National Hospitality Day: What you can do to help St Albans businesses

Lussmanns director Andrei Lussmann. Picture: Paul Winch-Furness

Lussmanns director Andrei Lussmann. - Credit: Paul Winch-Furness

The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged our local hospitality industry, and the Herts Advertiser is leading the charge to help businesses get back on their feet.

The perfect storm of forced closures and staffing and supply chain issues has left some venues hanging on by a thread, and we want to do what we can to help them survive and thrive.

September 18 marks National Hospitality Day and over the next two weeks the Herts Ad will be highlighting the importance of this national initiative by urging customers to leave no business behind this autumn.

We also want you to tell us your Hospitality Heroes from a shortlist of cafés, pubs and restaurants submitted by readers in recent weeks by voting on our website.

The day offers a showcase for hospitality businesses, with the aim of creating additional footfall and engagement, and underlining the huge role the industry plays in our lives.

Restaurateur Andrei Lussmann, who owns Lussmanns in St Albans and Harpenden, said: "I’m really grateful to the Herts Ad for taking up the cause of National Hospitality Day and helping to shine a light on the hospitality industry and on the monumental and devastating challenges those who work in it have faced over the past 18 months.

"It’s great to highlight the tremendous work that Hospitality Action does in supporting those in the industry; and particularly those who have been hardest hit, as well as banging the drum for everyone operating in the sector.

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"Hospitality workers are the backbone of this country: from that pint in your local at the weekend to your holiday hotel, or your Friday night takeaway, the industry is part of the fabric of our lives.

St Michael's Manor in St Albans

St Michael's Manor in St Albans - Credit: Hillary Childs

"And it is made up of millions of people; and hundreds of thousands of small businesses, often family-run, who even in good times are working with very small profit margins.

"St Albans has more than its fair share of hospitality businesses; our pubs, restaurants and cafés are known and loved by the locals and visitors alike. It’s good for us all to feel appreciated and this initiative is a great way to show support for the industry."

Adam Richardson, owner of The Craft and Cleaver in Catherine Street, said: "‘Supporting our local hospitality is so important to help support jobs and operators who have had it pretty rough for 12 months. Government support has helped, but the true cost has been much higher.

"It’s also massive for the mental health of everybody in the sector - we just love being social and making customers smile!"

The Craft and Cleaver, St Albans

The Craft and Cleaver, St Albans - Credit: Google Street View

The Herts Advertiser is urging customers to pick up the phone and book a table or room at your favourite place for September 18. Then tell your friends and colleagues to do the same.

Create a chain of action. Most importantly, don’t stop booking.

Start thinking about all those cosy pubs with their enticing log fires, real ales and pies. Those snuggly hotel beds, to be enjoyed after a long, bracing coastal walk.

Don’t let your love for hospitality end with the summer.

Richard Marrett, general manager of St Michael's Hotel in St Albans, said: "Local businesses need as much support as possible since the pandemic, particularly the hospitality industry which bore the brunt of closures.

St Michael's Manor general manager Richard Marrett

St Michael's Manor general manager Richard Marrett - Credit: Archant

"We are very grateful for the support of our guests since reopening and look forward to this continuing. It is important to remember that the hospitality industry still faces operational hurdles with a shortage of staff and irregular supply patterns and we encourage people to be understanding when dining out."

Hospitality Day is a combined project between charities Hospitality Action, The Drinks Trust, Springboard and Licensed Trade Charity, and if you're unable to get out and about, you can donate to any of the charities involved at