Episode 85 Peter Ducker
Institute of Hospitality

In this weeks conversation I catch up with Peter from the Institute of Hospitality.  

Now I have to confess to not knowing a huge amount about the IOH but I thoroughly enjoyed this chat with Peter.  Clearly he’s been in the industry long enough to know what he’s talking about and have a very rounded and objective perspective on quite a diverse range of topics that cropped up.

We touch on OTA’s, graduate training, VAT, the opportunity for independent hospitality, the impact of the pandemic and how we can find a way to trade through.  As Peter points out, we’ve been through wars and many other challenges as a sector and we will bounce back, in time.

The IOH are the professional body for hospitality and have members in every sector in over 100 countries.  An impressive achievement. Their primary purpose is to promote professionalism through lifelong learning with hospitality educators around the world. They have an exceptional  knowledge library and resources and a programme of professional development events.

I implore you to take a listen, and guarantee that you’ll learn something new from Peter.

Episode 84 Philip Eeles
Co-Founder Honest Burgers

I really enjoyed meeting Phillip Eeles from Honest Burgers on a previous episode back in December 2019 with co-founder Tom Barton.  

This time it was just Phillip and he was equally as enthralling and honest and happy to speak the truth.  We touch on his role of late, looking after the out of London venues and his 180 degree turn on how those out of London venues should be managed.

We then get into the impact of the pandemic from charity and longterm integrity where Phillip tries desperately hard to walk the fine line between honesty and political correctness, but comes out with his personal integrity and diplomacy intact.

We chat about the #NationalTimeOut campaign and Phillip has an eloquent way of explaining the need for an open and symbiotic conversation with landlords and how the whole economy, not just hospitality in essence needs a period of hibernation for all, but a fast re-birth afterwards.

Honest are out of the pits pretty early with the shift to takeaway, and we look at the financial viability of that, as well as the operational changes such as PPE required to operate in this new space.

With all of that, a few tangents and how we see the future of our industry, I very much hope you enjoy the chat.

Episode 83 Jonathan Downey (JD) – Hospitality Union

Lots has changed since I last caught up with JD.  Hospitality Union has become more grown up from its early WhatsApp group days and now has a website, brand and a more disciplined and structured voice representing over 3000 independent hospitality owners and senior operators.

Through Hospitality Union JD has been campaigning for a number of national support measures to help the sector navigate the pandemic, and fundamentally save as many jobs as possible.  Next to the JRS and furloughing scheme some sort of plan on rent is essential to save the industry and jobs.  #NationalTimeOut has gained national support from many leaders of the industry and some of our best and most famous chefs and operators.

JD and I chat the latest development on this and his confidence that some sort of framework support will be agreed nationally soon.

We also touch on more general structure and flexibility on our re-opening such as what happens with terraces and outdoor spaces and the debate on 2 metres to 0 metres and how sometimes less regulation and common sense is better than over-regulation.

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Episode 83 Logan Brouse
Tacoliscious Shanghai – China

Logan is from Logan’s Punch and tacolicious, venues of varying  size in Shanghai.  As a prior F & B consultant from San Francisco, Logan has been living in China for ten years and has had a ring side view of the pandemic roll out from there and across the globe.  

I was fascinated during this chat to hear the importance of the timing around Chinese New Year and the impact that had on how the virus was transmitted across China.  Interestingly their has also been some government business support, as in Europe, but not to the same scale, with tax and rent relief.

In many ways it appears their very strict shutdown has meant they have been able to re-open faster than parts of Europe.  And when I say strict how about a 14,000 dollar fine for breaking the seal on your restaurant door!  

The lack of travel into the country for many months means that the population feels much safer that the virus has not spread, and bars and restaurants are returning to some level of business, albeit the ex pat population are no longer around.

I also found it interesting about 1 metre, rather than 2 metre distancing rules, and imagined the difference that would make to UK covers once hospitality is allowed to re-open.  Who has decided 1 metre in china, 1.5 mitres in Belgium and 2 metres in England?

I very much hope you enjoy this global chat, and a glimpse further down the pandemic timeline.

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Episode 82 Simon Mitchell
CEO Kerb Food

This is the first post pandemic episode I’ve done representing what is such a vibrant, energised, important and all too neglected part of the incredible hospitality sector – the street food traders.  And when I say neglected I mean that so many of them are small, independent operators with no premises and no staff, so generally don’t qualify for grants or furloughing cash.  It’s heart breaking to imagine the hardship that some of these incredible hospitality humans are facing during this crisis.

As well as their members we touch on some of the Kerb challenges such as rents and the #nationaltimeout campaign and what that would mean for their Seven Dials site, as well as the rest of the industry. Simon and kerb were heavily in negotiations over rents and their CBILS application literally pre and post this recording.

Despite the chaos of our sector, there was plenty of positivity to chat about too, such as the opportunities for street food to be one of the first sectors to rebound with its natural al fresco credentials.

It was also great to hear about some of the initiatives simon and his team are working on to support their members along with your chance to check out some free resources via the spinout onto YouTube of some of their inkerbator information.