Read the latest issue online here

Operators are a proactive bunch. When the going gets tough, they aren’t afraid to take matters into their own hands – an admirable trait, and one that has kept the good ship hospitality afloat in what have been the toughest few years the sector has seen in living memory.

The staff shortage is an ongoing challenge for restaurant businesses across the country. According to UKHospitality, 132,000 positions are still waiting to be filled – 48% above pre-pandemic levels. While the recent changes to the apprenticeship levy should offer some respite (more on this on p.5), ingenious solutions are coming from hospitality’s hive mind itself. In an industry-first, The Langham’s new restaurant Mimosa recruited 35 members of staff via a carefully structured trial shift programme before officially opening its doors, proving the potential of such initiatives to help plug the workforce gap. Then there are organisations like Only A Pavement Away – a charity dedicated to helping prison leavers, veterans and those at risk of homelessness find meaningful employment in hospitality. In just five years, the team carrying out this important work have successfully placed 450 people into roles, helping to alleviate the sector’s staff crisis, boosting the economy and giving hope to disadvantaged individuals who are so often overlooked and increasingly undervalued. Read more about these wonderful programmes on page 8.

Elsewhere in this issue, we talk 50 years of Sale e Pepe and the growth of Los Mochis with Thesleff Group founder Markus Thesleff (p.16), delve into the ever-growing soft drinks and mixers category (p.22), and offer the latest instalment of our carbon reduction series (p.34). Enjoy!

Genna Ash-Brown