More than 20 leading companies and individuals from the food service sector have joined forces to launch ‘Food Service Circle’ (FSC) – a platform aiming to offer support to those affected by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With reduced building occupancy a major concern for businesses, approximately 20% of the workforce are expected to be made redundant or face significantly reduced hours.
As a result, the industry has come together to create a support network to allow them to stay connected, and continue to develop their skills and knowledge as they seek new employment.
FSC will act as a one-stop shop for all former team members; offering free training, counsel, advice and job opportunities.
Every week, the platform will house webinars and guidance for those seeking employment, with topics including CV writing, how to make the most of social media, the latest health and safety developments, and how to search for the right role.
Leaders from each of the companies involved will also host insight sessions to update job seekers on the latest developments within their own business and the wider sector.
The food service sector is a major contributor to the hospitality sector, and the wider UK economy. According to the latest UKHospitality Food Service Management Market Report published in 2019, the UK’s FSM sector had a collective turnover of £10.9billion, employing more than 293,000.
The FSC collaboration is an initiative created by the UKHospitality’s Foodservice Forum, where leading contract catering businesses from across the foodservice sector regularly meet to discuss issues affecting the industry.
During the COVID-19 crisis, these businesses have worked closely to feed into UKHospitality’s guidance to Government.
Wendy Bartlett, founder of Bartlett Mitchell and board member of UKHospitality, said: “It has been heart-breaking to see how the pandemic has impacted some of the incredibly talented and loyal team members across all of our organisations.
“We all have a real sense of duty to the people who have worked so hard to make our businesses the successes they have been, that’s why it was important for all of us to create this cohesive support network. I must credit my competitors for coming together in this crisis to support our industry.”
Noel Mahony, co-chief executive, BaxterStorey, said: “As we start the process of rebuilding our businesses, it is incumbent on all of us to support those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
“Having witnessed the success of collaboration through UK Hospitality, it was clear to me that we should come together as a sector to deploy all of our resources to support those out of work.”