Hospitality Speaks – Why You Should Know About It

This non-for-profit organisation is one that every employer and employee in the hospitality industry should be aware of.

In short Hospitality Speaks exists to address bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination in our industry. It is a free tool that will speak to a higher percentage of colleagues, friends and employees than we would care to admit.

Whilst Hospitality Speaks is not run by professional therapists or lawyers, and as such does not offer direct advice, it is run by people with countless years in the hospitality industry who have used their experience to build the platform.

What they have created is somewhere people can come and share their stories as well as read other peoples. They have also interviewed various bar and restaurant owners to find out how they deal with staff and issues in their own venues.

Amongst those interviewed for the ‘People Pioneers’ are Swift, LCC, Lyan and Hawksmoor each one discussing how they deal with staff issues, customer problems and many other areas of bar ownership and management.

There is also a very thorough and useful section called ‘Support’. Here you will find the details of people who are trained to help you directly with any issues you are having.

Whilst we are all aware that the issues they are looking at have existed in our industry for as long as there has been one, it is something that has historically been swept under the carpet. Their mission is to change this, working with other like-minded organisations to bring this to the fore and provide a safe place for people to express themselves and discover how they can be helped.

I’m sure none of you, our intelligent readers, have any doubt about how important these issues are or how rife an issue it is, but just in case in 2018 Unite The Union produced a report on sexual harassment entitled ‘Not On The Menu’. This report found that a massive 9 out of 10 hospitality workers had experienced sexual harassment at work.

Whilst a majority of those people experienced it from customers a worrying 22% experienced it from managers. Another worrying aspect to come out was that 77% of those surveyed didn’t know whether they had a sexual harassment policy at work and 60% said they were unsure or lacked faith in their management to deal with a sexual harassment complaint.

The best way we can, as an industry, help to make our work environments better is to be aware of the issues, vocal about them and put plans in place to deal with them.

For staff this means being aware, knowing you are not alone, speaking up about issues, keeping an eye on your fellow workers and pushing your management to put plans in place. For employers it is vital to let your staff know of your policies, encouraging them to come to you if there are any issues and don’t shy away from any instances that arise.

Hospitality Speaks is there to help, we are very lucky to have resources like this at our fingertips, don’t ignore it.

Hospitality Speaks website can be found here.
The Not On The Menu report can be found here.
They are currently working on a new report and you can get involved by filling in a quick questionnaire here.