Africa’s economic growth – there’s lots to smile about

Lots to smile about at Wavecrest College, Nigeria
Lots to smile about at Wavecrest College of Hospitality in Lagos, Nigeria

“Africa’s hotel development boom is already well-underway,” says Peter Ducker FIH, Chief Executive of the Institute of Hospitality.  In Nigeria alone there are 49 international chain hotels currently under development, representing a total of 7,500 rooms and in Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole there is a pipeline of 130 hotels (21,052 rooms) according to experts at W Hospitality Group.  International brands such as  Hilton, Radisson Blu, Novotel, Marriott, Park Inn, Ibis and Golden Tulip are entering or increasing their presence in the African hospitality market.

At Wavecrest College of Hospitality in Nigeria the smiles of its graduates reflect the increasing employment prospects within the African hospitality industry. Wavecrest is a project of the Women’s Board – Educational Cooperation Society, an international non-governmental organisation that aims to empower women to achieve higher education, economic independence and employment through hospitality careers. The College is also approved to deliver the Institute of Hospitality’s full suite of international management qualifications.


Hospitality Webinars: Here, There, Everywhere

WebinarChalkBoardAt the risk of sounding like Dr. Seuss, our NEW hospitality webinars can be attended ‘here, there, everywhere’ – from just about anywhere in the world where you can obtain WiFi or internet access.

The webinars cover various topics of particular relevance to today’s hospitality professionals and students. Some of the excellent topics covered in recent webinars include:

  • Is mobile marketing a waste of time? (Bulent Osman, managing director, The App Garden)
  • Ignoring social media is like ignoring your customers (Karen Fewell AIH, director, Digital Blonde)
  • Reclaiming profits and reducing dependency on OTAs (Frank Reeves, chief executive, Avvio)

Forthcoming topics, for which bookings are currently being taken, include:

  • The Hospitality and Food Service Agreement: Taking action on waste (Elin Pheasant, WRAP) 3pm, 4 Feb 2014
  • Catching the ones that got away – how to use remarketer advertising to convert more bookings (Paul West MIH, managing director, Ignite Hospitality) 3pm, 11 Feb 2014
  • Food labelling and the legal implications (Sarah Sleet, Coeliac UK) 3pm, 18 Feb 2014

Academics who wish to book a seat and present the webinar to students in the classroom can make arrangements to do so by contacting:

Institute members, including Education Membership Scheme members, can obtain access to previously held webinars 30 days after the event by logging in to the Institute’s home page and going to the Online Catalogue, then searching ‘webinar’ in the basic search box to locate the webinar’s record and link. It’s easy!

The webinars are so popular they are now fully booked on the day, so don’t wait. Book your attendance soon.

UK Catering Students Vie for Nestlé Toque d’Or

chef_hatIt’s that time of year, when catering students from around the United Kingdom compete in the prestigious 2014 Nestlé Toque d’Or. The competition offers the students ‘real life experiences, exposure to key industry influencers, as well as exciting challenges to get the very best out of the contestants’.

Thus far, the judges have narrowed the competitors down to 30 teams who have passed the first stage paper entry to enter the heats. It’s no surprise to discover a few Institute of Hospitality Education Membership Scheme (EMS) colleges and universities in amongst the competitors – their excellence is showing! – and we wish them the very best of luck. The EMS members are as follows:

  • Bradford College, 1 team
  • City College Norwich, 1 team
  • Coleg Llandrillo, 1 team
  • Kendal College, 1 team
  • North West Regional College (Londonderry), 1 team
  • South Regional College (County Armagh), 1 team
  • University College Birmingham, 1 team
  • University of Derby, Buxton, 2 teams
  • Westminster Kingsway, 1 team

Congratulations to all the teams who made it over the first hurdle and got through to the regional heats. The Grand Finals Challenges will take place on March 6th – 9th 2014 followed by the Grand Final Awards at The Dorchester Hotel, London on April 2nd 2014. To find out more or to stay current on the heats, check the Nestlé Toque d’Or website.

Are You Too Graphic? FREE JISC Resources Can Help

Make your data sing!

Whether you are presenting course work to academics or the latest data charts to a senior management team, make sure your graphics support the story you’re telling with some simple design techniques. The following tips can be applied to any presentation incorporating graphs and charts and they’ll make your data sing!

  • Tone down or remove colours
  • streamline graphic shapes
  • remove 3d effects
  • don’t overload a graphic with data; create more, if needed

For further information refer to JISC’s excellent presentation on how to design charts and graphs to convey an easy-to-digest visual story. See: Top 10 Tips for Data Visualisation from JISC infoNet.

JISC also offers a fun Design IQ test – not as intimidating as it sounds – and a free Data Visualisation infoKit. Use of either or both will ensure you come away with a good overview about how to greatly improve your graphics and make your ‘story’ memorable.

Peter Ducker FIH asks what could happen to UK businesses that do not comply with the new food allergen regulation

Now that the parties are over, businesses that haven't undertaken steps to comply with the new allergen regulation must take action!
The party’s over: UK businesses that haven’t undertaken steps to comply with the new allergen regulation must take action! Our FIR Toolbox can help.

By the time you read this, the 13 December 2014 deadline to comply with the new EU regulations regarding allergen labelling and customer information will have been and gone.

According to a Caternet survey, only one third of hospitality operators said that they were 100% ready for the new legislation, which applies to any business that provides food and beverages to the public.

In busy working environments, it is easy to understand how plans to prepare for the new regulations could get sidelined or postponed, especially since the deadline fell in the busy run-up to Christmas. According to the same survey, one in five companies has yet to make any preparations for the new law, which requires operators to keep a systematic record of the allergens present in their dishes and communicate this information to customers.

So what could happen to those businesses that are not fully compliant? The hospitality team at law firm Pitmans LLP says: “The Regulation does not supply any indications about a sanction regime, which means that such regimes are not harmonized at a European level. Initially, we believe breaches will result in Improvement Notices and First Tier Tribunals in the case of appeals, but there is the possibility of criminal sanctions as non-compliance may endanger consumers. Operators should therefore seek advice as early as possible.”

It cannot be a coincidence that the Sentencing Council has chosen now to launch a consultation on its proposed guidelines for judges and magistrates to use when sentencing people for food safety, hygiene offences and corporate manslaughter.

If a customer dies from an allergic reaction while eating in a hotel that has failed to comply with the new Regulation, for example, then we could in theory see that criminal prosecutions under the Corporate Manslaughter Act and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 may apply. Under this legislation, it is the organisation which is liable rather than any individual members of staff.  A court would look at the systems and practices implemented across the organisation in assessing whether a gross breach has occurred, which could in theory include a breach of the Regulation.

As an industry getting to grips with the new regime, it seems we will have to rely on the goodwill and support of Environmental Health Officers and Trading Standards Officers.  However, the more a business prepares for and documents their compliance, the greater the chance that problems will be avoided.

At the Institute of Hospitality, we believe that compliance is easier than it appears. Even if you  are one of those businesses that have taken little or no action so far, we have created a 1-2-3 step approach to compliance.  Members can follow our three easy-to-understand steps when they access our online FIR Toolbox.  The Toolbox also includes a selection of resources freely available to non-members.

An estimated 21 million adults in the UK suffer from a food allergy so, although we are now in an adjustment period as hospitality businesses get acclimatised to the new Food Information Regulations (FIR), astute organisations will see the opportunities that arise from helping customers make the right choices for their needs. These businesses can become the hospitality businesses of choice for consumers with allergies – and the friends, family and co-workers who might accompany them for a meal – by complying with FIR and offering a broader range of allergen-free foods to meet customers’ needs.

The Institute of Hospitality’s FIR Toolbox is available at:

Ding Dong! A New Year and a NEW BLOG

If you study or work in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sector, you’ve probably been following the Institute’s popular EMS Blog, which offered industry news, top tips for conducting hospitality research and profiles of industry professionals who are succeeding in – and loving! – their hospitality careers.

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For technical reasons, the Institute has revamped the EMS Blog by moving it to a WordPress platform and, because the content was popular with business practitioners as well as the intended audience of academics and students, it’s posts are now aimed at anyone working in, teaching or studying hospitality.

Please do bookmark this page, send it to hospitality peers, friend and colleagues. Let us know what you think using the contact form below and, if there is a topic you’d like to see covered, let us know that, too!

We hope you the ‘new look’ Institute of Hospitality Blog!

Sheffield Hallam’s Christoph Schlegel is Worthy Winner of Institute Prize


At the recent Sheffield Business School prize-giving ceremony, Jenny Cockill MIH, Principal Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University awarded Christoph Schlegel who graduated from the MSc International Hospitality and Tourism Management.

The Institute of Hospitality sponsors a prize which is awarded to the student with the best overall result. Christoph received a framed certificate, book token and complimentary membership of the Institute of Hospitality for one year.