Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List recognising her tireless work to champion the sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nicholls, who has been in the role since May 2018, has been instrumental in giving the hospitality industry a clear, concise voice in government over the last difficult year, highlighting the challenges and impact that decisions are having on the sector.
She said: “This year has been one of continued despair and heartbreak for hard-pressed hospitality businesses. They were hit first and hit hardest by the pandemic but, despite this, there have been countless inspirational examples of leadership, resilience and collaboration, of people coming together to support their local communities during this unprecedented time, helping to feed frontline NHS and key workers, the homeless and support others in need. It is those values that make me proud to have represented and been part of such a wonderful sector for many years.”
Other hospitality heroes were also awarded for their contributions to society during the pandemic, including other OBEs for chefs Margot and Fergus Henderson for services to culinary arts and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, co-founder of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation.
Jim Gouldie and Steve Clarke from Bidfood were also commended.
Included in the MBE Honours List was Denise Hunt from the Londonderry Arms hot in County Antrim and publicans Carole Halfhide, who runs the Bell in Ash, Somerset and Richard Curtis from the Portsmouth Arms in Basingstoke.
Restaurateur Rich Ord who owns two eateries in South Shields was also awarded an MBE as well as Anna Hallas, who is national domestic manager at Compass.