Hospitality operators have been urged not to cut back their investment in training as economic conditions worsen.
Alastair Storey, chief executive of contract caterer BaxterStorey, warned fellow employers that cutting development budgets was not the way to weather the gathering storm when the industry's "prime asset is its people".
Speaking to ITN journalist Alastair Stewart last week at hospitality industry networking organisation Arena's Face to Face event at the Dorchester on Park Lane, Storey admitted that there was a definite "chill" in the marketplace, but stressed that staff development was still vital.
"I believe the next two to three years will be a lot harder," he said. "There's always a temptation to make cuts and trim training, but if you're serious about using fresh food in your operation, as we are, you need to keep training all the time. Ultimately training your staff is what improves your profitability and drive volumes in your business, and given the difficult economic times good product and service are always desirable."