2014’s Young Guns Award Winners Announced!

The two winners of the 2014 Young Guns competition were recently announced in London. Young Guns is open to students studying hospitality degrees or degrees with hospitality-focused modules, with work placement as part of the programme. Finalists demonstrate their passion and drive for the industry to a panel of eight industry experts, including our own Chief Executive, Peter Ducker FIH, who praised the quality, preparation and knowledge of this year’s contestants. The competition is an excellent way for young ‘whipper snappers’ to get themselves noticed by the industry’s top employers.

A duel to the finish, this year's Young Guns finalists with their awards.
A duel to the finish, this year’s Young Guns finalists with their awards.

The eight worthy finalists included: Elena Kritkos (University of Portsmouth); Lauren Joseph (University College Birmingham, EMS); Kelly Tyror (Plymouth University, EMS ); Aldo Valiente, Josie Payne and Melissa Penny (Sheffield Hallam University, EMS); and Owen Farr and Martin Holden-White (Oxford Brookes University, EMS). Many of the student participants attend universities that participate in the Institute’s Education Membership Scheme (EMS) – always a sign of educational excellence, we like to think!

According to judge Isabell Hodgson, the ‘finalists were amazing and a real credit to their tutors and universities’. The decision was tough but this year’s two winners are Lauren Joseph from UCB and Martin Holden-White from Oxford Broookes.

Among their prizes the two winners receive a year’s membership of the industry’s professional body, the Institute of Hospitality; attendance at the fantastic Catey Awards; and all finalists will be invited to the glittering Springboard Awards later in the year!

Well-done to all the participants and many thanks to Tim West FIH, Chairman of Lexington Catering for their generous support, along with the support of Springboard UK and the eight judges, who were very generous with their time.

Look out for details of the 2015 competition in September and promote participation in Young Guns 2015 to your students.


One of Our Favourite Reports: BDO’s Hotel Britain

Hotel Britain 2014 - a MUST read from experts at BDO!
Hotel Britain 2014 – a MUST read!

Each year the British hotel industry and related sectors look forward to the release of Hotel Britain, BDO’s annual report showing how UK hotels are performing. Formerly published by PKF Consulting, once BDO and PKF merged the decision was made to retain this valuable research report – and for that we and the industry are grateful. The 2014 report contains:

  • Detailed performance on Britain and its regions, noting underlying trends for key markets.
  • Historic performance data.
  • Analysis, expert commentary and insights into future prospects, explaining what 2013 held for the hotels sector.

Here are some of the many key points contained in Hotel Britain 2014:

  • UK economy showed tentative signs of improvement in 2013, though it remained fundamentally weak. However, the service sector has shown a bounce back since the recession.
  • Crowning two consecutive years of growth for international visitors, 2013 also saw the most inbound trips for some time. Visitors reached 32.9 million, up by 5.8% from 2012 and the highest figure since 2007.
  • UK hotels overall had a good 2013. This was especially true in the regions, which outperformed London compared to the previous year. Regional hotels’ performance was driven by the increase in occupancy, while AARR remained stable. This has prompted new confidence in the Regions, where the MICE market is also returning to some extent.

To see the full Hotel Britain report and read the detailed breakdown of research, visit the BDO’s Hotel Britain website.

Hot Topic: Scottish Independence and its Impact on Hospitality and Tourism

Issues don’t get much hotter than the upcoming Scottish referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. In the autumn of 2013, the Institute’s Scotland Branch held a well-attended debate between Beppo Buchanan-Smith, FIH MI, owner of the Isle of Eriska hotel and Michelin-starred chef Andrew Fairlie (Gleneagles). To read more about their positions and the outcome of their debate on the referendum for independence (Andrew was for independence, Beppo was against) go to Scottish Referendum Debate 2013.

Scenic Scotland: how would its departure from the UK affect hospitality, tourism and the larger economy?

But for the very latest on the Referendum, attend the Institute’s Scotland Branch forthcoming event called “Beyond the Referendum“, scheduled for Tuesday, 20th May 2014 at Glasgow Caledonian University, where a panel of hospitality and tourism experts will take the issue further and discuss the ramifications of independence for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Ray Lorimer FIH, chairman of the Institute’s Scotland Branch, said: “The discussion provides a much needed platform to look objectively beyond current debate and address the key implications both for and against independence from a Scottish food, drink, tourism and leisure perspective.

“Members of the audience will have the opportunity to put their questions to the panellists, across five areas – the relationship with the rest of the UK, the economy, fiscal autonomy, Bureaucracy-Regulation or Deregulation and Devo Max / Status Quo?

“It promises to be a stirring discussion. I’m confident all panellists will justly execute their viewpoint with the energy and enthusiasm you would expect from those passionate about an industry that makes a substantial contribution to Scotland.”

Book now for what promises to be an scintillating and informative event for anyone with an interest in hospitality, leisure and tourism on either side of the border!

Coffee and Books DO Mix: New Report on Foodservice and Libraries

These days, coffee and books DO mix as libraries and foodservice collaborate
These days, coffee and books DO mix, as libraries and foodservice collaborate

Food and books: two of my favourite things. In the not-so-distant past, food and drink consumption in libraries was taboo. Librarians were seen as fierce and uncompromising when they forced library patrons outside with their illicit cups of coffee and secreted snacks. However, there is a reason for the librarians’ vociferous objections. Replacement costs for spillages in books places a strain on already depleted library budgets and, more importantly, traces of food in or around books attracts vermin and insects, which like to feast on book binding glue. Insect infestations can spell disaster for a library’s business continuity plan.

These days librarians have conceded that users need their caffeine – albeit in spill-proof containers – and (tidy) snacks to keep their energy up when browsing the stacks or conducting marathon study sessions. Library footfall is essential to retain funding and, for entrepreneurial libraries, a cup of coffee and a bite to eat could be the answer.

Public and academic libraries have seen the success of bookstore cafes and taken a page out of their book! Think Waterstones’ cafes – but with free books – and the synergies between libraries and foodservice businesses become apparent.

A new US report explains how foodservice providers can determine whether expansion into libraries is viable. The report, The Survey of Library Cafes & Food Service (2014), examines cafes and other food service operations in public and academic libraries. It provides “valuable and unique data on best-selling products, revenues and sources of revenues, expansion plans, catering revenues, salary costs, seating and decor and other facets of library cafe and food service operation”.

The British Library's astonishingly beautiful cafe and library.
The British Library’s stunning cafe and library

The data covers academic and public libraries in the United States and is broken out by library size which is defined by annual library budget and visitor numbers. Planners will find answers to questions such as: “what are personnel costs for the typical cafe? How much revenue is accounted for by lunch traffic? Do cafes cater outside events and if so, how much do they earn?” Although the data is from the US, it reflects the typical use of library foodservice offerings by patrons, whether they are students or the general public.

In addition, foodservice providers can, by working with any library’s managers, obtain valuable data from the library regarding patron profiles, the type of food and drinks that might appeal, the times of day when service will be at a premium and more.

To locate further articles exploring the foodservice offering within public and academic libraries, try Libraries with Coffee Shops for insights into the benefits of mixing coffee and books.

Travel and Tourism Report: ‘Could Do Better’

WTTC's 2014 report Travel & Tourism
WTTC’s excellent report, Travel & Tourism: Economic Impact 2014 – World

A new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), a global authority on the social and economic impact of Travel & Tourism, gives the sector high marks for its economic performance in 2013, but also notes there is a global issue that is holding back growth. The WTTC’s President and CEO, David Scowsill, expresses concerns about travel restrictions – such as onerous visa processes  – that are holding back the sector’s development in some countries.

According to research conducted by the WTTC and the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in 2012, “improving visa processes could generate an additional US$ 206 billion in tourism receipts and create as many as 5.1 million jobs by 2015 in the G20 economies.

Mr Scowsill said, “To capitalise on, rather than thwart, Travel & Tourism’s potential to boost visitors, spend and jobs, we would encourage countries to implement progressive approaches to visas, which make it easier for people to travel. Governments also need to ensure that they have intelligent rather than punitive taxation measures in place. Last but not least, it is also essential that the public and private sectors facilitate growth in a responsible and sustainable way, with people and the planet at the forefront of policies.”

Read the WTTC report here: Travel & Tourism: Economic Impact 2014 – World

If visa issues are of interest to you, refer to the British Hospitality Association’s campaign, Facilitating Access. As the trade association for the UK’s hospitality and tourism businesses, the BHA is campaigning on behalf of the industry for “visa reform that is realistic and manageable”. To read more, visit Facilitating Access on the BHA’s website.

Event: Food Labelling Regulations

Is YOUR business ready for new food labelling regulations?
Is YOUR business ready for new food labelling regulations?

Most hospitality businesses are aware of the new food labelling regulations that come into effect on 13th December 2014 across Europe. For the first time, caterers will be required to provide information to customers about the food allergens present in the food they serve – whether packaged or not, whether sold or not. The planned changes have significant impact for all Food Service and Hospitality businesses, owners, staff and their customers.

With this in mind the Institute of Hospitality’s Sussex Branch has put together an informative evening seminar on the topic which will include top industry speakers from DEFRA and the BHA, as well as talks from many of those involved in helping ease the transition for hospitality businesses (such as the Anaphylaxis Campaign and Sodexo).

The event highlights the Institute’s continued commitment to supporting hospitality managers in better serving customers and fully informing them about the impact on their business by this new legislation. Is your business ready? To book click HERE.

The ‘Workforce Cliff’: Are Hospitality Businesses About to Fall Over?

As vacancies go unfilled, are hospitality businesses headed for the workforce cliff?
As vacancies go unfilled, are hospitality businesses on the edge?

The hospitality industry has grappled with the issue of unfilled vacancies for years. Despite the recent global recession, the industry is standing on what David Fairhurst, chief people officer at McDonald’s Europe, calls the ‘workforce cliff.’

In a recent Financial Times article, Fairhurst acknowledged that McDonald’s is experiencing the problems of a shrinking hospitality workforce with too few young and older workers.

Peter Ducker, Chief Executive of the Institute of Hospitality, the industry’s professional body for global hospitality managers and aspiring managers, examines Fairhurst’s concerns and explores the further threat of a shrinking European workforce, which could leave hospitality businesses struggling to provide services in a growth industry.

Will a lack of staff derail the powerful hospitality engine? And who’s to blame for the problem? The employers? The young people? The older candidates?

To find read more about this complex issue, click HERE.