Robin Hutson, founder of The Pig Hotels, has started a social media campaign in a bid to drum up support for a petition calling for a Minister of Hospitality to have a #seatatthetable in parliament.
Hutson, who operates the seven-strong Pig group and Limewood hotel, said that if 2020 highlighted anything, it was ‘how little the government understands the complexities and power of the sector’ and how vital hospitality is for employment and to the nation’s happiness and overall mental health.
He says: “This industry must have a powerful voice within government and we intend to dedicate the next 30 days to a social media campaign of some magnitude. Currently there are 42,000 signatures on the petition yet we must get to 100,000 for this to even be debated in parliament, let alone have someone sitting at the top table.”
The campaign has already received the backing of some of the industry’s most prominent names, including Angela Hartnett, Tom Kerridge, Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver.
Chef Tom Kerridge has said: “Hundreds of young people are employed by the hospitality sector and are carving out exciting and fulfilling careers for themselves. If pubs and restaurants aren’t given more of a voice then the future of them as entities are in jeopardy which will naturally lead to job losses.”
Over 3 million are employed by the hospitality sector and a further 2m dependant on it, there is £130bn in activity resulting in £38bn in taxation.
The petition says that ‘unlike arts or sports, UK hospitality does not have a dedicated minister’ and is asking for the role to be created to ‘listen to concerns on taxation & legislation and bring forward suggestions to the Chancellor and policy makers on our behalf’.
The petition also states that a dedicated minister would liaise with industry representatives and would have been ‘beneficial to government and the industry during the pandemic’.
At 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in parliament.
TO SIGN THE PETITION, CLICK HERE
Instagram – seat_at_the_table
Twitter – @seatat_thetable