Unpacking the future of hospitality

Krunali Mane, a second year International Hospitality Management BA(Hons), was invited to attend the Unpack the Future of Hospitality event organsied by the British Association of Hospitality, The British Institute of Inkeeping and The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers.

Krunali, who is taking part in the Springboard GEMS Mentoring Scheme, tells us about the event.

“In our fast-paced modern society, single-use food packaging is an endemic problem, from meal boxes, coffee cups, plastic cutlery and plastic straws, through to the vac packs and containers used in kitchens. While non- degradable disposable items may be convenient and important to ensuring food hygiene, they are problematic for our environment.”

I was invited by my mentor to attend the event and speakers from multiple organisations came forward and spoke. It was a great event to start a conversation on single use plastic and packaging. The discussion began with a panel discussion from various Sky media representatives.

Andrew Stones, Managing Director at Be At One, spoke about the various replacements of plastic straws he has considered to implement in branches around the UK. He tried using many straws to try and avoid the single use of plastic ones at his bars and pubs:

  • Prawn shell straws (not widely available)
  • Biodegradable Straws (green colour didn’t appeal to customers)
  • Metal Straws (used by staff members when trying drinks)
  • Paper straws (don’t taste good)

It was interesting to see how different companies approach it differently.

Other presentationswere from Dr Colette Wrigglesworth from DEFRA, Martin Kersh from the Food Packaging Association, Claire Churchard from the Morning Advertiser and Peter Skelton from WRAP.

One of the presentations that grabbed my attention was the case study of Baxter Storey.  Mike Henson introduced with some background knowledge of litter and single use plastic. Litter is often just swept of the floor and put down the sewage system which later goes into the River Thames.

He addressed an important issue for pubs, bars, restaurants in the UK and mentioned that each company whether small or big should put more effort on waste management. Companies should be responsible for where their waste is going, and the companies in charge of their waste keeping should be able to be transparent about their waste management.

Moving to a simple yet important quote said by Martin Kersh: “Not plastic free but plastic responsible.”

The speakers continued with thought provoking ideas.

Throughout the day, attendees had a chance to engage, ask questions and join the discussion. I found it a very thought provoking event and day over all.

I hope this inspires students to step out of their comfort zone, visit events that are happening in the real world, be engaged with the various organisations that are hospitality related and experience as much as you can.

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