Restaurant Association and BHA to join forces
The British Hospitality Association (BHA) is in discussions with the Restaurant Associations about a possible merger.
The two organisations are trying to agree on an arrangement that could see the Restaurant Association becoming the restaurant arm of the BHA by the end of this year.
The purpose of the deal is to save costs by sharing offices and central administration services, but also to form a stronger lobbying platform.
"It is in both our interests to work together, but the Restaurant Association will remain a separate organisation and none of the member benefits will be affected," said Stephen Moss, vice-president of the Restaurant Association.
Both the BHA and the Restaurant Association are keen to point out that both organisations will retain separate identities. However, the Restaurant Association is unable to confirm if it will be appointing another chief executive. It is looking for a replacement for Ian McKerracher, but is unclear what the new job title will be until agreements with the BHA are finalised.
In the meantime, the Restaurant Association has brought back David Harrold as part-time director of its London office. Harrold was chief executive of the Restaurant Association between 1992 and 1997 before retiring from full-time employment and becoming southern regional director.
By Christina Golding and Samantha McClary