With concerns about the continuing rise in the number of clinically obese people in the UK, we support efforts by the Health Department’s Responsibility Deal (RD) which is aimed at tackling obesity and improving the health of Britons through better diets and physical exercise. The RD is a voluntary scheme aimed at commercial businesses (particularly those producing standardized menus within multiple chain restaurants or catering outlets) and we are working to encourage businesses to make their contribution to the provision of information on a voluntary basis.
The BHA own report Health Works: a look inside eating out highlights the industry’s leadership in promoting healthier eating and healthier living, with many BHA members signing the Deal’s pledges and many more anticipating to do so.
Download the BHA report Health Works: a look inside eating out by clicking here.
The British Hospitality industry serves one in every six meals consumed in the UK. Therefore, our industry is at the heart of the nation’s health agenda. As the industry representative for out-of-home-food services, the BHA continues to serve on the RD Board and our experts serve on two of the five networks (Food and Changing Behaviour). The BHA’s primary focus in this regard has been and will continue to be to guard against unnecessary regulation and to ensure that the RD is practically achievable, suitable and feasible for those companies to which it applies.
As the external context for our industry continues to evolve, with more pressure for legislation coming from the EU and the recent decision in the USA to regulate calorie information on menus for all restaurants with more than 20 chains, the industry needs to do more to safeguard against unnecessary legislation in the UK.
Some of the larger hospitality and catering organisations already carry out significant research to establish what type of information consumers require when choosing food. By sharing this research with the government, a scheme for providing people with nutritional information could be developed collaboratively without creating confusion, acting inconsistently or increasing costs. BHA encourages this approach.
Our Nutrition, Health & Wellness Policy Network encompassing our National Restaurant Groups Committee (Chaired by Graham Turner of Tragus), Foodservice Management Forum (Chaired by Phil Hooper of Sodexo) and Restaurant Association National Committee (Chaired by the Earl of Bradford, proprietor of Porters Restaurant) are developing a report which will set out key trends in consumer behaviour and the political context, as well as promoting the outstanding creativity, innovation and responsibility of BHA members who are already leading on the health agenda
BHA members also work with FE colleges to improve the skill of chefs in delivering healthy and nutritional food and, with the emergence of Local Enterprise Partnerships, there is a good opportunity to work with local authorities, which BHA will encourage.
Around 20,000 of our member establishments serve alcohol. We support the government’s aim of tackling alcohol related crime and disorder but unnecessary regulation designed to deal with irresponsible operator’s harms those operators who are totally responsible, raises their cost and damages profitability.
We support the principle of banning sales of alcohol at below cost and have submitted a more detailed response to the Home Office’s consultation exercise, Rebalancing the Licensing Act, in relation to England and Wales.