The House of Commons is now obliged to discuss a ministerial role for hospitality
U.K. MPs will debate the creation of a minister for hospitality on 11 January 2021, after a petition amassed the required 100,000 signatures to force a parliamentary debate. The brief petition, which simply says: “Create a Minister for Hospitality in the UK Government,” has been backed across the restaurant world, after the novel coronavirus pandemic highlighted the relative political powerlessness of a £130 billion sector.
Hospitality’s relative lack of political power has been an albatross throughout the crisis. While trade association U.K. Hospitality is able to exert pressure on the government through the media, and in giving evidence to House of Commons committees on policy that will affect hospitality, restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bars do not have a direct government representative. Alternatives to U.K. Hospitality have been few and far between, often relying on incomplete Public Health England data to claim that “it’s not happening in hospitality.” Chef and restaurateur Asma Khan this week said that “the voices speaking for hospitality were not inclusive or diverse,” with many of the voices of the industry chosen for television being backers or owners of large groups and chains.
These contradictions are in part explained by the disparities in need between the very different businesses that compose hospitality, but as chef Angela Hartnett reiterated last week, alongside the Seat at the Table campaign, there is no one area of government to whom the sector can direct its complaints or suggestions, however diverse they may be.
And in other news...
- What tier three coronavirus rules mean for London’s restaurants.
- Where to order takeaway and delivery across the city.
- It could be Bye, Chloe, as the vegan burger slinger with four London sites will put itself up for sale in 2021. The restaurants continue to operate for now.
- Simon Rogan’s tasting menu restaurant Roganic will not reopen in Marylebone.
- Burger King’s PR machine is flexing hard, offering independent restaurants Instagram real estate to promote themselves during tier three rules. [Big Hospitality]
- Good tweet:
this is definitely one of the most reckless aspects of the govt's handling. they must have entered into relaxing the tiers knowing there was a high chance they'd swiftly enforce another lockdown, but they let restaurants, pubs and cafes shoulder the risk by giving them hope https://t.co/AYKSEktx6G— Stan Account (@tristandross) December 14, 2020