We’re sure you’ve read the news, and telling you how tricky everything is right now is the last thing you want to hear. So instead, let’s start figuring out how we keep the things we love about hospitality alive. We spoke to some of the industry HR leaders about how culture, values, teams and the workforce are still really important despite being closed for business. This is what they had to say.


Protecting team, culture and values

Protecting a company’s team involves more than just supporting workers financially. Managers understand that it is also their employees’ mental health that is on the line too, and so they must do everything within their power to support them. 

Many different approaches are being taken already to avoid making redundancies, like finding new revenue streams for alternative sources of income. For example, Leon has turned some of their restaurants into mini supermarkets to ease food concerns over panic buying. 

Turning to redundancy as an immediate answer takes away the meaning behind the words used to describe a company’s culture and values, and ultimately breaks down the trust and loyalty between an employer and their employees. 

Regardless of approach, however, communication is always key. Employers should try to maintain a level of calm by keeping their staff informed with new updates and planned decisions so that they don’t lose hope or hold onto false hope. Newsletters, Facebook and Whatsapp group chats are some of a few great ways of communicating messages with staff members.


Supporting the wider hospitality workforce

We need to remember that the core section of the hospitality industry is supported by a wider workforce and that there’s a whole supply chain where everyone is affected.

Again, the idea of supporting workers both financially and mentally seems to be the best option. Different approaches have been taken to provide reassurance.

Vagabond is also working with Hospitality Action, a trade charity, to raise funds to support the Covid-19 Emergency Grant which offers a one-off payment of £250 per household for those working within the industry. Actions such as these are made to create a level of calm, reassurance and most importantly, a sense of community within the industry.

A message to candidates

We understand that the lack of clarity on the situation is causing widespread fear and is making people lose hope. However, we’re asking candidates to hold on and remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that we will get through this together. We are already seeing that when push comes to shove, support is being given from all angles. Just remember that when Covid-19 passes, it will leave behind memories of the efforts you made in support, however big or small, and will create a sense of appreciation from workers and the rest of the UK alike.

From us

What we can take from this is that there is light at the end of this tunnel. Although we will emerge from this changed people, we will also come out of our bunkers with a more profound appreciation for the hospitality industry and what it brings to our lives. Everyone misses you and the first thing we will do, when we can finally safely leave our houses, will be to go to a pub, club, bar, restaurant or hotel. Maybe all of them on the same day.  

Stay safe and stay home

For last week’s webinar, we would like to thank Marco Reick from Leon/Black Sheep Coffee, Natalia Kaminska from Crussh, Riette Carter from Vagabond and Rob Mansell from Turtle Bay for addressing the issues regarding Covid-19 and to provide some insight into ways of protecting a company’s most important asset: their workforce.