UK restaurant
Customers prefer visiting hospitality businesses that showcase their EDI policies. AFP News/Justin TALLIS

A recently published survey report reveals some critical information regarding customer preference for EDI policies in the UK hospitality sector.

CGA by NIQ and UKHospitality has done a survey where they quizzed customers regarding the EDI policies of the hospitality industry. Nearly two-thirds of the participants revealed that they would like to know about the equity, diversity and inclusion, jointly termed EDI policies of the venues. This survey report is published in the new edition of Future Shock.

Why is this crucial?

There is no denying that the UK hospitality industry is a dynamic sector which propelled the country's economy out of the 2008 economic crisis. In such a scenario, the hospitality industry forms an essential part of businesses in the UK and what the customers think of them is of paramount importance.

The hospitality sector in the UK employs 1.8 million across 143,000 businesses. This contributed £40.4 billion to the UK economy in 2019. Apart from being a vital avenue of employability, this sector is one of the main aspects of community building in the country.

Showcasing your EDI is the key

Most consumers prefer to see EDI policies being advertised by the venues. A recorded 64 per cent of the participants of the survey revealed that they want cafes, restaurants, hotels and others in the industry to include equity, diversity and inclusion-related details in their advertisements. However, a third of these people say that they don't see businesses in this sector speak about accessibility and EDI. The consumers want the businesses to showcase their work towards better EDI.

Three out of 10 people that were surveyed prefer a place which highlights and follows an EDI policy. They like to be in the restaurants, cafes and hotels which promoted their EDI policy. This allows the hospitality sector to showcase its business in a better way and attract customers.

The new edition of Future Shock which is the 13th edition speaks of EDI in hospitality, highlighting consumer outlook towards it. The 13th edition also reveals the work done in the hospitality sector with interesting case studies from major businesses like Only A Pavement Away, Molson Coors and Greene King.

Customers want transparency

Speaking about the EDI policy inclusion, the Chief Executive of UKHospitality Kate Nicholls stressed on the hospitality industry's tradition of being the most inclusive sector in the world, one where people came first.

I know day-to-day there remains a huge amount taking place to ensure that remains the case and that we continue to enhance our equity, diversity and inclusion credentials.
Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive, UKHospitality.

Kate further stressed the importance of the hospitality sector saying that this survey makes it clear that the public has faith in the industry and they want to take a more informed decision regarding where they want to visit.

It's encouraging that customers want to see and understand the work we're doing and is a clear indication to businesses to bring this work to the forefront of their activities.
Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive, UKHospitality.

There are various things happening in the hospitality sector including the EDI committee of UKHospitality, the over 50s recruiting guide and the Hospitality Wellbeing and Development Promise. Out of all of this, the UKHospitality team has decided to showcase EDI in the current edition of Future Shock as this highlights what the industry is doing to be more inclusive, diverse and equitable.

Long-term future of the hospitality industry

Karl Chessell, the Director of Hospitality Operators and Food, CGA said that the public interest in unique experiences is a driving force for the hospitality industry.

By any measure, the first quarter of 2023 has been challenging. Nevertheless, there are some encouraging signs as we look ahead to the rest of 2023. Most importantly of all, CGA's research consistently proves the public's appetite for the special experiences that only hospitality can provide.
Karl Chessell, Director of Hospitality Operators and Food, CGA.

He further highlighted that people haven't stopped visiting restaurants and cafes altogether despite the cost of living crisis. There hasn't been any substantial decrease in visiting levels in the major hospitality business areas and he hopes the visiting increase soon as customers have more money in their hands to spend.

Despite challenges, the hospitality industry seems to have a long-term bright future. For this the industry needs to showcase its commitments and deliver on critical issues like diversity and sustainability in order to be perceived as a responsible sector, Chessell ascertained.