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Savoy lecture given by Most Powerful Person in UK Hospitality

Savoy lecture given by Most Powerful Person in UK Hospitality

Alastair Storey last week addressed the great and the good of the food and drink industry with a dedicated lecture in his honour at The Savoy Hotel in London.

Alastair Storey - chairman and chief executive of Westbury Street Holdings (WSH), the holding company of leading independent hospitality and retail companies such as BaxterStorey and Benugo, was invited to give a presentation on the motivations and strategies that have shaped his 40-year strong career following his appointment as the ‘Most Powerful Person in UK Hospitality’, knocking Jamie Oliver off the top spot for the first time in two years.

“I love this business!” was Alastair Storey’s opening line as he addressed more than 300 industry friends and colleagues at Arena’s illustrious The Savoy Lecture 2013. 

Clearly irked by the lack of recognition the catering and hospitality industry receives from Government, despite being the fourth largest employer in the UK, Alastair appealed to Government to recognise the “gem” that they have in the hospitality industry. Quoting the Oxford Economics research, published earlier this month and commissioned by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), he unleashed a myriad of statistics that clearly illustrate how massively important the industry is to the UK economy. 

For example, it generated 153,000 new jobs between 2010 and 2012, accounting for 28% of all new jobs in the UK over this period; it directly employs almost 2.7 million, ahead of financial services, education, manufacturing, construction, public administration and defence; and it provides a further 1.4 million jobs through the supply chain and multiplier effects. According to the BHA, given the right framework, the hospitality industry can produce an additional 300,000 new jobs by 2020 – which represents jobs for an incredible 30% of Britain’s young people who are currently out of work.

Alastair also used the Savoy Lecture platform to urge fellow industry leaders to unite to work together for a sustainable supply chain that commands a fair price for quality and traceability. He called for more support for Britain’s farmers, artisans, and suppliers to ensure strength in the supply chain that, amongst other things, will better insure the UK’s businesses against incidents such as the recent horsemeat scandal. 

“We have an awesome industry full of entrepreneurs, creativity, talent, energy and most importantly with a great contribution to make to society and the future of Britain,” enthused Alastair at the event. “Life is a journey, great achievements start with small steps and I wanted to use my presentation as a way to get people talking about a strategic vision for our industry. Not just one narrow sector but the whole hospitality and tourism industry. Hopefully I achieved that.”

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