hospitality industry

How does the rise of staycations influence the hospitality industry?

What are staycations and why are they growing in popularity?

hospitality industry

We all know what a vacation is, but do you know what staycations are? 'Staycation' is a combination of the words, 'stay' and 'vacation', meaning a vacation that stays in your home country instead of abroad.

The staycation concept has experienced strong growth in popularity, not just nationally but in a lot of other countries, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and consumers’ safety concerns over travelling abroad. According to research, a large number of UK individuals still do not feel comfortable traveling abroad under the current global climate, even with vaccination roll-out and lifted restrictions. As a result, Brits have decided to enjoy staycations within the UK. Research shows that 4 in 5 people are planning a 2021 staycation in the UK.

How does the growing demand for staycations affect the hospitality industry?

staycations hospitality

The global pandemic crisis has undoubtedly caused significant damage to the economy. With international travel restrictions and various lockdowns in the UK, hospitality businesses have experienced a tough time. They were forced to remain shut, and demand drastically decreased which led to sharp decrease in revenue and therefore profit.

The increasing demand for staycations helped boost the local hospitality industry, helping to aid its recovery from the loss caused by the pandemic. This was particularly true for businesses located in tourist hotspots, such as Cornwall, London and the Lake District.

Furthermore, research predicts that rise in demand for staycations will continue in the future, indicating that income generated by local consumers will increase and take up most of the income proportion. Building on this, it can be suggested that the main demographic for staycations will be UK consumers, until foreigners feel comfortable travelling to the UK.

How is the hospitality industry responding to the trend?

In response to the market demand, hospitality businesses and travel agencies have created increasing numbers of staycation deals and packages.

The trend has also indirectly indicated consumer concern regarding the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, businesses have begun adopting flexible and transparent cancellation policies to maximise customers’ confidence in booking staycations.

City corporate hotels are also focusing more on aesthetic pleasure to compete with hospitality businesses which offer outstanding decoration or scenery.

 

Get in touch with Posh Cockney today for more advice on how to utilise the staycation trend and improve your business performance during these difficult times.

 


Instagrammable Restaurant

‘Instagrammable’ venues: Are they worth the hype?

‘Pics or it didn’t happen’

So many of us have become addicted to sharing every aspect of our lives on social media, whether that’s what we’re doing, wearing or, of course, eating. We’ve all been there: you’ve just sat down in a restaurant, ready to tuck into a meal, when your friend suddenly stops you for an ‘Instagrammable’ photo moment.

Just half a decade ago, this might have meant a ‘#foodporn’ post, displaying a beautifully arranged dish inspiring comments of heart-eye and mouth-drooling Emojis. Now, however, there is much less focus on the food, but rather on the venue itself.

The Birth of ‘Instagrammable’ Venues

Instagrammable Restaurant
Pez Playa, Majorca

Over time, businesses in the hospitality industry have become aware of the benefits resulting from this millennial habit. By uploading location-tagged images of venues on the app, customers are essentially providing free advertising for businesses, unprovoked.

So, why not take advantage of this? The past few years have seen hundreds of restaurants and cafes transform their venues into photogenic backdrops designed solely for Instagram feeds. It’s now hard to tell whether an influencer’s favourite bar is determined by its cocktail variety or collection of neon signs on display.

Some venues even go so far as asking their guests to post on the app, using specific hashtags to aid brand growth online. Take Pez Playa for example, one of Europe’s first Instagram-friendly restaurants. Based in Majorca, staff are trained to encourage use of the app in the venue, checking that customers have battery on their smartphones and offering freebies to customers who use the restaurant’s hashtag.

With photo-sharing intentions in mind, customers visit the restaurant for an aesthetically-pleasing experience. Waiters don’t just serve food, but present and carefully arrange dishes of artwork, adding to the endless list of photo opportunities on offer across the venue.

But what is it about the venue itself that appeals to the eyes (or tapping thumbs) of millennials and Gen-Z? What exactly makes a venue ‘Instagrammable’?

What makes a venue ‘Instagrammable’?

Much like any picture-worthy moment, customers need to be wow-ed by their surroundings before they are likely to open their smartphone camera. An Instagram story opportunity requires more than the average set of table and chairs.

Taking a look at some of London’s most popular, ‘Instagrammable’ venues, it’s easy to recognise patterns of features favoured by the app’s users. If you’re thinking of making your venue an Instagram-worthy spot or simply want more social media engagement, why not include:

  • Eye-catching neon signs – Create the perfect photo backdrop with a catchy slogan or quote highlighted in neon, like this one displayed in EL&N Café.

Instagrammable Neon Sign

  • A jungle of plants or trees – Appeal to the eco-conscious minds of young consumers by filling your venue with green plants or even trees amongst your tables and chairs.
  • Floral wall displays – Arguably, influencers’ favourite photo spots. Cover your walls from head-to-toe in beautiful artificial flowers.
  • Picture-perfect lighting – No photo is worthy for the ‘gram without good lighting – after all, you can’t take a ring-light everywhere! Illuminate your venue with beautiful lighting installations, such as this one in Circolo Popolare.

Instagrammable Venue Lighting

  • Millennial pink-everything – If all else fails, go for a millennial pink theme. Named colour of the year in 2016, the hue is featured across many interiors of popular London restaurants, such as the extremely popular, Sketch.
  • Novelty features – Nothing makes an Instagrammer get out their smartphone camera quicker than a novelty venue feature. Take this well-known, futuristic bathroom setup in Sketch, for example.

Instagrammable Novelty Futuristic Bathroom

  • Bathrooms perfect for mirror selfies – Everyone loves a bathroom mirror selfie, especially when the background looks presentable. Replace average toilet cubicles with a touch of luxury, as seen in these toilets at Brasserie of Light.

Instagrammable Bathroom Venue

How do businesses benefit?

Of course, it’s no doubt that a more visually attractive venue will entice more customers – it acts as good packaging. But how does being ‘Instagram-friendly’ in particular benefit a business?

Ultimately, ‘Instagrammable’ venues don’t just exist within the local community – they live online. Upon entering Sketch or EL&N Café, guests feel instantly inclined to share their lunch destination with their several-hundred or even several-thousand followers, scoring the business plenty of exposure.

Indeed, while a restaurant can gain good traction online from the general public, it can become a viral success from just one influencer share, with users of the app travelling from far and wide to enhance their Instagram-game.

A photogenic venue can also improve a business’ own Instagram-game. Having beautiful lighting and backdrops enables a company to present better quality social media posts, highlighting their venue as more appealing. This can significantly shape the way it is received online, increasing the brand’s engagement and therefore exposure.

Are ‘Instagrammable’ venues worth the hype?

Are they worth the hype

With so much thought put into a venue’s aesthetic appearance, we might question whether customers are still guaranteed a good quality dining experience in these well-known spots. Does the product itself match the quality of its packaging?

Alongside floral wall displays and neon signs, one feature that runs consistently throughout so many of these venues is a high price point. Venues like Saint Aymes and EL&N Café often receive mixed reviews for their ‘overpriced’ food, with several customers complaining that you pay for the photo opportunities.

On the other hand, restaurants like The Ivy Asia and Circolo Popolare have received consistently positive reviews which consider the venues’ dishes as worthwhile as their picturesque qualities.

Perhaps then, it’s a matter of doing your own research before committing to the sometimes dearer costs of an ‘Instagrammable’ dining experience.

From a business perspective, it’s vital that hospitality venues don’t lose touch with what they originally sought to do. Serving carefully made food and providing excellent service is just as important as gaining social media exposure. Achieving the right balance between the two is the best way to succeed in the hospitality industry.

 

If you would like to know more about how to gain exposure for your business on Instagram, get in touch with Posh Cockney today.


Sustainability in Business

The rapidly increasing growth of the importance of sustainability for businesses can be seen across all industries – with 62% of executives stating that to be competitive, businesses must adopt a sustainability strategy. On top of this, an extra 22% believe it will play an even greater role in future (Haanaes, 2016).

So, what does it mean to have sustainability in a business?

According to Alexandra Spiliakos from The Harvard Business School Online, sustainability practices are done so a company/brand/business can avoid a negative impact on the environment, community, or society in the long term (Spiliakos).

Notable examples of these business strategies can be seen in companies such as:

 

  • Nike – waste and footprint reduction
  • Unilever – waste and footprint reduction
  • IKEA – waste and footprint reduction, maximising material usage
  • BMW – reduction of pollution and increasing energy efficiency (Haanaes)

Windmills

But how can this be done for your business?

With sustainability, the specific approach taken by businesses is tailored by what effect the business has or wants to have on the environment or on society. Because there is such a broad list of elements to consider, each businesses’ sustainability approach needs to be made in response to its own internal goals and functionalities.

Therefore, certain sustainability strategies may take the form of:

  • Usage of sustainable materials in manufacturing/production 
  • Reduction of greenhouse gasses
  • Usage of renewable energy sources for power
  • Supporting the local community by dedicating sponsorship funds (Spiliakos)

Given that there is an obvious positive impact from adopting a sustainability approach on the environment and society (outwards), further positive impact can also affect the image and potential of a business (inwards). Commitment to sustainability causes business success (Gavin, 2018), whilst nowadays, a seemingly recurrent aspect of the investment process involves assessments of sections such as company carbon footprints, community development efforts and board diversity (Spiliakos). Therefore, if a business’s sustainability plan is strong enough to incite change in the outer world, it will draw back greater achievement for the business itself also.

Plastic Bottles

Two of Posh Cockney’s clients are following suit in dedicating their operations to greater sustainability. Concentrated on ethical fishing and minimising plastic waste, the Nipo-Brazilin fusion restaurant Temakinho believes sustainability is the key to the future. Meanwhile, the Mediterranean restaurant Olives N’ Meze is totally plastic-free, whilst the produce they serve is prepared and served entirely from scratch.

So, there you have it. As everyone knows, the dangers and awareness of climate change is an essential and unavoidable topic today. All businesses should want to enhance their appeal, growth, and impact on the market, but not just financially. 

As shown from the exponential growth of sustainable ideologies undertaken by companies today, it is undoubtedly clear that companies need to assess their own goals and ethics, and form that construct a custom business strategy dedicated to sustainability. This strategy should take into account the economic and/or social benefits it could be inciting, and work towards these benefits to contribute not only to the world around them but to their own productivity and success. 


The Rise of TikTok Marketing

What is TikTok?

Boasting over 800 million global active users, Chinese-born mobile app TikTok has experienced exponential growth since its initial launch in 2016. Advertised as a video-sharing platform for user-generated content, TikTok allows users to create short-form videos, ranging from fifteen seconds to three minutes, which combine clips with popular music, filters and text. 

On average, users spend roughly an hour a day rapidly consuming content via their ‘For You Page’, the app’s personalised feed which caters to users’ viewing desires.

Is it just for Teenagers?

Indeed, while the name ‘TikTok’ may initially prompt thoughts of dancing teenagers and lip-syncing videos, it has now become the hub of a much wider range of entertaining content, not far from stealing YouTube’s crown as the superior video-sharing platform. Popular video topics on the app include comedy, fitness, fashion, DIY and pranks, targeting a diverse variety of audiences.

Millions of TikTok users take advantage of the platform’s potential for virality, displaying their talents or skills in hope of achieving stardom. So, why shouldn’t businesses do the same? 

Having been labelled the fastest growing social media platform of all time, marketers are attracted to TikTok for its ability to reach and engage huge audiences of potential consumers. However, while the app is still relatively young, many business owners remain apprehensive about posting content on the platform. 

 

So, why market your business on TikTok?

  • It holds the potential to go viral. Creating viral content on TikTok can be the most effective way of keeping your brand at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Thanks to TikTok’s smart algorithm, users with zero followers on the app can skyrocket to fame over night after posting just one video. Unsurprisingly, the same goes for brands. As long as your content is carefully planned to appeal to your audience, there is no reason why it shouldn’t spread like wildfire. TikTok is built for virality, with formats like hashtag challenges constantly promoting new waves of trends. Many companies have achieved record-breaking engagement levels on the app by generating their own branded hashtag challenges and reaching out to well-known “TikTokers” to participate. 

 

  • It is extremely influential. Ever heard of Old Town Road by Lil Nas X? Or Driver’s Licence by Olivia Rodrigo? You most likely have because both songs were huge hits, charting at number one for significant periods of time. Why? TikTok popularised them through trends and challenges, leading to a more mainstream, cultural impact. Big trends on TikTok rarely linger within the periphery of the app, with most social media memes now originating on one’s For You Page. If your branded hashtag challenge goes viral on TikTok, it is likely to catch the attention of consumers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, exposing an even larger audience to your brand.

 

  • It can humanise your brand. While channels like Instagram might show off the flashier side of your business, TikTok’s humorous, creative environment enables consumers to witness your brand’s more human side. Participating in viral trends and challenges while also exhibiting humorous qualities can effortlessly highlight your brand’s personality and voice, rather than leaving this masked by its corporate identity. Your brand simply needs to weave itself into TikTok’s online culture, defined by fellow creators.

 

  • It’s accessible. Expensive cameras, studio lighting and a glam team are unheard of among viral creators on TikTok. In fact, some of the most viewed TikToks have been filmed in creators’ bedrooms, back gardens, or city centres, all using a smartphone. For businesses aiming to adapt to this landscape, they must follow suit, as encouraged by TikTok itself: ‘Don’t make ads, make TikToks’. Rather than ‘thinking like advertisers’, brands are persuaded to ‘behave like creators’, taking a step back from more expensive marketing tactics. Essentially, the only ingredients for achieving TikTok success are creativity and imagination. 

 

Which brands are doing it best?

Samsung – @samsung

Samsung saw record-breaking numbers with their #VideoSnapChallenge earlier this year. With videos including a promotional collaboration with K-Pop superstars, BTS, and contributions from well-known creators, the challenge accumulated 33 billion views across the app. How’s that for exposure?

Samsung tiktok

ASOS – @asos

Online fashion retailer, ASOS, know their way best around influencer collaborations on TikTok. Coining the hashtag, #asostiktakeover, the brand have been able to expand their audience significantly by working with well-known TikTok creators, such as @abbyroberts and @the.navarose (pictured below). This well-performed strategy has enhanced the brand’s presence across TikTok, as well as in the minds of Gen-Z. 

Asos tiktok

 

Ryanair – @ryanair 

Ryanair offers a perfect example of TikTok’s unrivalled ability to humanise a brand. Prompted by the prevailing effects of the pandemic, the airline flew to TikTok in an attempt to maintain their brand awareness during the travel ban. Since then, Ryanair have achieved staggering numbers on the app through its engagement with Gen-Z humour and trending memes. The airline is no longer just a large corporation but has become a well-loved personality among young people. 

Ryan air tiktok

 

If you would like more information about how Posh Cockney can help your brand break into the world of TikTok, get in touch today.


Pret Express - Great tech or a PR Stunt?

Over the past year, we’ve seen Pret A Manger making big moves to their business model in attempts to overcome the many struggles the pandemic has thrown at high street coffee chains. With the recent announcement that Pret is to expand their services by introducing vending and dispensing machines as well as increase their ‘Pret Perks’, Pret is once again making headlines.

Plans to innovate and diversify amongst coffee chain giants to set themselves apart from their competition are by no means new. We’ve all seen the thousands of Costa self-serving coffee machines dotted across the UK in service stations. Not long ago, we heard of Carluccio’s plans to launch their self-serving coffee machines in Budgens stores. However, have we seen vending machines like this before?

Pandemic Pret

With Covid setting Pret’s sales ten years back and various forced closures, the coffee chain has been widely recognized as a token of the financial struggle encountered by high-street businesses due to the pandemic. Nonetheless, Pret is a prime example of a business reacting to the heavy impact of Covid while simultaneously recognizing the need to diversify more than ever in this new hospitality market. 

In September 2020, Pret established a subscription scheme in response to a fall in customers visiting their shops during lockdown. Free for the first month and twenty pounds thereafter, the subscription covered a range of beverages from coffees to smoothies. Although other coffee chains like Costa and Starbucks operate point schemes, Pret’s subscription scheme was a first of its kind, enhancing the chain’s USP. 

Following the success of Pret’s loyalty scheme, May saw Pret and Tesco strike a deal. The move to offer Pret products in selected Tesco stores was “to adjust to a new way of living and working”. 

 

All aboard the Pret Express

Pret’s push to trademark ‘Pret Express’ and grow their ‘Pret Perks’ is just another instance of the coffee chain responding uniquely to the changing hospitality landscape. Despite the UK opening up since the 19th of July, many Pret stores have permanently shut while a scarcity of office workers in the city remains as many continue to work from home. 300 of Pret’s 400 stores are based in the country’s capital and heavily rely on office workers and commuters. 

The idea behind bringing out vending and dispensing machines is a solution to a shortage of trained baristas and a decrease in Pret’s footfall as a result of Covid. 

However, it is also a notable marketing and PR strategy demonstrating Pret as a leading multi-channel and technology-led business. 

Pret Exterior

Pret Express as a marketing and PR tool

It is no doubt that Pret’s newest development will bring extensive marketing and PR benefits. With already lots of coverage on ‘Pret Express’ by multiple publications and social media channels, the coffee chain can expect a boom in its SEO strategies. 

Along with choosing the correct keywords to ensure a brand appears at the top of a search, PR is an alternative way of aiding a brand’s SEO by generating links from external sites, which directs traffic towards the brand’s website. Therefore, features about Pret’s latest move in press releases and news articles will enable google to interpret these as endorsements for Pret, increasing Pret’s ranking in web searches. 

Want to know how successful PR can improve your brand’s authority and hence SEO? Get in touch with us today.


Olympic Athletes

What can businesses learn from Olympians?

It’s time! The long-awaited 2020 Olympics officially began on July 23rd in Tokyo, Japan after it had been postponed following the Coronavirus pandemic. Within the first week, the athletes have had an impressive start, with the Japanese team winning 15 gold medals, closely followed by China and the USA with 14 and 13 gold medals – respectively. Great Britain are not far behind – claiming 5 gold medals in swimming, diving and MTB. While the games have just begun, it is evident that the hard work and dedication these athletes have put in over the last year will pay off over these next few weeks. 

 

Olympic Cyclist

 

Research by The National Lottery reveals that – on average, Olympians will spend at least 10,000 hours training leading up to the games. With British athletes training at least six hours a day, six days a week which vary depending on the sport. For instance, Michael Phelps mentions to CNN that he swims at least three to six hours a day, with extra training on dry land four to five times a week. On the other hand, athletes training for the Paralympics such as the GB Wheelchair basketball team, go through 100 tyres a year which are specifically designed for the games. 

Olympians and Branding

A 2008 Forbes article mentions it is common for athletes to train at least four to eight years to hone their craft before making an Olympic team. Not only do they spend hours training, but dedicate their entire lives to winning an Olympic gold medal for their country. Their hard work and dedication to championing their sport and representing their country is admirable, and presents a valuable lesson not only for athletes but for businesses as well. Alongside their training, Olympic athletes are meant to uphold a professional image – similar to how businesses have their own brand image and identity.

Olympic Athletes

According to Kotler, a brand’s image is the set of beliefs, ideas and impressions that a person holds regarding an object. In simpler terms, it is a customers’ perception of the brand based on their interactions and experiences with the business. However, as perceptions are subjective – people will have different experiences and interpretations of the brand. Therefore, it is essential for organisations to establish a consistent image upon their foundation as it can provide them with long-term benefits such as:

  1. Distinct personality to differentiate themselves from the competition – which is especially advantageous in a highly saturated market
  2. Increased brand recognition to facilitate ease in introducing new products
  3. Increased confidence of existing customers which encourages customer retention
    • The chance of repurchasing from a business which customers can easily recall or recognise is higher than purchasing from a brand they are unfamiliar with
  4. Increased brand awareness which attracts new customers and promotes brand recall
  5. In the event of any reputational threats, a strong brand image and awareness amongst existing customers can buffer significant brand damage 

But how can businesses achieve this?

Much like Olympic athletes, this entails establishing a strong brand identity over a long period of time and a great deal of internal effort. By definition, a brand’s identity is how a brand wants to be perceived by its customers. This is crucial for the long-term success of a business as it is the embodiment of everything a business is and does. 

If you are in the process of establishing your brand, or currently run a business, we have provided key design elements to inform your strategy moving forward:

  1. Determine your brand purpose and brand proposition
    • This answer the questions: 
      • What are you offering?
      • Why are you offering it? 
      • How can consumers benefit from your product or service?
  2. Undergo extensive market research on your target audience and the competition
    • Frameworks such as a PESTLE or SWOT analysis can provide insight into the macro-environment of a business and up-to date information on the market’s attitudes and behaviours
  3. Curate your brand personality
    • This is what your audience can relate to
    • There are 5 main types, namely: “excitement”, “sincerity”, “ruggedness”, “competence”, and “sophistication”
  4. Create a memorable logo, typography, on-brand graphics with an attractive colour palette to compliment your image
    • Humans are visual creatures and rely heavily on visual cues which can inform attitudes and behaviours
  5. Maintain a consistent brand identity throughout your marketing strategies and campaigns. 

Building a brand is more than identifying and determining the visual brand components. Achieving a successful brand entails maintaining a consistent brand identity throughout your marketing strategies and campaigns. However, this is not limited to the paid and owned media your business uses. These efforts – especially if you are on a budget, can be maximised to generate earned media which can increase credibility and create unforgettable customer experiences. If you would like to know more about how you can elevate your brand – whether you are a new business or have been operating for years now, Posh Cockney is here to help you. 


What happened to Clubhouse?

This month, Clubhouse became available for all. They dropped the ‘invite only’ option, and finally launched an app for Android users. But, the audio-only social media app doesn’t seem to be the centre of attention any more. 

What is Clubhouse?

If you haven’t already heard of it, Clubhouse is a social media app where users can communicate in voice chat rooms that accommodate groups of thousands of people. The audio app hosts live discussions, whether you are hosting, participating or just listening, there is a space for everyone. Find out more here. 

During the pandemic this app took the world by storm, helping people all over the world communicate with each other. Clubhouse was launched in March 2020 and was made to seem private and exclusive, which only boosted people’s urge to want to be a part of it.

Members began posting it on their social media, Instagram etc with an invite code, saying they could have one person join, this helped the app to grow and grow until it was valued at a whopping $4 billion after a few months of being on the market.

Clubhouse app

So, why has Clubhouse gone quiet?

A year on and the clubhouse party might be over….it has shown that numbers are beginning to slow, as well as engagement from people already on the platform. But why?? Many people will argue that the use of the app suited the pandemic but after all rules in the UK were officially dropped on the 19th July (Freedom day), many no longer see the use and are excited to get back to the office. In person meetings and being able to socialise at a  conference is a far more appealing option for most. Since over 137.2 million people have now received their first dose of the vaccine, with all over 18’s having their second by the end of August, no one wants to sit inside on their phones anymore.

The app is also yet to introduce recording of conversations, this could be massively holding them back as other apps that offer similar abilities such as zoom enable you to record the conversation and go back and listen to it later on.

Recent rumours of data breaches are also bad news for the app. A Twitter user recently shared:

“A database of 3.8 billion phone numbers of #Clubhouse users is up for sale on the #Darknet. It also contains Numbers of people in user’s PhoneBooks that were Synced. So Chances are high that you are listed even if you haven’t had a Clubhouse login. #DataPrivacy,” 

Can Clubhouse bounce back?

Is it the end of the app? With the world opening back up and competitors hot on their tails, things don’t look promising for the billion dollar app. Headlines have gone from ‘how to get an invite to the exclusive app: club house’ to ‘is clubhouse already failing’. The future is not looking bright.

Clubhouse paved the way for huge changes within the social media industry. So whilst this audio-only app may have passed its peak, it has certainly cemented itself into the history books for changing how we use technology. 


Dance again neon sign

Covid Passports in September to enter clubs and... Pubs?!

Barely 18 hours after the much anticipated reopening of nightclubs, those dreams of freedom were dampened. The 19th July saw tens of thousands of young Brits forming long queues, eager for their first taste of non-socially distanced dancing since last March. A day after the so-called ‘Freedom Day’, however, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from this coming September, a previously dismissed domestic COVID certificate, showing proof of a full course of vaccination against COVID-19, will then be required for entry into such premises. The September date is justified due this also being the deadline at which all over 18’s would have been given the opportunity to have received both doses.

In a virtual press conference, PM Johnson, isolating at home due to a recent contact with the COVID positive Health Secretary, defended his decision to lift all restrictions on social contact, arguing that opening the country later would only give the virus more opportunities to spread among the population. 

“There comes a time when restrictions do not prevent the inevitable, but only delay it. We have to ask ourselves: if not now, when?” said PM Johnson, responding to criticism from some within the scientific community for his decision.

Urging all citizens to be “cautious”, he confirmed the news delivered minutes earlier by the Secretary of State for Vaccination, Nadhim Zahawi, that having the two jabs of the vaccine will be an essential condition from the end of September to gain access to nightclubs and “other places where a lot of people gather”. The United Kingdom is following the same strategy as countries such as France, where the introduction of restrictions on unvaccinated individuals is to be introduced also. This news comes as the health department continues the push for vaccination among young people, as the age group has seen numbers of Covid cases skyrocket in recent weeks. 

Yesterday, Oxford, a student hub, was the English city with the highest rate of covid infection.

Although so far the double vaccine requirement has only been announced for clubs, it has been widely rumored that it could also become a requirement for pubs and other smaller venues. Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said that they’re “going to use the coming weeks to look at the evidence, particularly both in the UK and globally before making a specific decision” and furthermore that PM Johnson was “not keen’’ for that to happen in pubs. The spokesperson said the main risk factors were “close proximity, late at night and consumption of alcohol”, which had landed nightclubs first on the list for requiring the COVID passes. 

Conservative MP Charles Walker told Sky’s All Out Politics that vaccine passports for nightclubs are “way over the top” and fears the PM’s announcement is the “thin end of the wedge” when it comes to people having to prove their COVID vaccine status to access venues. “I suspect we will start off with nightclubs and by sometime in the autumn most hospitality venues will require a vaccine passport,” he said.

Downing Street insists it is not ruling out the idea of covid certification if the country faces “a difficult situation in autumn or winter”. With everyone 18+ having been offered two doses of vaccine by September, this would pave the way for vaccine passports to be required in places where social distancing is not possible.


It’s Plastic Free July! What can you do to help?

The proliferation of plastic products in the last several decades has been extraordinary. It seems that we are addicted to this nearly indestructible material. We are producing over 380 million tons of plastic every year, and some reports indicate that up to 50% of that is for single-use purposes – utilized for just a few moments, but on the planet for at least several hundred years.

With the severity of plastic pollution, we want to draw attention and celebrate the great work that Plastic Free July is doing! 

What is Plastic Free July? 

Plastic Free July is a global movement that encourages and helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution so that we can have cleaner streets, oceans and communities. It has attracted an estimated 326 million participants across 177 counties. The movement encourages people to refuse single-use plastics in July (and beyond!) through education and the provision of free resources. 

What Posh Cockney are doing to help

Here at Posh Cockney we are joining Plastic Free July and striving to find alternatives to single-use plastics that can become new habits forever. 

And, we are proud to work with a range of clients that also strive to work sustainably and look after our planet. 

Temakinho is paving the way for sustainable business models and restaurants in the hospitality industry, becoming the first restaurant chain to obtain Friend of the Sea certification. 

Linda Maroli, owner of the Japanese and Brazilian culinary fusion, came up with the Temakinho idea while pregnant with her son. Her pregnancy influenced the development of a sustainable and ethical business model to bequeath to future generations an Earth which will not be irreversibly damaged by human activity.                                          

In order to reduce plastic waste, Temakinho replaced plastic straws with PLA alternatives, a biodegradable material derived from corn. In addition, the restaurant offers free filtered water, to avoid plastic bottles waste, as well as sustainable and recyclable take-away packaging.

‘’Sustainability has been part of Temakhino’s philosophy from the very beginning. We made sure that we only sourced sustainable fish and had no plastic in our restaurant. Sustainability is no doubt the key to the future: the only way to ensure a future for us and for the generations to come.’’

By making small and simple changes, as part of a collective group, we can make a big impact. Join in on Plastic Free July, and visit restaurants like Temakinho who create delicious food which tastes even better when you know it is produced ethically and sustainably! 


The Hospitality Staffing Crisis

After months of waiting, the hospitality sector will finally reopen its doors again with apparent normality, and likely with no covid tests or vaccine passports in sight – hooray! British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that the current situation in the United Kingdom “looks good” to be able to irreversibly lift all restrictions on July 19, the so-called “Freedom Day”, after having to delay the date for four weeks.

The partial reopening of hospitality on May 6 has caused an overwhelming wave of bookings in restaurants and pubs across the country. While having the freedom of booking a table has been a huge breath of fresh air for both customers and the hospitality industry, some venues have come under pressure to meet the ‘zero to one hundred’ demand due to staffing shortages. This is why not everyone will be jumping for joy on Freedom Day as some venues do not believe they have enough staff to open their doors.

What are the reasons for the staff shortages?

The reasons for such shortages are varied but there seem to be three main reasons behind the shortfall of around 188,000 workers, with front-of-house staff and chefs being particularly affected: 

  • Brexit: many workers had to return to their home countries due to the difficulty in regulating their employment status after Brexit. In the same way that many potential workers have stopped coming to the country.
  • Pandemic: many foreign workers returned to their home countries at the beginning of the pandemic and have not been able to return due to travel restrictions. 
  • Uncertainty: this sentiment predominates in the sector and pushes many people to seek work in other sectors where the grass may appear greener.

This staff crisis not only affects the owners of pubs or restaurants but also affects the workers themselves. The hospitality workers who are working are having to work longer hours to compensate for the under-staffed industry, under more stressful conditions making them at risk of being subject to burnouts.

Boris Johnson recently said that “the most important thing” for the national economy and to pay for the recovery is to ensure that it continues to “open (society), in a cautious but irreversible way, and make the economy move again”. “That is the government’s priority, and we are working hard on it,” said the conservative leader.

 

What happens next?

The hospitality sector is seeking solutions asking the government to renew its list of shortage occupations and to consider a visa scheme for workers who would not qualify under the points-based system in a bid to ease staffing pressures. Government sources assure that they are working to “understand the impact of Brexit and the pandemic in this sector” and that they are “doing everything [they] can to support hospitality to recover”. They add that their “dedicated work coaches are supporting people into work, including into hospitality, and through the Kickstart Scheme [they are] offering generous incentives to employers to recruit, with hundreds of young people starting work every day”.

Latest statistics from the job site Indeed show that the number of London vacancies posted in hospitality categories – listings for pub, restaurant and bar staff – have increased by almost 600 per cent from February 22nd, the day Boris Johnson revealed his roadmap out of lockdown. This could mean that for job searchers, the hospitality sector could offer an easy and quick solution for employment. The lack of both experienced and inexperienced staff that could fill endless positions in the industry means that now, more than ever, jobseekers stand a higher chance of landing a well-paying role, say experts.

At Posh Cockney, also experts in recruitment in hospitality, we encourage people to pursue a career in the exciting world of hospitality as opportunities may never be as fruitful as of now, in a world where people seeking hospitality jobs have the upper hand. 

Looking for the perfect candidate for your job vacancy? Or are you a skilled hospitality worker seeking your next dream job? Get in touch with us today.