£14m Hotel Recovery Programme welcomed in Scotland, but warnings from experts remain

A £14m hotel recovery programme has been announced by the Scottish government in a bid to help support the tourism industry until next summer.

The package has been designed to secure up to 3,000 jobs in large hotels throughout the winter season, with eligible businesses being able to apply for individual grants of up to £250,000.

VisitScotland has also announced it will provide £1m in grants to self-catering businesses which are unable to receive any other government support. Companies which meet the criteria will be eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said of the hotel recovery programme: “Its core purpose will be to protect larger hotels, which have been badly affected by the events of the recent months.

“This is also about looking forward and successful applicants will be offered wraparound support to help strengthen their companies for the future.”

Concerns for the hotel industry remain

While news of the programme was warmly received, experts have warned that it won’t be enough in the long term. There are still fears that without other forms of longer-term support in the future, many hotels in Scotland will remain at risk of being forced to shut their doors permanently, resulting in thousands of people losing their jobs.

Current industry figures suggest the hotel sector supports around 46,000 jobs in Scotland.

Willie Macleod, UKHospitality’s executive director for Scotland, said: “The reality is that any programme of recovery intended to keep hotels in Scotland open and staff in jobs, will need to be much bigger and much more wide-ranging.

“It must be hoped that this is an initial step in supporting these businesses and that further resources will be made available in the likely event that the programme is over-subscribed.”

Only 5% of hotels will be supported

UKHospitality estimates that approximately 950 large hotels in Scotland did not qualify for grants which were made available to smaller businesses during the COVID-19 lockdown. As such, they had to meet their average monthly expenses themselves – which in some cases totals £60,000 – despite being shut for the majority of the spring season.

The group has also warned that a budget of £14m will only cover 50 businesses, just 5% of the large hotels in Scotland. Macleod added: “This is not enough to avert the crisis facing the sector.”

For regular industry updates and advice on hospitality recruitment, contact us at JW Recruitment today.

How to increase restaurant sales without advertising

Sales are a crucial part of every business and restaurants, like any other business, strive to always focus on their bottom line. The restaurant market that we have today is quite volatile, which makes restaurant sales even trickier.

This makes advertising a critical element in the equation. However, what if you want to increase your restaurant sales without using any advertisement strategies? Is it possible?

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What is revenue management in hotels?

When it comes to hotels, revenue management is a pivotal role required to optimise profit. By selling “the right product to the right customer at the right time and at the right price,” revenue managers can ensure the hotel maximises its potential profits and reduces the likelihood of loss. It’s a role that works closely with all management facets of the hotel to ensure demand is met and even exceeded.

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How Artificial Intelligence is already transforming the Hospitality industry

It was once the stuff of sci-fi but Artificial Intelligence (AI) is about to transform the world of work forever. A recent report by the Office For National Statistics found that 1.5 million jobs in England are at high risk that some of their tasks and duties will become automated in the near future.

 

Hospitality is likely to be at the forefront of that change. Aside from in a few high profile hotels in tech-hungry Japanese cities, humanoid robots are unlikely to be checking in guests anytime soon, nor are they likely to impact negatively on levels of hospitality recruitment. Instead, AI is already starting to streamline how hotels operate, freeing staff from time-consuming administrative duties and allowing them to spend more time catering for the needs of customers.

 

Here are four ways AI is already being used within the hospitality sector.

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Why study hotel management

The tourism and hospitality industry continues to grow globally increasing the need for qualified people to join and make their mark on the industry. Being a hotel manager can be a hard and challenging job, but it is also one that is very rewarding, has excellent job opportunities, and for the right people, it can offer an environment for them to be highly successful in. Here are five of the top reasons to study hotel management.

1. You get to see the world

Studying and qualifying to be a hotel manager opens up a world of possibilities, literally. The skills required to manage a hotel in one country are the same as in another. Hotels exist in every town and city in the world. You will have the chance the work in the world’s greatest cities and its hidden treasures.

2. Early opportunities for a leadership role

The hospitality industry offers fast progress and on-the-job training. Allowing you to take on a managerial role at a relatively young age. This is great news for those who are natural leaders and are keen to use their talents. It also provides excellent experience if you want a career change later in life.

3. It’s not a 9-5

For some people this will be a negative, they crave the routine a 9-5 job offers. For many others, the chance to work in a more varied and dynamic manner can be very appealing. No two days are the same working in a hotel, it is a job that will constantly keep you on your toes and provide some great experiences.

4. You get to be creative

Many people associate creativity with writers and painters, but there are many other forms of creativity. As a hotel manager, you will have to come up with creative and innovative ideas to ensure your hotel provides guests with the best possible experience.

5. Earning potential

Thanks to the high levels of responsibility involved, qualified hotel managers often find the salary for entry positions to be very competitive. These rates go up considerably when working in capital cities. There are excellent opportunities to progress your career becoming a general manager or even managing your own chain of hotels.

How will Brexit affect the hospitality industry?

The main issue with Brexit is that nobody knows exactly how it will wash out. Brexiteers, by and large, are confident that things will go well, that the UK is shrugging off an immense load of unnecessary legislation and will be free – able to make preferential deals with other countries, including individually with other EU members. But even Brexiteers cannot be absolutely certain that this will happen, and most financial and political experts – those who have watched the tide of the global economy and its responses to drastic political action over the decades and centuries – are fairly certain that things will not go as easily as might be hoped. When it comes specifically to the hospitality industry, there are a number of factors to take into account.

Manpower

Hospitality work, especially in the lower echelons, tends to be hard work performed at unsociable hours for the national minimum wage or thereabouts: few British people are willing to work these hours for so little money. Seasonal workers from the EU have traditionally filled the gaps left by the British workers, happily coming in for pre-sunrise starts or whiling away the quiet, dark hours behind the 24-hour reception desk as this means that they can pay their way, and get to thoroughly explore their temporary home country. Many of these temporary casual workers have already stopped coming into the UK, preferring to gain their travel and work experience in countries that are still firmly in the EU and that have proven themselves welcoming to foreign workers. After Brexit, this decline will most likely increase sharply, leaving enormous gaps in the hospitality market.

Ingredients and dishes

A large proportion of the UK’s food is imported from the EU under very favourable agreements, making it possible to have a fully cosmopolitan menu without the excessive costs that this would previously have given rise to. After Brexit, it is almost certain that prices of products will fluctuate quite wildly, probably shooting up at first – or perhaps being marked by instances of non-availability as any available stocks will be earmarked for existing EU members before third-parties can be satisfied. Once things have settled down, the UK may find itself having to accept deals on products that are available due to surplus crops rather than being able to choose which goods it wants. This may drive restaurant menus to change more often than would otherwise be desirable.

The hospitality industry, almost always, depends on spare money being available for leisure travel, and sometimes even for business conferences and meetings. In the event that the economy suffers as much as experts seem to be saying that it will: the hospitality industry will almost certainly suffer losses, with only those outlets with strong business practices, good financial reserves and a plan for the future already being actioned promised the chance of survival.

16 Michelin Star Deletions for 2020

Following the latest Michelin announcements earlier this month, a record amount of new stars were awarded in the 2020 Michelin guide; seeing 1 new three-star restaurant, 4 new two-stars and 3 new one-stars in Britain, including 3 new stars in the Lake District and Manchester’s first star in over 40 years!

Success for some however, can always mean disappointment for others. So, we’ve taken a look at some of this year’s omissions.

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Get up to scratch with safety signs in the kitchen

Maintaining high standards of hygiene and preventing accidents in a busy kitchen is vital.

And this is where the importance of clear and concise kitchen safety signs come into play.

From implementing new safety measures to preventing accidents, kitchen safety signs have a wide variety of uses.

In a professional kitchen, continued communication of safety procedures is crucial for all staff members.

Particularly during the current Covid-19 climate, safety signs are now even more important than ever.

Not only do they ensure that staff in the kitchen are carrying out the correct safety procedures, but with plenty of new guidelines to remember, it’s vital to ensure rules are met for a safe environment for staff and customers.

It’s the responsibility of restaurant owners to keep up to date with the current regulations and ensure that the correct signs are placed in key locations to remind their employees of safety procedures during a hectic workday.

Knowledgeable kitchen staff make for a safe working environment.

The importance of kitchen safety signs

In the UK, 28.2 million working days were lost due to work-related injuries over 2018 and 2019.

And in the catering industry alone, 84% of workers suffer work-related injuries at some point in their careers.

For restaurants not following the safety guidelines put in place by the government, this creates a huge issue for business owners and their workers.

From failed inspections, restaurant closures, considerable fines and even up to 6 months imprisonment in England and Wales, not following the rules is a big risk for businesses.

This is why it’s vital to follow this next stage of kitchen safety, in a post-lockdown restaurant.

If you know your hazards you can put appropriate signs in place as a gentle reminder to staff who have undergone the necessary training.

So, which new safety signs do you need in your restaurant kitchen? We’ve shared our most important signs to ensure your kitchen staff and customers are safe and following the guidelines.

Handwashing and cross-contamination

As we are all familiar with, handwashing is one of the key ways to prevent the spread of viruses, such as the coronavirus.

This is why reminding staff to wash their hands regularly, most importantly when handling food, is of the utmost importance.

Following government guidelines, the advice has been to make sure all staff wash hands regularly with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

All employees should be provided with regular breaks, have allocated break times, and a dedicated hand washing station – which should be clearly signposted.

Laminated signs can be used to remind staff to avoid touching their face or hair while handling food and instructions on the correct way, and duration of time, to wash their hands.

If you decide to give this a try, make sure to choose a laminating pouch with a gloss finish, as these can be used with a dry-erase pen for writing important notes, wiped clean, and then updated following changes in guidelines.

Cleanliness

Shared equipment and kitchen areas which have high foot traffic and touch rates should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Kitchen safety signs can be used to remind staff to clean their work surface after completing a task, such as handling different meats and slicing vegetables.

Signs should be used to remind staff to wear face masks. This is to prevent any droplets from the nose and mouth contaminating food by staff, who may be unknowing carriers, from spreading the virus.

Other good hygiene practices also include the use of protective jackets, preventing cross-contamination of food from clothes worn outside, and the use of waterproof, blue plasters to cover wounds.

Accidents

Safety signs can be used to remind kitchen workers of safety procedures when using knives and sharp utensils.

It’s also important to highlight precautions with signs for fire exits, fire assembly points, flammable gas, and as reminders to ensure cookers, grills, and ovens are turned off.

Another common cause of accidents in the kitchen is over-crowding.

Safety signs reminding staff members to keep a reasonable distance where possible are vital, and these can also be useful for customers who need a gentle reminder to stay safe.

You can find a range of free, printable safety signs for professional kitchens online, so it’s even easier to print, laminate and get your sign out in the kitchen.

Making sure to laminate your signs not only increases their durability and protects against wear, but with a high-quality option, they can even be cleaned quickly and easily.

Investing that extra time in your approach to safety signs not only allows for a better, fast-evolving approach to health and safety, but it’s also more cost-effective in the long term.

How do you open a Pop-Up Restaurant?

There are many benefits of having a pop-up restaurant, that are similar to having a traditional brick and mortar restaurant but without the high cost of opening. A pop-up is a great way for a chef to show off their culinary skills, whilst expanding their culinary careers. This is as well as levelling the dining field and being able to offer gourmet food at an affordable price. Below we have listed the 7-step guide that will help you to launch your very own pop-up restaurant.

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