The London Evening Standard food columnist Victoria Stewart is launching the independent platform which is designed to raise awareness of the “industry-wide” problem, said she had spent a year interviewing workers “across the board” at food and drink outlets after hearing narratives about the poor treatment of staff. The campaign is aimed at restaurant, pub, bar and street food operators encouraging staff to share ideas for creating a positive work culture and retaining staff, as well as allowing hospitality employees to anonymously share their stories of issues in the sector.
Stewart said: “There is an incredible amount of pressure working in these environments, which are full of closed-off back rooms, kitchens and bars. Within those spaces a lot of stuff can happen.“Because there’s sometimes such a power imbalance between senior staff members and others it can be difficult to report incidents.
The website will provide practical content, with information on support available, and events and discussions are also planned to address the problems, with the aim of creating a hospitality industry standard for behaviour and ethics.
The key industry problems the platform highlights and is trying to resolve are:
- Neither the hospitality industry nor the public are aware of the extent of toxic behaviour
- Not enough action is being taken to prevent it or to make it easy to report, and there is currently no dedicated, safe place for hearing and sharing stories about it
- There is not enough recognition of the link between this and staff retention
- There is not enough recognition in the hospitality industry or in the media about positive or negative working practices
Visit the website at www.hospitality-speaks.com