The hospitality industry is backing calls for a position of minister to be created for the sector.
A petition created by Claire Bosi, writer and former spouse of chef Claude Bosi, is calling for a minister for hospitality to “be created for the current, and successive governments”.
The campaigners for the petition, state that the UK hospitality industry is “responsible for around three million jobs, generating £130 billion in activity, resulting in £38 billion in taxation”, however “unlike the arts or sports, we do not have a dedicated minister”.
Campaigners argue: “A dedicated minister would liaise with industry representatives. We believe such a minister would have been beneficial to government and industry during the pandemic.
“As the UK seeks to encourage investment and tourism back to the UK in coming years, the vision that UK hospitality industry portrays of the UK is excellence, innovation, inspiration.
“We need a minister who can listen to concerns on taxation and legislation and bring forward suggestions to the chancellor and policymakers on our behalf.”
Wendy Bartlett, co-founder of independent caterer Bartlett Mitchell, told Facilitate: “This pandemic has highlighted the need for representation in government for one of the UK’s most prominent sectors.
“Not only does hospitality employ a huge number of people, but it also makes a significant contribution to UK GDP.
“It is vital to have somebody who understands how the sector works in reality, avoiding some of the poorly judged policies we’ve seen to date.
"Throughout this pandemic, the sector has been made a scapegoat on many levels. Policies like the 10pm curfew are a classic example of where a decision is ill-thought through due to lack of knowledge, input and understanding of the complexities of our industry."
Hospitality is one of the hardest-hit sectors by the pandemic.
In August, Facilitate reported that more than 20 companies and individuals from the food service sector have joined forces to launch ‘Food Service Circle’ (FSC) – a platform aiming to offer support to those affected by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time approximately 20 per cent of the workforce was expected to be made redundant or were facing significantly reduced hours.
To sign the petition, click here.