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15 years on the Hospitality Roller Coaster

This week marks my 15 year anniversary in Hospitality. There has certainly been some ups and downs!

During this time I have seen the sector react to, change & adapt and subsequently recover from numerous challenges; Smoking Ban (2007), Global Financial Crisis (2008), ever increasing costs (duty, national living wage, food cost inflation to name a few), Food Safety Regulations and Regional Legislation (Scores on the Doors in Wales, Drink Driving Limit in Scotland). Leased and Tenanted estates have had the Pub Code to contend with as well. All of these put immense pressure, both operationally and financially, on businesses of all sizes. We saw trade dip, and in some instances businesses close, but we always recovered because this sector has incredibly resilient teams and leaders operating within it.

The last 6 weeks has seen a new challenge, COVID-19, resulting in something that I could never envisage happening in our lifetimes, the Hospitality sector closed down. The good news is that plans are already being formulated to re-open parts of the sector, delivery and takeaway are certainly an option for those who can. Technology, such as order and pay at table, will help manage any social distancing challenges we face when we are told we can welcome our guests back into the business.

The key thing is we will bounce back because we are resilient, we have great brands & formats across the sector and most importantly we have brilliant people. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best teams, people and brands in the business. Thank you to everyone who has made a difference to me, both professionally and personally.

Let’s not kid ourselves, this recover will be hard and it will be long, but we are in it together. We also have to accept there will be winners and losers, there always is following any crisis. Our leaders in Hospitality, who are working closely with Government, are all pulling in the same direction though, putting competition aside to ensure we protect everyone as best we can. This is amazing, and makes me proud to work in hospitality.

Here's to another 15 years on the roller coaster!

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