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.
“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.
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.