In this week’s Tourism Business Chat, Chris Scargill speaks to Philip Turner, founder and managing director of Chestnut; a collection of pubs, inns and restaurants throughout East Anglia.
In their conversation, Philip speaks frankly about the impact that restrictions have had on his own business, as well as the leisure and hospitality sector. He speaks candidly about the Government’s handling of the pandemic, and the anger and frustration this has caused amongst business leaders in the sector. He also reflects on a purchase he made just before lockdown. News of COVID-19 was rumbling in the background at that point, and he explores his feelings around the timing. He reveals what he’s learnt from this experience ̶ if you don’t learn, you don’t get better!
Although he started his career in the City, Philip’s passion for the hospitality sector led him onto the acquisition trail and his words of wisdom for those looking to get into the trade, are invaluable. He hopes that an upside of this pandemic will be an opportunity for both employers and customers to look at the hospitality sector through different eyes, both in terms of careers and turning away from the transient nature of job roles.
Philip reflects on the changes his HR department made at the start of lockdown, focusing on the wellbeing of his teams, and creating a motivational space for people to communicate, and come together, including charitable work they did in their communities. He expresses his fears that many on furlough may never be able to return to full-time work, and that the prospect of the ‘long-term sick note’ is very real as a result of the impact of restrictions on those working in the sector. Cultivating and nurturing your teams is key to the success of your business.
Philip freely admits that he can’t change a keg, but he can balance the spread sheet! As a self-confessed ‘glass half full’ man, Philip has high hopes for the sector moving out of COVID-19. His insights are key for anyone working in the sector, at any level, and business leaders who’ve been impacted by closures or restrictions during the last year.
You can visit Chesnut here.
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