UKHospitality wary of menu calorie labelling impacts on under pressure sector
Responding to the launch of Chapter Two of Government’s childhood obesity plan, UKHospitality’s CEO, Kate Nichols, said:
“The out-of-home sector supports workable efforts to promote healthier eating habits, as demonstrated by the proactive actions already in reformulating menus to reduce calories and increase transparency and choice for customers. However, the introduction of mandatory menu calorie labelling would represent a significant burden for businesses, particularly smaller operators.
“Many venues already choose to show calorie content on their menus, with many high street brands giving customers an unprecedented level of information but the reality is that smaller businesses will struggle to do so. It would impose a serious additional cost for many businesses facing tightening margins, increased operating costs and wider economic instability.
“Furthermore, it would hamper venues endeavours to incorporate seasonal ingredients and ‘specials’ to attract custom, as well as restricting smaller restaurants’ ability to innovate, particularly when tackling food waste. Furthermore, calorie labelling would largely fall outside of the Government’s targeting of obesity among lower income children, as obesity in that demographic is less likely to be caused by dining in restaurants.”
UKHospitality responds to Apprenticeship Levy announcement
Commenting on today’s Government announcement that large employers will be able to transfer up to 10% of their apprenticeship levy funds to multiple businesses, a move aimed at increasing the number of apprenticeships nationwide, UKHospitality CEO, Kate Nicholls, said “This is a step in the right direction to providing more flexibility in the levy. As a sector, we are the third largest private sector employer but we face huge challenges in labour and skills shortages in an industry with so much to offer in terms of reward and career progression.
“We welcome today’s news but will continue to call for further changes to ensure that the levy can achieve optimal effectiveness. More flexibility in how the levy can be spent would help to improve the return for employer and employee alike. A good starting point would be enabling larger employers to use the levy for apprenticeship-related costs and for unspent levy funds to be spent helping SMEs to employ and develop apprentices.”