Top hospitality names convene at Oxford Brookes University for expert insights and guidance

Attendees gathered at the event at Oxford Brookes University
Attendees at the event in the Sir Kenneth Wheare Hall on Headington Campus

Oxford Brookes University brought together some of the leading names in the hospitality sector for an on-campus event, to discuss and share innovative solutions to enhance productivity in the UK hospitality industry.

The ‘Hospitality Innovation Day’ took place at Headington campus on 22 May, and was attended by top leaders from the sector such as Turtle Bay Restaurants, Deliveroo, Nando’s, Pizza Express, and Wetherspoons.

The event was hosted by Oxford Brookes Business School (OBBS), supported by the Department for Business & Trade and Hospitality Sector Council, and took place in the Sir Kenneth Wheare Hall on Headington Campus. 

Hospitality professionals came together with academic staff and policy makers to discuss the challenges facing the sector, such as wellbeing of staff, increasing employment costs with the rise in the National Living Wage, and the recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Attendees had the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences with one another, analyse common barriers they face and come up with actionable strategies to take their businesses forward. 

Professor Tim Vorley OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Oxford Brookes Business School opened the event, alongside Jane O'Riordan, Chairman of Turtle Bay Restaurants, and Kevin Hollinrake, Minister of State in the Department for Business and Trade.

Professor Vorley said: “We were delighted  to host this Innovation Day. Our academic staff expertly facilitated the event that brought 120 individuals working in the hospitality sector together to think about future challenges and how they might be addressed. The big questions ranged from utilising technology and improving workflow to better leveraging data and personalisation.”

Hospitality in the UK is the third largest employer, with 3.5 million people working in the sector, and with a direct contribution of £93m into the economy annually.[1] 

Jane O’Riordan said: “The pressure on the hospitality industry is only going to grow, especially for small and medium sized businesses with costs continuing to rise. This is why events like this Hospitality Innovation Day at Oxford Brookes are vital, so that we can bring all these businesses together to focus on all the aspects of hospitality that we love, like working with people and engaging with our customers. 
"It was fantastic to be a part of the lively and engaging discussions about what we can all do to combat the challenges we face in the industry."