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Hospitality Service Management

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Hospitality Individual Report

Recession & Healthy Eating

Jason Holness

Hospitality Services Management

Events Management & Human Resources

Monday 20th June 2011

[Summary]
The great recession and healthy eating are two main concerns within the restaurant sector. Reviewing issues ranging from immigrants being blamed for homegrown residents finding it hard to find suitable work, down to healthy eating issues of obesity epidemics and why organic food is being served.

[Introduction]

Two major current issues within the restaurant sector / tourism industry are recession and healthy eating. This report will further highlight those issues, go into depth and observe how HRM is trying to tackle the issues also.

The recent recession had caused a lot of people to change the way they live and businesses to change the way they operate. Issues more commercially known to the general public were was simply a loss of jobs or businesses going bankrupt. Businesses who were able to survive the recession either grew in demand or downsized operations to cut costs.

Moving onto another key issue within the restaurant sector, healthy eating has risen on the agenda as the government tries to reduce and combat obesity. Along side obesity is a list of other health and lifestyle issues, which seem to exist due to unhealthy consumption of food.

[Recession]

A recent report considers the question: did the presence of immigrant workers in the United States labour market, documented workers and un-documented workers, dramatically affect conditions for low-wage native workers during the Great Recession 2008-2009?

Pollin, R & Wicks-Lim, J. (2011) Did Immigrants in the U.S. Labour Market Make Conditions Worse for Native Workers During the Great Recession?

The recession had forced a lot of companies to release their low wage staff, with numbers hitting more than an average 9.5 percent from January 2009 until the end of 2010

The actions taken by businesses within the recession period, although hasty within thought, led a lot of home grown residents to believe that immigrants were the responsible beings for jobs being taken away from them.

A recent New Labour Forum (NFL) article (2011) gives a brief insight into why immigrants should stop getting the finger pointed at. ‘Can We Please Stop Blaming Immigrants? All kinds of people are justifiably enraged and frightened by the dismal economy. Some have concluded that immigrants are taking away the jobs that they themselves need. The logic seems straightforward. Assume that at any given time, there are a fixed number of jobs available. If immigrants take a significant share of available jobs at low wages that will mean fewer jobs are available for U.S. native. The increased competition for the given number of jobs will also weaken workers’ bargaining power, and thus drive wages down.

Pollin, R (2011) Can We Please Stop Blaming Immigrants, Economic Prospects. pp. 87

Compared to a National Seminar ‘HR strategies today are market driven’ it notes ‘during the recession, there was a lot of downsizing, closures and reorganizations. Employees who were fortunate enough to survive and keep their jobs were probably asked to increase their workloads, learn new jobs and work more hours. The morale of your key and talented employees will be low just after recession, and they will start to look for other opportunities.
Raman, V. (2011) Recruitment & Retention in Organizations are Market Driven

Across the waters, New Zealand has been reception to one of the fastest growing hospitality industries. Despite the global recession, The Ministry of Tourism (2009) forecasts an increase of 18.6% on visitor arrivals between 2008 and 2015. The projected increase in visitors indicates more workers will be needed in tourism, with a corresponding increase in demand for qualified hospitality employees. However, the hospitality industry does not generally appear to regard hospitality qualifications are very highly. As a result those who complete hospitality degrees are often disadvantaged when competing for jobs against those with more industry experience. Anecdotally, the industry values experienced employees over those with a degree, which is in contrast with the general expectation that degrees offer graduates advantage in their chosen area of work.
Harkison, T, Poulston, J, Kim, J-H, (2011) ‘Hospitality Graduates and Managers: The Big Divide’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 23 Iss: 3

MANAGERS CALLED ON TO TACKLE ‘RECESSION DEPRESSION’
Business leaders have been urged to be on the look out for ‘recession depression’ among workers.

Coming as the government announced that an extra £13 million would be made available to local health authorities in a bid to reduce redundancy-related depression, the Priory Group has reported a marked increase in the number of worried professionals seeking help.

In particular, a rising fear of possible unemployment, combined with mounting dents at home, is leading growing numbers of people to become stressed, with both businesses and the medical profession urged to ‘act quickly’ to prevent the problem getting worse.

According to official data, around 15 per cent of UK adults suffer from depression at least once in their lives with the condition costing businesses millions of pounds each year as a result of lost working days.

Managers called on to tackle ‘recession depression’ (2009) [Online] Available at: http://lionhrsolutions.co.uk/welcome/managers-called-on-to-tackle-recession-d STRATEGIC ROLE OF HRM DURING RECESSION
The main focus in recession of all organizations is mainly to reduce the cost, which is also one of the main causes of layoff. HRM can play an important role in reducing cost in many processes from recruiting o evaluating the employees.

The two ways to reduce the cost in recession period:

* To reduce the staff, firing some workers * To divide the responsibility among employees in the same cost

The first way HRM identifies employees for lay off is diverting its responsibilities towards the workers who will be left in the organization. The reduction cost which is processed by reducing large numbers of workers could be done without reducing a large number of workers, but the one important thing left to be considered is equality.

HRM can work out and identify those events, which are useless. In the period of recession and focuses on them to control the cost, in recession, there is a cycle, which ultimately effects the organization and customers. When economies become slow the buying power of customers reduces, where as the cost of producing, recruiting, training, sponsoring etc. increases.

Strategic Role of HRM During Recession. (2010) [Online] Available at: http://www.mba-tutorials.com/human-resource-management/508-strategic-role-of-hrm-during-recession.html

[Healthy Eating]

When consumers choose organic food, they are more interested in the healthy benefits than with the impacts of farming practices on the environment. Health is the most important motive for consuming organic food due to organic food being considered healthier than conventional food.

A university study revealed 390 medical students had concerns over their health and food-related behaviour. Results suggested that health worries are significantly associated with organic food consumption, with many people believing organic food will save them from disease.

However another recent university report reviewed around 100 studies to compare organic and conventional foods, finding no conclusive evidence that organic foods are more nutritious.
Poulston, J. & Yau Kwong Yiu, A. (2011) ‘Profit or principles: Why do restaurants serve organic food?’ International Journal of Hospitality Management Vol 30, Iss1 pp. 184-191 However there was a lot more factors to include in the thinking of restaurants in the healthy eating era or attempting to change over from traditional methods.
It was mentioned in a report, ‘seven factors were revealed among the importance of the food service attributes. These factors were named according to the attributes reflected, including Variety in Food Choice, Healthy Options, Service and Atmosphere, Social Setting, Value and Price, On-the-Go Options, and Convenience of Location. Each one of these dimensions distinguished the type of consumer this particular sample of university freshmen represents. These customers consider flavour, quality, assortment, and variety, and customization highly important. The health factor also comes into play when examining their needs and wants. They expect on-campus dining facilities to offer healthy and organic meals and items, made-to-order options, and early operating hours for those who head to class in the morning.

Choi, EK. Wilson, A. Fowler, D. Yuan, JJ. (2011) An Analysis of Freshmen Students’ Motivation to Eat at On-Campus Dining Facilities [Online] Available at http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1127&context=gradconf_hospitality&sei-redir=1#search=%22motivation+to+eat+on+campus%22
Motivation to eat On-Campus dining facilities

With all considerations in place for healthy eating along side lifestyles, it is seen that obesity is one of the major risk factors in regards to customers and restaurants. The rise is dramatically increasing, especially to those who are from socially and economically disadvantage backgrounds.

A journal had stated ‘local government participants felt that there was little responsibility for improving the food environment beyond food safety at the local government level. The proactive development of policies which require the provision of healthy foods within local government and the setting they are involved with, such as recreating centres and early child care, were seen to be outside the strict purview for food safety set out for local governments by the Health Act.

A programme director described the importance of the existing Act:
Well I think the Food Act is mainly around food safety, probably rather than providing healthy eating environments.

The strength of such legislation is in the systems, which councils put in place for checking and compliance.

A CEO went on to describe the structures within their council:
We have environmental health officer who go around and check food safety right through the city so anyone that’s got a corner shop or a food outlet, restaurant, any of those sort of things, even street stalls, every single thing will food related will have to comply with the Food Safety Act

Allender, S (2011) ‘Policy change to create supportive environments for physical activity and healthy eating: which options are the most realistic for local government?’ [Online] Available at: http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/03/17/heapro.dar018.full

THE JANUS FACE OF RISK: THE CASE OF HRM, AND HEALTH AND SAFETY
The increasing risk associated with passive smoking has been reflected in legislation, which requires work organisations to operate a no smoking policy. Some employers have banned staff smoking in company car parks, even if the employee is inside their car. Some have introduced counseling and health education programs designed to help staff that smoke to give it up altogether. A similar social concern with diet has en-courage some organizations to provide advice to employees on healthy eating, and where staff canteens are provided, to ensure that menus conform this approach.

Adam-Smith, D & Christy, G. (2009) The Janus Face of Risk: The Case of HRM, and Health and Safety. [Online] Available at: http://www.nessebar2009.bam.bg/papers/AdamSmith_Christy.pdf. [Conclusion]

Some may argue the recession era is coming to an end, others may argue that it is still at it worst and it is going to get even more worse. Alongside the issue of recession, lies the cutbacks made in nearly every department, most importantly food choices. Recession has made individuals choose other alternatives than their usual choice. Those who used to eat out maybe twice a month, have either reduced their eating out to once a month, or obtained and rely on discount / deal vouchers to make their money spend seem worth it.

Restaurants have been known to cope really well during the recession period and the healthy eating introduction, in a sense, has proved to be even more popular and has sustained, maintained and introduced new clientele.

[References]

Allender, S (2011) ‘Policy change to create supportive environments for physical activity and healthy eating: which options are the most realistic for local government?’ [Online] Available at: http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/03/17/heapro.dar018.full

Choi, EK. Wilson, A. Fowler, D. Yuan, JJ. (2011) An Analysis of Freshmen Students’ Motivation to Eat at On-Campus Dining Facilities [Online] Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1127&context=gradconf_hospitality&sei-redir=1#search=%22motivation+to+eat+on+campus%22

Harkison, T, Poulston, J, Kim, J-H, (2011) ‘Hospitality Graduates and Managers: The Big Divide’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 23 Iss: 3

McCool, AC. McCool, BN. (2011) ‘The Social responsibility of the food service industry: The need for action regarding the obesity crises’, Emerging Issues and Trends in Hospitality and Tourism Research 2010 [Online] Available at: http://digitalcommons.library.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&context=hhrc&sei-redir=1#search=%22restaurant+obesity+tourism%22

Pollin, R (2011) Can We Please Stop Blaming Immigrants, Economic Prospects. pp. 87

Pollin, R & Wicks-Lim, J. (2011) Did Immigrants in the U.S. Labour Market Make Conditions Worse for Native Workers During the Great Recession?

Poulston, J. & Yau Kwong Yiu, A. (2011) ‘Profit or principles: Why do restaurants serve organic food?’ International Journal of Hospitality Management Vol 30, Iss1 pp. 184-191

Adam-Smith, D & Christy, G. (2009) The Janus Face of Risk: The Case of HRM, and Health and Safety. [Online] Available at: http://www.nessebar2009.bam.bg/papers/AdamSmith_Christy.pdf. Strategic Role of HRM During Recession. (2010) [Online] Available at: http://www.mba-tutorials.com/human-resource-management/508-strategic-role-of-hrm-during-recession.html

Managers called on to tackle ‘recession depression’ (2009) [Online] Available at:
http://lionhrsolutions.co.uk/welcome/managers-called-on-to-tackle-recession-d

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