Whitbread backs hospitality recruitment campaign

Leading hotel and restaurant company Whitbread has become the latest big name to pledge its support to the collaborative movement Hospitality Rising – dubbed ‘the world’s biggest hospitality recruitment campaign.’ Created as a response to the hospitality recruitment crisis, Hospitality Rising is a £5m fundraising drive aimed at increasing the numbers of people seeking careers in the hospitality sector.

Following backing from Pret A Manger, the multinational food and restaurant firm Whitbread (which owns Premier Inn, the UK’s largest hotel brand) is now set to invest in the campaign, which has raised over £600K so far. Whitbread is among a growing list of operators across the UK collaborating to tackle the 400,000 vacancies that exist in the industry, whilst also seeking to change the perception of working in hospitality for the better.

The brainchild of leading marketing expert Mark McCulloch, Hospitality Rising, has already won official support from the Hospitality & Tourism Sector Skills Board (HTSB) as well as UK Hospitality, British Beer & Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping and Scottish Hospitality Group.

Mark McCulloch, founder of Hospitality Rising and campaign director, said: “To have Whitbread become the latest firm to join our recruitment campaign only serves to highlight just how significant this movement is. There has never been a more crucial time to show support to hospitality businesses as they begin to rebuild.

“We’re making great progress, however, there is still no pipeline of people waiting to join hospitality. The status quo is not sustainable.

“Investment is key to reaching our £5m target, therefore we are delighted to have Whitbread join our string of supporters in this exciting journey. This campaign provides the ultimate chance for us to ensure that hospitality remains an attractive career option for the thousands of talented people out there and to ensure that we all rise together, stronger than ever before, from these challenging times.”

With staff shortages currently costing British restaurants and hotels approximately £22 billion pounds per year, and hospitality businesses struggling to retain their current staff, the initiative comes at a crucial time for the industry.

The funds raised – which will be held by UK Hospitality – will then be invested into an industry advertising campaign led by some of the country’s top marketing experts, who have all donated their time for free to get the initiative off the ground.

Hospitality Rising has already seen support from investors including Pret A Manger, Hawksmoor, Hilton, The Pig / Limewood Group, Welcome Break, Buzzworks, Wahaca, Wild Flor, Fourth & Church, Athenaeum, Punch Pubs, Butlins, Manorview, Rosa's Thai, Gilpin, East London Pub Co., Calcot, Blackrock Restaurants, Wells & Co., and The DRG.

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