Some of Britain’s best-loved celebrity chefs, including Angela Hartnett, Tom Kerridge, Gary Usher, Paul Ainsworth and more, star in a new video calling on the nation to go out and support their favourite pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and hotels on Saturday 18thSeptember – the first annual National Hospitality Day.
National Hospitality Day has been created to celebrate everything we love about hospitality, a sector that has taken a battering over the last 18 months, to help struggling businesses get back on their feet, all while raising money for leading charities.
Despite the end of COVID restrictions, the video warns that hospitality venues aren’t out of the woods yet, with the stark prospect of even more closures in the sector with issues such as staffing, supply and business rates continuing to have a massive impact on businesses.
Venues are also being encouraged to support National Hospitality Day and pull out all the stops, with a few examples coming from BrewDog Bars offering up FREE pints; ASK restaurants providing free starters; Zizzi giving out free desserts; Wahaca donating £1 from every margarita sold; St Austell Brewery donating £1 from every pint sold across its managed pubs; and Searcy’s donating the profits from its brand-new venue’s afternoon tea – 116 Pall Mall’s ‘The Confectioner’s Afternoon Tea’. Other big-name brands involved are Admiral Taverns, Accor, Fuller’s, Caravan, Punch Pubs and Shepherd Neame.
Angela Hartnett, TV personality and Executive Chef and the Michelin-starred Murano in London’s Mayfair, said: “The pandemic has been a hammer blow to our industry. Pubs, restaurants and hotels have faced the prospect of closure and hundreds of thousands of workers have lost their jobs. Many of our favourite places have sadly closed forever. Business, livelihoods and lives have been lost. Even now, weeks after re-opening, businesses are fighting a daily battle for survival, with supply and staffing issues causing huge problems.
“National Hospitality Day promises to be a nationwide celebration of our brilliant and resilient industry. It’s a chance to say thank you and show our appreciation for all the places we missed so dearly during lockdown. So, on 18th September, get down to your local pub, restaurant, café or hotel and join us.”
Tom Kerridge, TV personality and two-time Michelin-starred pub guru, said: “All our biggest moments go on in hospitality venues, from first dates to weddings, and baby showers to wakes, they’re where the moments that make life worth living take place. That morning chat with your friendly barista, a cheeky pint after work with mates, Saturday morning soaks in a hotel pool, or Sunday roast with the family…we all took these experiences for granted.
“National Hospitality Day is a chance for us all to say “welcome back, we’ve missed you, and thanks for everything you’ve been doing” to our favourite venues. Restaurants, pubs and hotels up and down the country will be pulling out the stops to give everybody a great day out.”
Gary Usher, award-winning restaurateur behind Elite Bistros, said: “With National Hospitality Day coming up, please get involved, by going to your favourite bars, favourite restaurants and your favourite anything hospitality.”
National Hospitality Day also has the full support of the Government, with Business Minister Paul Scully MP, commenting: “National Hospitality Day is a great opportunity to get behind our great pubs, restaurants and cafes that have been going above and beyond for their local communities throughout the pandemic.
“We’re supporting the reopening, recovery and resilience of the sector so that it can build back better from what has been an incredibly tough period. And whether it’s an extra mimosa with your brunch or samosa with your bhuna, this Saturday we can all do our bit to help.”
National Hospitality Day is being endorsed by trade association UKHospitality. Chief Executive Kate Nicholls added: “Our venues have been through hell over the last 18 months and the majority are still struggling to get back on their feet, even with restrictions now lifted. National Hospitality Day will rightly be a great celebration of everything we love about our sector, reminding customers of the intrinsic role hospitality plays in the social fabric of communities – and helping to raise money for our fantastic industry charities.”
National Hospitality Day is being organised by leading charities Hospitality Action, Springboard, The Drink’s Trust and The Licensed Trade Charity. Funds raised from venues will go towards these charities, who all support the hospitality industry and its workers. Venues are encouraged to support in any way they see fit – the more ambitious and creative, the better.