Conference shines light on York’s hospitality sector

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As part of York Business Week 2019, a landmark hospitality sector conference has been co-ordinated by The York BID and the Hospitality Association York.

Featuring keynote sessions on the vital areas of staff recruitment, retention and wellbeing, the event took place at the Principal Hotel and attracted 150 of the city’s hospitality key players.

The York BID and HAY partnered to fund the conference as part of a longer term strategy to highlight the exciting opportunities that can exist within the hospitality sector. The keynote speaker was Linda Moir, who headed the London 2012 dream team that delivered outstanding front of house service by 15,000 volunteer Games Makers to 9 million spectators, and is a former Director of In Flight Services for Virgin Atlantic.

Other speakers at the conference included Philip Bolson, General Manager of The Grand York and John Atherton, former Chief Operating Officer of McDonalds UK, who talked about their programme to look after the mental wellbeing of their employees.

There was lively debate in the ‘Future Panel’, featuring some of York’s brightest hospitality stars. Mr Bolson, Chairman of HAY, says the event strapline of ‘Discover, Develop, Dream’ had been chosen to set the tone for the day’s discussions.

He added: “Jobs in hospitality and the skills they can create are not always given the kudos they deserve.  The customer service skills you learn in hospitality are very valuable in an age of instant reviews.  People can gain skills in event management, food service, HR; all attributes that can lead to further opportunities in hospitality or are transferable to other sectors.”