Thousands of hospitality workers, influencers and supporters have come together to show their support for the creation of the Minister of Hospitality role, just days ahead of the petition being debated in parliament.
The Seat At The Table campaign is calling for a Hospitality Minister to be appointed to champion of the industry in parliament, promoting the importance of the economic, social and employment contribution of the sector to society.
The petition, which was started in October last year, has garnered almost 200,000 signatures and as a result will now be debated in parliament on January 11.
The Seat At The Table campaign was launched by hotelier Robin Hutson in December to drive momentum to the cause.
The campaign is being spearheaded by a number of high-profile industry figures including Hutson, TV chefs Tom Kerridge and Angela Hartnett, and backed by trade association UKHospitality.
Unlike manufacturing, retail and aviation, there is currently no Government minister responsible solely for hospitality. Instead, representation for the sector is split between two crowded government departments: the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Robin Hutson, chairman & CEO of Lime Wood Group and founder of the Seat At The Table campaign, said: “I’ve long held the view that the hospitality sector requires really focused representation in government. This is about the future of our industry and the campaign and petition showcases the strength of feeling across the country on this issue. Hospitality is a sector that deserves a seat at the top table.”
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, which is backing the campaign, added: “When the country emerges from the pandemic, hospitality businesses will be pivotal in restoring a sense of normality, by providing experiences for a nation that has sacrificed much during the pandemic. If adequately supported, hospitality can play a vital and significant role in driving economic recovery across the UK, as it did following the 2008 financial crisis. A Hospitality Minister will ensure the needs of our sector are heard loud and clear in Government.”
The campaign petition can be viewed here