The Mayor of London and London Food Link need your help to find the winners of the 2019 Urban Food Awards.
This year, the awards will recognise the enterprises, initiatives and organisations bringing good food to the London’s table. The London Growth Hub is sponsoring this year’s ‘Superfood Social Enterprise’ award category, which will see the winner receive up to £5,000 of free business support.
For the first time, the awards will also profile and celebrate women doing great things for food across the capital. This follows on from the success of the Mayor’s ‘Behind Every Great City’ campaign in pushing for greater gender equality.
Londoners have until 17 February to make their Urban Food Awards nominations or enter their own work for consideration. Winners will be announced at an invitation-only ceremony in March.
This year’s categories are:
· Good To Go: Recognising and rewarding takeaways dumping the junk. For example, by offering healthier options, plant-based menus.
· Surplus Superstar: Open to enterprises and initiatives working to reduce food surplus and waste, including those involved in circular economy
· Superfood Social Enterprise: Open to food-related social enterprises (i.e. businesses run to generate social and/or environmental ‘profit’ or benefit) launched in the past 12 months
· Innovation and Tasty Tech: Throwing the spotlight on good food enterprises based around innovative new ideas or technology
· Good Food on Prescription: Enterprises and initiatives helping to improve people’s health and wellbeing through the growing and production of good food
· Veg City champion: Local campaigns or initiatives on a mission to encourage kids in the capital to eat more veg. Read more
· Sugar Smart heroes: Organisations and partnerships helping people to reduce their sugar consumption. Read more
· Good Food For All: Businesses, organisations and partnerships working beyond the food bank to help improve people’s access to good food.
In addition, this year’s Urban Food Awards will be celebrating…
Women in Food: This special award will recognise a number of amazing women working doing great things for food in London. They could be working alone or as part of a team in food education, community food, good food enterprise, urban food growing, or good food campaigning or policy. Nominate an amazing woman you know who is doing great things for food!
Chair of the London Food Board, Claire Pritchard, said: “I’m delighted the Mayor of London is once again supporting the Urban Food Awards in partnership with London Food Link. I’m really looking forward to seeing Londoners nominate the projects and social enterprises which are growing, producing, selling and promoting good food. I’m also thrilled that, for the first time, the awards will be used to celebrate some of the fantastic women doing great things for food in London – whether through food education, charity work or campaigning.”
All entries should be received by Sunday 17 February. More information on the website.
Founded in 2014, the Urban Food Awards are open to nominees and entrants that are based and operate in the capital.
The judging panel will be chaired by Claire Pritchard, who is Chair of the London Food Board, a group of experts who advise the Mayor of London and the GLA on the food matters that affect Londoners.
Fellow judges will include members of the Mayor of London’s food policy team, London Food Link staff, and other good food experts. They will be looking for nominations/entries that:
· Outline the wider benefits their work brings to the local community, economy and environment.
· Demonstrate the progress they have made in achieving what they set out to do.
The main benefit for nominees is the opportunity to generate free publicity in their bid for London-wide glory.
Everyone who makes a nomination will be entered in a draw to win a pair of tickets to the awards event.
Full details and link to the nominations form can be found on the website, where people can also join London Food Link: www.londonfoodlink.org
The Wing Yip Young Chef of the Year competition is now open. Young chefs and catering students across the UK and Ireland who are between 18 and 25 can now enter and compete for the 2019 title.
There will be two stages to the competition, the first stage – a written entry including an Oriental recipe of choice. Stage 2 – selected finalists must take part in a live cook-off at University College Birmingham (UCB) on Thursday 4 April 2019. At the end of a gruelling but exciting day, one lucky chef will not only be crowned Wing Yip’s Young Chef of the Year, but will also win a £750 cash prize, as well as a stage with MasterChef finalist Larkin Cen at his restaurant, Woky Ko.
Putting the contestants through their paces will be a panel of expert judges – President of the British Culinary Federation Peter Griffiths, Michelin starred Chef Glynn Purnell and MasterChef finalist and Woky Ko founder, Larkin Cen.
Peter said: “Now in its seventh year, we wanted to mix it up a little. The competition has grown from strength to strength, and has attracted a wealth of talented young chefs from across the UK. We are adding a new element to the competition this year – the finalists can choose any Oriental dish for the main course, but it must be served in a bowl.
“We would like to reiterate that competitors don’t necessarily have to have extensive experience in Oriental cuisine, it’s about being creative and cooking something that sounds, looks and tastes delicious!”
The winner of the Wing Yip Young Chef of the Year 2018, Conor Bird, Chef de Partie at the House of Commons, said: “Taking part in the competition was a fantastic experience, especially getting to know all the other competitors and working alongside a team of top-class judges.
“I would definitely recommend young chefs enter next year. It has a massive impact on who you are as a chef and what you learn is just incredible, I learnt some invaluable skills – and no matter the outcome, everyone feels like a winner.”
To enter, applicants must submit a traditional street-food starter served in a suitable container and main course of their choice, which must be served in a bowl. The most imaginative menus will be shortlisted, and finalists will be invited to a live cook-off at UCB, on Thursday 4 April 2019, where they will cook for the judges.
Wing Yip Director, Brian Yip, added: “The competition has firmly established itself in the culinary calendar since we launched it seven years ago. Wing Yip’s Young Chef offers an exciting opportunity for budding chefs to gain hands on experience in Oriental cooking, whilst gaining industry knowledge from renowned chefs. It’s a fantastic day, enjoyed by all, and not to mention a wonderful opportunity for the winner.”
Entries open on Monday 14 January 2019 and close on Friday 18 February 2019. Follow this link to enter: www.wingyip.com/young-chef.
The MSC has welcomed the publication of the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on the inquiry into Sustainable Seas.
Erin Priddle, UK Program Director says: “It is good to see the Environmental Audit Committee raising these important issues of ocean plastics and acidification. Far too often, our seas have been treated as ‘out of sight, out of mind’. We hope that this report will galvanize action in securing a healthy future for our oceans.”
The inquiry included an examination of the MSC programme and its effectiveness. The report concluded that:
“The Marine Stewardship Council standard is the market leader and the most rigorous certification in the seafood sector.”
The report also noted that:
“…alternative labelling and certification systems… are not nearly as rigorous or stringent.”
The committee recognized that the MSC programme has been effective at driving change towards sustainable fish stocks and improvements in fishing practices.
The report acknowledges the role of British retailers, noting:
“…fisheries companies using certification standards such as those provided by the MSC and retailers stocking products with fisheries ecolabels, are playing key roles in tackling the challenge of unsustainable fishing.”
Erin Priddle continues: “The report reflects the complex, often polarized views around seafood certification. While some claim the bar is too low, others warn that it is ‘becoming too high even for world leading fisheries’. This illustrates the challenge of a global standard: if the bar is raised too high, it risks preventing fisheries – such as small scale and developing world fisheries – from ever reaching that bar.”
MSC Fisheries Standard Review
The report recommends that the ongoing Fisheries Standard Review should address specific criticisms of Unit of Assessment, the holistic assessment of fisheries, carbon emissions from fishing boats, shark finning, and barriers to entry for small scale fisheries. With the exception of carbon emissions, all of these subjects are being addressed in the Fisheries Standard Review currently underway, or in separate consultations taking place in 2019.
Erin Priddle continues: “We acknowledge that there are some who have concerns about aspects of the MSC programme, or doubts about individual certifications. We take these concerns seriously and are grateful for all contributions which will help to strengthen the MSC Standard. We look forward to working with all involved in the coming weeks and months to listen to their contributions and, through this review and the potential updates to the Standard, reassure them of the programme’s rigour.”
Importantly, the report also recommends that the concerns of Prof Roberts and others should be addressed through the established process of the five-yearly Fishery Standard Review. This is a transparent review process that invites stakeholder engagement. The process is reviewed by independent bodies, ISEAL and GSSI in order to ensure that it complies with best practices for standard setters. In the most recent GSSI review, the MSC met all the essential components of the GSSI benchmark, and a further 63 supplementary components relating to issues such as deep sea fishing, vulnerable marine ecosystems and data collection to demonstrate impact.
Erin Priddle explains: “The MSC has been driving forward sustainable harvesting in global fisheries through a multi-stakeholder process for more than 20 years. The first version of the MSC Standard was built following an 18-month consultation with over 300 marine scientists, NGOs, specialists and governments. In the current review – our fourth to date – we have already welcomed input from WWF, Professor Roberts and others and will continue to invite them to engage with the MSC as we take forward this important and timely consultation.
MSC is deeply aware of the ever-changing political and environmental landscape. We are committed to understanding these changes and the interaction they have with our Standard. While there will always be those demanding short-term, or immediate change, the inquiry has recognized that the MSC has a well-established process to make changes to the Standard that includes the voices of all stakeholders.”
Support for small scale fisheries
The report highlighted the MSC’s work to increase the accessibility of the MSC programme to small-scale fisheries, but also shared concerns of some stakeholders about those fisheries’ ability to enter the MSC programme. In addition to the long-running Project UK Fisheries Improvements, supporting improvements in British small-scale fisheries, the MSC announced a £1 million fund and sustainability initiative in October 2018 to support small scale fisheries, including those in the Global South on their pathway to sustainability. The MSC has been engaged with fisheries in the Global South since its inception and has built up a solid knowledge of the constraints these fisheries face to achieve a sustainable level of performance. The fund will also help create a more sustainable seafood market through research to overcome data and information gaps in fisheries management.
Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean and Co-Chair of the Friends of Ocean Action, welcomed the move: “Our ocean is in trouble. We urgently need to scale workable solutions to deliver sustainable fisheries and resilient marine ecosystems. The attainment of SDG14’s targets is essential to the ocean’s future well-being. I welcome MSC’s latest initiative to engage with and help fisheries in the global south, and to invest in new scientific research that could benefit many fisheries around the world.”
The foodservice industry is throwing away tens of thousands of working appliances, every year. Now CESA is taking a stand and has published a Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment to try to tackle the issue. Many appliances enter the waste stream for the materials to be recycled, but this should be the last resort.
“Scrapping perfectly serviceable equipment undermines the foodservice industry’s sustainability aspirations and credibility,” says John Whitehouse, chair of CESA. “It’s also a waste of money – the value of this unnecessarily scrapped equipment on the second hand market, is tens of £millions per year. WEEE (the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) is designed to recycle components from equipment that is no longer working. Sadly it doesn’t protect serviceable equipment from being scrapped too early.”
CESA has published the guide to provide industry insight into the facts and show how to tackle the problem. The CESA Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment is available to download for free from the Info Hub, which is accessed via the information tab on the home page at cesa.org.uk.
“We’re not suggesting that operators shouldn’t buy new equipment to replace old – often changing menus, refurbishment or upgrades mean that old appliances simply aren’t up to the job,” says John Whitehouse, chair of CESA. “However, scrapping isn’t the only answer. Reconditioning equipment is not just greener, it can also be a major weapon in the campaign to stop misguided caterers who still buy domestic appliances because they are cheaper, despite the health and safety risks. A supply of second hand equipment will encourage them to step up to commercial standards, since it will be more affordable.”
The guide also points out that arranging responsible reuse raises great CSR and PR opportunities. “Obviously it will help with any company’s sustainability targets,” says Whitehouse. “However, there’s also the option of using the income or the equipment itself to help low budget organisations – such as charities, social enterprises, new business start-ups or projects in third world countries.
“In terms of sustainability, the refurbishment of second hand equipment makes a real contribution to the circular economy.”
The guide notes that the main reason for the industry’s ‘scrap it’ mentality is a lack of knowledge about the other options available – which the guide seeks to address, with the parting advice: save it or sell it, don’t just scrap it!
The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) is the authoritative voice of the catering equipment industry, representing over 190 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes. For more information on CESA visit www.cesa.org.uk
The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has launched a practical guide to portion sizes: Find Your Balance, to help us understand not just which foods to eat, but how often and in what quantities, in order to maintain a healthy weight and have a balanced diet. The guide uses simple hand and spoon measurements to help us estimate appropriate portions, when cooking and serving food. It is designed to complement the Government’s Eatwell Guide, which provides guidance on the proportions of the main food groups that make up a healthy diet.
To develop the portion size guidelines, BNF’s Nutrition Scientists reviewed portion size guidance from other countries, analysed portion sizes currently consumed in the UK, and what is available to buy in supermarkets. These portion sizes were modelled in test diets to ensure they could meet current food and nutrient-based recommendations. Based on this, guidance was developed on how often to eat foods from the main food groups and sensible portion sizes for healthy adults, based on an average daily calorie allowance of 2000kcal.
In order to provide practical ways of estimating these portions without having to weigh out foods, the BNF devised easy to use measures for most foods, based on hands or spoons.
The BNF has packaged its portion size guidance into three free resources: a fridge poster which provides an overview of the advice; a booklet which expands on how to put the portion guidelines into practice; and a longer digital resource, which is downloadable, with advice on portion sizes for a wide variety of foods.
Bridget Benelam, Nutrition Communications Manager at the British Nutrition Foundation, said: “More often than not, portion size is not something people give much thought to. The amount we put on our plate typically depends on the portion sizes we are used to consuming, how hungry we feel and how much is offered as a helping at a restaurant table or in a packet/ready meal. Nonetheless, in order to maintain a healthy weight we should ensure that our diets contain the right balance of foods, in sensible amounts. This isn’t just about eating less; it’s also about eating differently.”
“When researching the portion size guidelines, we looked at data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey* (NDNS) on food consumption, and found that there was a lot of variation in the portion sizes people reported eating. Our suggested portion size for cooked pasta is 180 grams (254kcal) but, for example, when we looked at portion sizes for spaghetti, the most commonly consumed size was 230 grams (324kcal) and about 10 percent of the sample we looked at were consuming 350 grams as a portion, which would provide nearly 500 calories from the pasta alone, before sauces and sides were added to the meal.”
Within its portion size guide, the BNF has advised how often the suggested portions of foods from different food groups should be eaten during the day, and demonstrates how to put this into practice with an example meal plan. The food groups include:
- Fruit and vegetables – 5+ portions per day
- Starchy carbohydrates – 3-4 portions per day
- Protein foods – 2-3 portions per day
- Dairy and alternatives – 2-3 portions per day
- Unsaturated oils and spreads – small amounts
Benelam continued: “While the types of different food and drinks we need apply to all healthy adults, we understand that no two individuals are the same and the amount of food we need varies from person to person. If you’re tall or very active you may need more and could have larger portions, and if you have a slighter build or are trying to lose weight, you may need smaller portions.”
Within the protein foods and starchy carbohydrates food groups, the BNF has broken down portion sizes into different categories to reflect portions that are 200kcal or more, less than 200kcal, and lighter snack-sized portions. This reflects the variety of foods in these groups and whether they would be eaten as a main meal or something lighter, allowing people to choose the portion sizes most appropriate for them. Those with higher calorie needs could have more of the foods that are 200kcal or more, and for people with lower calorie needs, or trying to lose weight, could choose more options under 200kcal.
Dairy foods are separated into those that are lower or higher fat (‘low’ or ‘medium’ for fat on a food label, versus those that would be labelled ‘high’ for fat) – it is recommended that we should go for those in the lower category most of the time. When it comes to fruit and vegetables, the key message is to eat more! Example portions are given but, provided fat and sugar aren’t added, you can have big portions of most fruit and vegetables for relatively few calories so, within reason, you don’t need to limit portion sizes of these. When it comes to unsaturated oils and spreads, these are healthier fats and we should be replacing saturated with unsaturated fats. However, all fats and oils are high in calories so it’s important to keep portions small.
You can access the BNF’s handy guide to portion sizes here: nutrition.org.uk/findyourbalance
*PHE (Public Health England) (2016) NDNS: results from Years 5 and 6 (combined)
Lucozade Sport is kicking off 2019 with a new marketing campaign from its functional water brand, Lucozade Sport Fitwater. The New Year activity incorporates social, AV OOH and influencer partnerships. With the majority of New Year’s resolutions featuring a health and wellbeing theme, January is an ideal time for the brand to be making a splash to drive additional sales for operators.
The new campaign will launch across social media on the 7th of January for at least 8 weeks. The creative will focus around a More Than Water messaging, encouraging consumers to purchase Lucozade Sport Fitwater to help replenish what they lose in sweat during exercise, due to the significant amounts of electrolytes. It will also feature in relevant AV OOH locations, to drive brand awareness and encourage purchase. With this campaign, they are able to reach 82% of their target audience at least five times.
The brand has also unveiled additional influencer partnerships as part of the New Year campaign. Lucozade Sport Fitwater is partnering with actress and fitness influencer Gemma Atkinson and social media fitness star Vic Spence to bring the More Than Water campaign to even more of its target audience and drive sales.
Claire Keaveny, Head of Marketing at Lucozade Sport comments, “Operators will certainly notice an increase in consumers looking for healthier and functional drinks in January as many kick-start New Year exercise regimes and lifestyle changes. Our new campaign means those consumers will be looking for Lucozade Sport Fitwater in the chiller before or after exercise, so stock up to make sure it’s available to your visitors today!”
Lucozade Sport Fitwater is now worth £4.3m since its launch in 2017, developed to help customers capitalise on the growing popularity of functional water with their consumers. Fitwater is the 3rd biggest penetration contributor for the Lucozade Sport brand behind the core flavours (Orange & Raspberry)3. Its unique purified spring water contains four key electrolytes including magnesium that contributes to electrolyte balance and a reduction of fatigue, as well as calcium which helps normal muscle function. This allows operators to target consumers before or after exercise.
January need not be so blue, as the first month of the New Year provides great opportunities to capitalise on the trends of the season.
A recent survey by MONIN, the flavour experts, revealed that more than 20 million Brits are considering going vegan for the month of January, while two thirds of the population are considering giving up alcohol in the same month. To help bar managers ensure they get their offering right MONIN has identified what January’s consumer wants from their no ABV or vegan cocktails.
The most important factor for consumers selecting these drinks is great taste with 41% citing it as a top consideration, coming in second is the need for the drink to be refreshing (38%), while a fruity taste, fresh fruit inclusions and quality ingredients make up the top five key purchasing decisions.
When it comes to choosing the drink based on flavour it was no surprise that strawberry and raspberry are front runners with 41% and 38% opting for these respectively. But while traditional ingredients remain popular, consumers are becoming more adventurous in their palate preferences and it’s vital to keep up with this ever-growing hunger for the ‘next big thing’.
Drinks inspired by orange is a strong third at 34%, with those over 55 most likely to choose this option, while 18-24 year olds and millennials are most willing to experiment. Perhaps the search for alternative flavours is in-part responsible for the resurgence of floral notes such as rose and lavender with 20% and 14% of consumers respectively looking for drinks with these flavours. Rhubarb (19%), coffee (17%), jasmine (15%), cucumber (14%) and chocolate (13%), complete the top 10.
When it comes to cost, on average consumers are willing to pay approximately £5 for a no ABV cocktail. Perhaps unsurprisingly this figure rose in the capital where £5.57 is deemed appropriate, with nearly half (47%) willing to pay above this. However, it’s the Northern Irish who are willing to splash out the most with an average price point of almost £6 being considered acceptable.
Lee Hyde, MONIN’s UK Beverage Innovation Manager said: “Traditionally it is accepted that footfall is low during January. However, our survey shows there is real opportunity for sales in this period, by increasing the drinks range in line with the needs of the customer, venues can be rewarded with additional sales and an increase in customer loyalty.
“Our research also demonstrates that there can’t be a one size fits all approach to a drinks menu with customers of varying ages looking for a different drinking experience. MONIN’s extensive range of syrups offer fantastic versatility with on-trend options including Orange Spritz, Rose, Beetroot and Cucumber, as well as traditional favourites Strawberry and Raspberry.
“Clearly advertising the offering will remind consumers that giving up alcohol or animal products needn’t prevent them from enjoying themselves! Rather than shying away from Dry January and Veganuary establishments can enjoy making the most of these opportunities.”
30ml Sirop de MONIN Orange Spritz
150ml Non alcoholic sparkling wine
Add all ingredients to a large wine glass with ice, stir thoroughly and garnish with orange slices.
Yuzu and Rose Iced Tea
15ml Le Fruit de MONIN Yuzu
10ml Sirop de MONIN Rose
40ml Seedlip Spice
60ml Green tea
Brew the tea and allow to cool. Add all ingredients to a stirring jug with ice, stir thoroughly and garnish with edible flowers.
Turn Up The Beet
20 ml Le Fruit de MONIN Beetroot
5 ml MONIN Blackberry syrup
30 ml Seedlip Spice
15 ml lime juice
Top with ginger beer
Combine ingredients except ginger beer in a shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake vigorously. Pour into a glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a blackberry and a sprig of mint and serve.
The Craft Guild of Chefs is delighted to announce the details of the 8th Universal Cookery and Food Festival (UCFF). The popular annual event will take place on Tuesday 25th June 2019 at Farrington Oils in Northamptonshire.
Following the huge success of this year’s festival, the 2019 8th UCFF will be themed “From the Land” and will focus on sustainability, alongside complimentary issues such as Brexit, crowd funding, local heroes and ‘Mums in the kitchen’. The new dateline of June reflects pre-harvest, in line with the chosen venue.
Established in 2012, UCFF was the brainchild of Lee Maycock, Ian Nottage and John Feeney during their time as Craft Guild of Chefs committee members. Designed by chefs, for chefs, each year the festival moves around the UK, taking the event directly to chefs in different locations. It is an excellent opportunity for foodservice professionals to gather and listen to thoughts and experiences from influential people.
Ian Nottage, UCFF director says: “We are very excited to be heading to Northampton with UCFF 2019. We always try to tackle industry topics and historically, explored subjects such as obesity, mental health issues, disability and equality in professional kitchens. Next year, sustainability will be high on the agenda, with industry experts taking to the stage to share their experience and knowledge. Particularly in light of the current issues around the use of single use plastics in the hospitality industry.” Nottage continues, “Indeed the choice of Bottom Farm (home of Farrington oils) demonstrates the UCFF’s commitment to sustainability as this is at the very heart of how they produce their rapeseed oil. Duncan Farrington is a passionate farmer who understands the importance of working with nature for a sustainable future, whether it be a ‘no plough’ ethos on the farm to improve soil fertility and reduce CO2 emissions, to the use of solar panels, or adopting bee friendly methods of growing crops.”
The event will include an eclectic mix of demonstrations, workshops, foraging, farm tours and live debates. The farm tour will include a demonstration of rapeseed oil combined with a factory visit. New to 2019, is a game stage, featuring deer and rabbit skinning, as well as falconry and the opportunity for clay pigeon shooting. Farrington Oils is home to Mellow Yellow, the UK’s first ’seed-to-bottle’ producer of cold pressed rapeseed oil. A family run business, it produces a range of fine ingredients for chefs and home cooks, using their sustainably grown rapeseed oil, pressed on the family farm in Northamptonshire.
Duncan Farrington, managing director at Farrington Oils adds: “Hosting the 2019 UCFF is a fantastic honour for Farrington Oils. We can’t wait to welcome industry leading chefs and producers to Bottom Farm for a superb culinary experience. Duncan continues: “We’ll be offering visitors a unique insight into how we produce our award-winning Mellow Yellow Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil during what is sure to be a brilliant day!”
The Guild’s Universal Cookery and Food Festival 2018 took place at Westlands Nurseries in Evesham, with more than 350 attendees and almost 60 exhibitors in one day. This included Craft Guild of Chefs members, partners, trade suppliers and local businesses. With sustainability high on the agenda, it received outstanding support from its members and local services to tackle food waste. Spearheaded by Roger Kellow, government account manager at Hobart, along with UCFF, an arrangement was made for surplus food from the event to be donated to local charity Caring Hands, based at the Evesham Christian Centre in Bewdley. The donation received was used in their drop-in diner, food bank and community pantry. Caring Hands said, “Huge thanks to Roger Kellow and all at #UCFF for your generosity and support.”
In addition to developing sustainability, the event’s total recycling rate was an impressive 54%, consisting of 27% card, 20% glass, 7% mixed plastics and cans. UCFF has ambitions to increase this percentage at the 2019 festival and upcoming plans to include food waste from exhibitors is also in the pipeline.
Nottage adds, “As well as being a fun day out for chefs and foodies alike the UCFF always has education at its heart. We believe that by chefs meeting and talking to farmers, growers, foragers, fishermen and industry experts in so many fields they can learn so much, particularly about sustainability. Hopefully they can then take some of those learnings back to their own kitchens to help them become even more sustainable in their day to day working lives.”
As free movement of labour takes centre stage in Brexit negotiations, the latest figures from Fourth, the leading global software partner to the hospitality and leisure industries, has revealed that, despite the ongoing narrative around the end of free movement, there has been an increase in EU workers entering the industry during November.
The news comes after several months of declining numbers, with new EU entrants to the industry falling from 41.5% in July, to 38.5% in September. However, the latest statistics for November reveal this has now reverted, with 44% of new starters from the EU.
The driving force behind this growth has been an influx of seasonal workers to the pub industry. Over the last four months the makeup of the pub workforce has remained relatively flat with 78% of workers from the UK, 17% from the EU, and 5% from the Rest of the World (ROW).
However, November saw a marked increase in the proportion of EU workers in the pub industry, with figures altering to 68% from the UK, 26% from the EU and 6% from the ROW. Interestingly, these figures directly correlate to a surge of EU workers experienced this June, which suggests that seasonal workers from the EU support the pub trade when it enters a busy period, such as Christmas or a large sporting event.
During August and September there was a surge in new starters from the UK, with figures rising to 54.5% in September (up from 52% in July). November figures show this trend has also reverted with 47% of new starters coming from the UK; and 8.5% from the rest of the world (ROW).
The number of UK workers leaving the industry fell to 48% in November, after rising to 55.5% in September. Meanwhile, the number of EU workers leaving the industry increased to 42% in November, after falling to 37.5% in September; while leavers from the ROW increased slightly to 8.5% in November, up from 7% in September.
The increase in new starters from the EU is welcome news for the hospitality industry which is heavily reliant on foreign workers. Looking at the make-up of the workforce, the statistics reveal that, as of November 2018, 42% of workers in the restaurant, QSR (quick service restaurants/fast-food), hotel and pub sectors are from the EU. British workers make up 48% (down from 50% in July) and the remaining 10% come from the ROW.
However, the numbers spike significantly for QSR, with almost two thirds (65%) of workers coming from outside the UK – 54.5% from EU and 10.5% from rest of the world. While the reliance on foreign workers remain high, these figures show there has been a significant influx of UK workers to the sector, rising by 8% since September.
On the other hand, the restaurant industries reliance on foreign workers is increasing further, particularly in skilled back of house roles. In July, we reported that 30% of restaurant workers in BOH roles were from the UK, but this number has now decreased to just 26%; with EU workers climbing from 58% in July, to 62% in November. Considering, ROW workers account for 12% of the workforce, 74% of workers are from outside of the UK.
From a regional perspective, the hospitality industry’s reliance on EU workers is significantly exacerbated in London with 52% of the workforce from the EU. Interestingly, the figures show that Northern Ireland and East of England are also very reliant on EU workers representing 46% and 45% of the workforce, respectively.
Mike Shipley, Analytics & Insight Solutions Director at Fourth, said: “Against an uncertain political backdrop as to the future of the free movement of labour from the European Union, it is welcome news to see there has been an influx of EU workers entering the industry, after several months of falling numbers.
“Interestingly, driving this influx, is the pub industry which has experienced a surge in workers from the EU as we approach the busy Christmas period. This trend reflection fluctuations experienced in June, suggesting that EU workers enter the industry and pick up extra shifts, during busy periods.
“This further reveals our industry’s reliance on foreign workers, particularly in the restaurant and quick service restaurant sectors, as well as back of house roles. Amongst the many challenges our industry currently faces, people are often listed as the biggest concern and ensuring a pragmatic immigration system after Brexit, along with a conscious, combined and concerted effort to attract young UK talent into the industry, is imperative.
“In this uncertain environment, at the very least, operators need to have a clear understanding of the make-up of their workforce. In addition, with the high churn of workers in the industry, making your business an attractive prospect for employee and ensuring you have maximised efficiencies across your management of people and product is key.
“Our sole aim is helping our clients negotiate these challenges, whether it’s introducing an innovative ‘Pay-as-You-Go’ payment solution to attract employees, such as our partnership with Wagestream, or nailing down demand forecasting and working with partner technology providers to give a complete snapshot of business performance in one easy-to-view dashboard with single sign on capabilities.”
The statistics were mined from Fourth Analytics and based on a sample comprising over 30,000 hospitality industry employees, with an even split across the restaurant, QSR, hotel and pub sectors
This Christmas, Hobart Government Account Manager Roger Kellow, calls time on a career that has spanned three decades; a period of unprecedented growth and success for the company’s public sector business.
The industry stalwart, universally respected for his engaging personality and passion for hospitality as a whole, will be a tough act to follow. Individuals from across the industry took to social media to congratulate Roger on his career, commend his unwavering commitment to the public sector and celebrate his retirement.
Branded “a true gentleman of the profession” and “an absolute legend”, some thanked him for the help and guidance he’d provided them with, whilst others maintained he will “go down in history” – a timely reminder of just how much Roger has achieved throughout his career.
Neel Radia, National Chair of the NACC who earlier this year presented Roger with Honourary Membership to the association praised his outstanding contribution to the care sector, whilst the HCA added that it was his “heart of gold” that truly set him apart.
Tim Bender, Sales Director at Hobart UK and colleague of Roger’s for over 25 years encapsulated the tributes: “Roger is the definition of the word gentleman. Always smiling, always with time to help others and always trying to make a difference in the industry he loves. It’s with a heavy heart that we lose him from our day to day operations, but his impact will be felt for years to come.
Fortunately, this is not goodbye forever as Roger has agreed to return in a consultancy role, but in the meantime everyone here at Hobart wishes him all the best in his semi-retirement which is so truly deserved.”