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The Coalition Government one year on – what the restaurateurs think

19 May 2011
The Coalition Government one year on – what the restaurateurs think

Among the first acts of David Cameron's premiership was a speech on the great value of the tourism industry to the UK economy. So is he helping or hindering? This is what the restaurateurs think

Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown
Even a small business creates a mountain of paperwork

Andrew BrownBrown's Café and Grill, Darlington

The Government inherited a huge pile of dung last year, at the same time as I opened Brown's. We have both had our noses to the grindstone since.

I chose to be a cook to avoid administrative activities, but even a small business such as mine (turnover will be £500,000 this year) creates a mountain of paperwork. So all the additional admin, most of which is box-ticking and common sense, eats into kitchen time or has to be done at the end of what will already have been a long working day.

The cost of being in business is always increasing. I would like the Government to look at employers' national insurance contributions and reduce them for those of us with fewer than 10 full-time employees - and help us cope with our ever-increasing wage bills.

Chris Bachmann
Chris Bachmann
Provide support

Chris BachmannManaging director, Bachmanns Pâtisserie

I would like to see more support for companies that run good apprenticeship schemes. Government continues to encourage young people to take on large debts and pay ever-increasing fees to universities for the provision of full-time courses, yet there is very little financial incentive for a company such as mine that provides a genuine and practical education - as well as a wage - to an apprentice.

Tax- and national insurance-free wages for apprentice schemes would be a good incentive, as well as a more vigorous governmental campaign to persuade young people of the merits of an apprenticeship.

Mitch Tillman
Mitch Tillman
Find a way to help with tribunals

Mitchell TillmanManaging director, First Restaurant Group

It's hard to quantify if the Government has done anything just yet but I'd like to think conditions will improve.

We employ 350 people and I'm keen for Government to help with the influx of tribunals. They have shot up 20-fold and we just don't have the HR resource to deal with them. People are being approached by legal agencies and will put in a claim for anything.

The Government is talking about extending the time from one to two years in which it's easier to move employees on, which would be a good thing.

We read about banks supporting us but I'm not seeing evidence of this. We're being offered groups and restaurants that have potential all the time - and much of the reason is that their funding has been withdrawn.

How do you think the Coalition Government is performing for hospitality? Tell us atTable Talk.

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