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What is the "Future of Work" in Hospitality?

24 AUGUST 2018

One of the most ubiquitous turns of phrase associated with the labour market today is the term “future of work”, and many industries have questioned just what this future entails, especially in an age of the rising gig economy, artificial intelligence and of course, the millennial generation. The hospitality industry is no exception to this question, and it’s a mixed bag of optimism and concern.

One of the most notable changes affecting the hospitality industry, aside from Brexit and the surmounting 60,000 strong worker shortage expected each year, has been the rise of the gig economy. With an estimated 4.4% of the UK population now working in the gig economy, this new form of flexible work isn’t slowing down. Combine this with the fact that 56% of these workers are millennials – a huge demographic of the hospitality industry – and it’s clear to see why many within hospitality are interested in understanding how it will affect them.

It’s an exciting opportunity to explore both sides of the gig economy and deliberate over what needs to be done to make it a force for good in the industry.

So, what are the opportunities it can bring and what challenges lay ahead?

Over the past 18 months, a great deal of press has surrounded the gig economy – most notably in the form Uber, Deliveroo and Pimlico. However, in light of such press, the opportunities this form of employment offers both workers and businesses, and the role it’s currently playing in industries such as hospitality are being overshadowed.

Don’t be misled, the issue of worker’s rights is still a major issue facing the gig economy, and it needs to be resolved. However, if we’re to improve the gig economy and embrace it in the hospitality industry – which is still quite traditional in its recruitment employment strategy - we must highlight its opportunities and discuss how we can overcome its challenges from both a worker and business standpoint.

Therefore, in conjunction with the Caterer and The Springboard Charity, we’re taking part in a panel-discussion this September, alongside fellow hospitality and gig economy operators, prominent MP’s, and members of the press. 

Looking at the effect of the gig economy in hospitality, the event will cover topics such as Brexit, worker vetting, quality control, maintaining brand value, taxation, Government assistance, and of course, worker’s rights. Set up as a Q&A panel, fellow attendees – including the press – will also be able to voice their opinion and add to the debate.

It’s an exciting opportunity to explore both sides of the gig economy and deliberate over what needs to be done to make it a force for good in the industry.

As you may know, this event ties in with our campaign to Make Gig Work, Work - which aims to reform the gig economy for both workers and industry operators.

In what kicked off with an official Government petition earlier this year to improve worker’s rights in the gig economy, our campaign has grown to include face-to-face meetings with leading industry figures, government MP’s, and Chief Exec of the RSA, Matthew Taylor.

However, the success of our campaign has never been defined by the number of signatures on our petition or by the discussions we’re having with key figures. Success lies in how the Government listens to those operating and working within the gig economy and our event in September will emphasis such discussion.

In what many have pipped to be the ‘future of work’, the gig economy shows no sign of stopping. It’s increasing popularity as a flexible working option amongst millennials bodes well for the similarly flexible and youthful hospitality industry. However, in order for it to be a force for good and transition from an outdated industry into a new era of on-demand work, we must encourage its benefits, overcome its challenges and erase the stigma surrounding the gig economy.

To learn more about the upcoming event in conjunction with The Caterer and The Springboard Charity, and how you be a part of the conversation, simply contact


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