With train strikes set to come into effect this week, we’re encouraging people to support their local hospitality businesses – in a bid to help plug the gap left by those unable to travel.
With the Covid pandemic having hit hospitality especially hard, the sector is facing its third heavily impacted Christmas in a row, with the cost-of-living crisis now set to be compounded by train strikes, which will disrupt the plans of hundreds of thousands of people.
Cancellations across the hospitality industry have skyrocketed following the announcement, and with hotels and other hospitality venues already facing a difficult winter, we’re calling upon the public to get behind hospitality businesses local to them to help keep the industry going.
Commenting, Jane Pendlebury, our CEO, explained the thinking behind it: “The hospitality industry has gone from one crisis to another, with the pandemic having caused many operators to close and never reopen. This winter, it’s set to happen all over again, with many teetering on the brink.”
She continued: “We have sympathy for people fighting for better pay and working conditions and this is something we champion at HOSPA. However, the bleak fact is, whilst others are looking to improve their working conditions, the knock-on effect will be people in hospitality losing their jobs completely. Operators have clung on over the last few years, with many only doing so miraculously, and now, with consumers already struggling, confirmed bookings are fast evaporating. It’s difficult enough to generate trade during a cost-of-living crisis, but now hospitality is even losing the custom of people in a position to afford it – but who just can’t get there. It’s yet another blow on top of the many before it.”
With travel disrupted, HOSPA is calling on those who’ve been affected by the strikes to consider their local hospitality businesses instead, while we’re also urging those who can afford to do so to engage with hospitality wherever they can.
Jane said: “With costs rising, it’s incredibly difficult for so many at present – but the hospitality industry is the third largest employer in the UK, supporting millions of households. So we urge people to not forget us and we ask them to support their local hospitality operators wherever they can. Something as simple as popping into bars and pubs for a pint, or having just a light meal in a restaurant, all helps to keep these businesses going. Simply staying open with the lights and heating on is a huge expense in itself at the moment, so you’ll be helping to offset these costs. To coin a phrase from Tesco, every little helps – and that’s never been more fitting in our current predicament.”
To support the initiative, HOSPA has created a series of social media assets for hospitality businesses to use on their social channels to help highlight the plight of the sector and drive awareness of #SupportLocalHospitality.
Jane Pendlebury concluded: “With everyone assessing their own circumstances at present, it’s easy to overlook the impact beyond this. If hospitality businesses can help to raise awareness of the struggles the sector is facing where they can, they might inspire those who are in a position to do so to dine out, go for drinks and even indulge in an overnight hotel stay. For a sector in crisis, the smallest of things can make the difference, so we encourage those who can to get involved.”