Episode 72 CVIRUS SPECIAL
Kate Nicholls – UK Hospitality

This is a shorter special edition of the podcast looking at how Kate and UK Hospitality are working hard to represent the UK hospitality industry, with a direct ear to the UK Government.

Kate and I have a wide ranging chat covering their early involvement in keeping the government abreast of how quickly the hospitality sector was being impacted as the coronavirus travelled at pace around the world.  The sector was an early warning barometer of what was about to come to others, as occupancy rates and visitors to bars and restaurants dropped, long before they were told to close.

We also chat about the benefits of grants over loans speeding up the potential recovery once this is over, but how the lifting of a lockdown is not likely to be instantaneous, but a staggered release and what the impact of that may look like.

The potential impact of landlords working better with tenants to share responsibility for our recovery also crops up, and a of course a celebration of the incredible response of the hospitality sector in trying to help the NHS and local communities on a national level.

Episode 71 CVIRUS SPECIAL
Mitch Tonks – Seahorse & Rockfish

This is a shorter special edition of the podcast looking at how some humans in the hospitality sector are coping with changes as a result of the coronavirus.  

Mitch is an utter gentleman of our industry who has created a small group of restaurants that have an exceptional reputation for being part of the local community, generally in seaside resorts of South West England.  Along with his chairman Will from Hawksmoor, they are a couple of wise brains who really understand the hospitality sector, and operate for the right reasons with strong values and a passion for service.

In this conversation we chat about how events unfolded and when Mitch decided to close his venues, before being told to by the government.  We then focus on quite probably the more challenging aspect of how we re-establish our businesses and how much support may be required to trade again.

We touch on business interruption loans, the job retention scheme and even wether the government could step in as ‘an insurer of last resort’.

Typically Mitch ends on a positive note confident that he will rebuild and see us all with business intact on the other side.

Episode 70 CVIRUS SPECIAL
Mark Lewis – Hospitality Action

This is a shorter special edition of the podcast looking at how some humans in the hospitality sector are coping with changes as a result of the coronavirus.  

Hospitality Action are a charity established in 1837 that has since offered vital assistance to all who work, or have worked within hospitality in the UK.

They are there for the chefs, waiters, housekeepers, managers, concierges, receptionists, kitchen porters, sommeliers, bartenders, catering assistants and cooks across the UK.

They also launched an emergency appeal just after Boris Johnson’s announcement in mid March asking the public to stop visiting restaurants, bars and cafes across the country.  As hundreds of thousands of incredible hospitality professionals started to be laid off, it was clear that perhaps more than ever, the charity was going to be in demand.

Raising over £250,000 in less than two weeks they have been inundated for help.  Mark Lewis chats about how they are responding and how the public or larger companies can donate.

Episode 69 – CVIRUS SPECIAL
Kirsty Loveday – Love Drinks

This is a shorter special edition of the podcast looking at how some businesses in the hospitality sector are coping with changes as a result of the coronavirus.  

In this chat I catch up with Kirsty who I first spoke with about her story back in September 2019.  Kirsty’s company ‘Love Drinks’ represents some incredible high end drinks brands with genuine authentic stories behind their stunning products.

Kirsty provides another example of the ripple effects back up the supply chain as bars and restaurants across the country closed.  As entrepreneurs Kirsty points out that we are used to volatile and challenging working lives, but we need to remember the impact on those around us who are use to a more stable and secure lifestyle. We also explore the potential for Kirsty to pivot her business with a direct to consumer, rather than wholesaler model, and the longer term challenges that could present.

From her own challenges around mental and physical health Kirsty is also good at reminding us of the need to stay healthy and positive, despite the uncertainty of when hospitality will be back up and running as we once knew it.

Episode 68 CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL
Jennifer Wood – Canton Tea

This is a shorter special edition of the podcast looking at how some businesses in the hospitality sector are coping with changes as a result of the coronavirus.  

In this episode Jennifer from Canton Tea explains how her normal customer has completely disappeared almost overnight and her entire team have been furloughed.  However, Jennifer and her team have pivoted the business fast, both to help them service the crisis, but also to support both Hospitality Action and frontline hospitality teams directly.

Jennifer is the kind of human that reassures me we will come out of this the other side, and together we will trade and support each other again.

A great human and great business, enjoy the show and do check out cantonsocial.cantontea.com as we discuss in the show.