UKHospitality: Yes, minister

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, endorses the push to install a new minister for hospitality...

We recetly heard MPs discuss the creation of a position that has long been advocated by the sector: a minister for hospitality. The debate itself was actually about much more than just the possibility of a new minister. It was recognition of the importance, economically, socially and culturally, of hospitality in the UK. Coming, as it did, just before a review of the tier system and restrictions on our businesses, it was also an open goal for us to hammer home the importance of hospitality and ensure that we are totally at the forefront of Parliament’s mind.

Pubs and restaurants are too often the default definition of our sector for many politicians and the media. The crisis has given us the chance – albeit due to the awful Covid impacts – to showcase other, less overtly vaunted, parts of hospitality, such as workplace canteens, or eateries in museums or sports arenas, for example.

The pandemic crisis has given us a platform to act as our own cheerleader and present an unambiguously united and vocal front. It has also provided the opportunity to inform policymakers and influencers that, while there are commonalities across hospitality, there are nuances and divergences to address, too.

The debate in Parliament was another opportunity to highlight how much we mean to our staff and our customers, and a chance to show the overwhelming support we have across the country. It was an opportunity to brief and inform our MPs, on the back of a petition signed by much more than the trigger point for a debate (100,000 people).

That means getting as many signatures on the petition and as many letters to MPs as possible ahead of the debate. It’s easy and quick to sign the petition. Simply go to,. It is vital that we are heard, so please do encourage everyone you know to take this chance to deliver a message to parliament, that that we matter and must be supported.