It was Viscount Thurso who promoted the concept of The Theory of Equality of Respect which is based on a simple principle – that a person is respected by the quality of their work and craft rather than position in society or wealth.
It does strike a chord in Hospitality as the industry is so craft led and despite all the fears over Brexit there is a wealth of exceptionally skilled talent within the sector – whether chefs, service or beyond.
There are so many articles written about how the industry is not respected enough as a career. This is an old chestnut but one has to ask whether we have ever really made a strong enough argument and put our best foot forward?
Far too often the leading argument is over long hours, low pay and lack of a work-life balance. Fair but the counter argument is there are a number of exceptional opportunities and careers. The industry is multi-dimensional and that requires great leadership, innovation, craft and people.
It has been such a long standing discussion piece that the industry has forgotten to remember there is great talent. The standard of culinary offer and service has risen sharply over the last twenty years. The UK’s industry today is world class due to very high standards of leadership and craft displayed by the sector. There are few industries that can boast that their craft is as strong but we need to believe it and make the argument.
We need to invest in and develop talent that exists within the sector. The industry faces a daunting challenge with the lack of new employees entering the UK at the prospect of Brexit. Things will have to change and we will need to make a far stronger and better argument as to why this is an industry that those with the aptitude will consider. The government will not solve this issue; the industry needs to. The first place to start is arguing that great craft skill is something special that is valued and respected.
As we have written many times, we are also looking at a similar argument over sports players once they retire – what’ next for this group of talent? Often they are more respected as they possess more wealth and live out the dreams many of us have when younger. We are working with former sports players to see how they can help companies develop culture, teams and leadership. A successful sports team requires strong culture. The same is true with hospitality and we want to involve talent from all disciplines to work towards supporting talent development.
We face a challenge and we can beat it if we are prepared to think differently and yes, make the argument as to how good the industry really is.