More than 100 hospitality businesses, from large multi-site operators to small independents, came together in Oxford yesterday to collaborate with technologists, consultants and professors on improving productivity and driving innovation in hospitality.

At the first accelerator event run by Jane O’Riordan as part of the Hospitality Sector Council, operators heard from Kevin Hollinrake MP, Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, to open the day.

Hosted by Oxford Brookes Business School and supported by the Department for Business and Trade and UKHospitality, the event facilitated lively discussion and workshops that were designed to stimulate innovative ideas around customer experience, streamlining tasks in a lively hospitality environment, and dealing with production and delivery.

Businesses left enthused with a desire to drive growth and invest throughout the sector, and innovation partners and policymakers gained unique insights into the specific needs of hospitality businesses to become more productive. Jane and her innovation working group, which sits under the Council, will now develop key outputs of the event and share them across the industry.

Jane O’Riordan, who chairs the Innovation Working Group (IWG), and is a member of the HSC, said: “Events like this are so important to provide an opportunity for operators to dedicate time to coming up with innovative solutions to drive our productivity.

“Hospitality’s creativity and flair to come up with new ideas was clear to see today and I’m confident that this debut event will be the start of a successful series of events to drive this important agenda.”

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “Hospitality is one of the most innovative sectors in the economy and bringing together over 100 of our brightest minds made for a fantastic event full of ideas.

“I’m delighted that UKHospitality has been able to work with Jane, the Hospitality Sector Council, and the Department for Business and Trade to organise this event, and we look forward to more successes like today in the future.”


Sam Allcock, a seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of expertise in Food & Drink Editorial.

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