A LANDMARK hospitality sector conference during York Business Week aims to find solutions to the problems of staff recruitment.

Co-ordinated by York BID and the Hospitality Association York (HAY), it will also feature sessions on retention and wellbeing.

The York Hospitality Conference on Tuesday, November 12, at the Principal Hotel is expected to attract up to 150 city hotel and restaurant managers. York BID and HAY have partnered to fund the morning conference as part of a longer-term strategy to highlight opportunities within hospitality.

Paul Whiting, of Make It York, said: "We know visitors are looking for a truly ‘only in York’ experience and the importance of great service is at the heart of this. It is vitally important to ensure that hospitality businesses can recruit and retain world-class staff to ensure that quality of service continues to be high."

Andrew Lowson, of York BID, said: “The hospitality sector is vital to York, especially as customers put increasing importance on experience. But when I speak to hotels and restaurants, they often talk about difficulties with recruitment and retention, so we are hoping this conference brings together education providers and other partners, to look at solutions.”

The keynote speaker will be Linda Moir, who headed the London 2012 team that delivered front of house service by 15,000 volunteers to nine million spectators, and is a former director of in-flight services for Virgin Atlantic. Other speakers include Philip Bolson, general manager of The Grand York and John Atherton, former chief operating officer of McDonalds UK, and there is expected to be lively debate in the Future Panel, featuring some of York’s brightest hospitality stars.

Mr Bolson, HAY chairman, said: “Jobs in hospitality and the skills they can create are not always given the kudos they deserve. The customer service skills you learn in hospitality are very valuable in an age of instant reviews. People can gain skills in event management, food service, HR; all attributes that can lead to further opportunities in hospitality or are transferable to other sectors."

The conference is free for up to two delegates from members of York BID, Visit York or HAY. www.yorkhospitalityconference.org.uk