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How to save restaurants from pandemic loss? Ask a female chef

In an ‘Avengers Assemble moment’ for the UK's hospitality industry, Indian-origin chef Nisha Kotana has been appointed to a post-COVID restaurants recovery council

Vocational skills and training are ways to help post-covid restaurant recovery. (Toa Heftiba, Unsplash)

One of Britain’s leading Indian-origin chefs is among over 20 hospitality industry experts appointed to a new UK government council set up to help with the country’s restaurants and cafes with their post-COVID recovery.

Nisha Katona, founder of the Mowgli Street Food restaurants and the Mowgli Trust charity, joins the Hospitality Sector Council to help identify and oversee actions related to the government’s Hospitality Strategy and  create  solutions  using expert knowledge  and assess the strength of the sector.  The first meeting of council took place on Wednesday, co-chaired by UK Business Minister Paul Scully and  hospitality entrepreneur  Karen Jones.

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“The hospitality industry has shown incredible creativity and resourcefulness  through the pandemic, pivoting  to  new ways of doing business  like al fresco dining and takeaway pints to  stay safe, meet changing consumer demands and protect livelihoods,” said Scully.

“With the launch of this council, we’re taking  the next step  in the journey  to  build back better  from the pandemic  by  unveiling the experts who’ll be  driving the  reopening, recovery and resilience  of the sector. It’s a real ‘Avengers Assemble’ moment for the industry,” he said.

Nisha Kotana (Photo: @mowglistreetfood, Instagram)
Nisha Kotana (Photo: @mowglistreetfood, Instagram)

The UK government’s Hospitality Strategy  is designed to support the  reopening, recovery and resilience of the sector following the pandemic.This includes  making it easier for pubs, restaurants and cafes to offer al fresco or outdoor dining by making pavement licenses permanent, and extending takeaway alcoholic drinks in England and Wales until September 2022 to further boost sales. 

“I think the lockdowns have shown us many things, particularly the importance of our people and our teams and the key role hospitality has to play in lighting up our high streets and city centres,” said Karen Jones, chair of Prezzo chain of restaurants. "We now need to capitalise on our combined energy, creativity and innovation to continue the creation of a world-class hospitality industry: the Hospitality Sector Council will aid in making that a reality," she said.

The strategy also sets out ways to help the sector grow and boost its creativity, including through exploring options for vocational skills and training such as apprenticeships, bootcamps and other qualifications. 

Also read | How a Tibetan-Indian cafe avoided closure in the pandemic

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