Industry skills body People 1st has warned that the Olympic Games in 2012 could lead to some horror headlines unless customer service standards are improved.
Speaking at the Catering Forum last week, Brian Wisdom, chief executive of Sector Skills Council People 1st, said: "The Olympic Games provides a golden opportunity for the industry to change long-held perceptions of poor customer service and create a legacy of a highly skilled workforce."
But he warned that to achieve this, the Olympics had to act as a spur for the sector to improve.
"We have identified key areas that need addressing, including retention rates, management and leadership standards, qualifications, poor customer service and a shortage of qualified chefs. Now we're assessing what training and qualifications are currently available and developing solutions," he added.
Wisdom said forum workshops had demonstrated some common themes. Working groups will continue throughout the summer before People 1st presents the National Tourism Skills Strategy to new tourism minister Shaun Woodward in the autumn.