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Here you can find licensed trade news and updates, the weekly e-newsletter INNfocus, past editions of the BII News (our quarterly magazine), and hear all about our latest industry campaigns.

HIT Training and The Clink Charity announce new partnership to launch apprenticeship for serving prisoners

HIT Training joins forces with The Clink Charity to launch a new apprenticeship training scheme for serving prisoners that will prepare them for employment
The partnership provides a direct pathway to employment for prisoners who will gain a nationally recognised apprenticeship qualification
Industry-specific training is delivered on-site by HIT Training alongside employers and The Clink Charity
Leading hospitality training provider
HIT Training has partnered with The Clink Charity, an organisation dedicated to rehabilitating people in prison and reducing reoffending rates, to launch an apprenticeship scheme for serving prisoners.
The programme will offer hands-on hospitality training, access to workplace-relevant qualifications and a direct pathway into employment on release. Candidates will be enrolled onto the scheme via a comprehensive selection process and will initially train for approximately six months alongside The Clink’s other students on-site. The Clink Charity operates restaurants open to the public, an award-winning bakery and Clink Events, a prestigious operation serving the City of London from HMP Downview.  
On release, individuals will be matched to a job that fits their skills and lifestyle. Learners will then complete their apprenticeship with HIT Training who will provide expert workshops and face-to-face training on site alongside the employer. Apprenticeships on offer will be Food Production and Commis Chef.
During their apprenticeship, learners will also receive support and mentoring from The Clink’s regional support team. This level of support includes, but is not limited to, assisting with benefits, housing, reintegration and relocation as well as many other aspects such as food, accommodation and childcare.
The ultimate aim is that prisoners will continue working for their apprenticeship employer and successfully reintegrate into society while contributing to the success of the business they work for.
Initially this pilot will be offered to learners at HMP Downview women’s prison in Surrey and HMP Styal in Cheshire, with a national expansion planned.
HIT Training Executive Chair Jill Whittaker says: “This is a ground-breaking scheme and we are very excited to launch this partnership with The Clink Charity who, like us, believe in giving those who want to change their lives a second chance.
“There are so many advantages to businesses taking on a prisoner apprentice. Not only do they make reliable, loyal and attentive members of staff due to the wraparound support they receive, but they can also boost motivation within teams, and increase productivity.
“By providing industry-leading training and qualifications, prisoners gain the skills and training they need to improve their employability prospects on release and contribute to their communities.
“We would urge all employers to contact us and get involved with the scheme and help reduce reoffending.”

Yvonne Thomas, Chief Executive at The Clink Charity, said: “We are so proud of this fantastic new scheme that will provide a direct route into employment for serving prisoners. The Clink has been working with ex-offenders for nearly 14 years and we have a proven track record of reducing reoffending.
“This is the first time a scheme like this has been established that combines high quality training and qualifications, direct employer engagement and the duty of care that is required to ensure ex-offenders succeed on release.
“We are extremely excited and privileged to be working with HIT Training, an organisation which matches our own values, and we look forward to supporting many cohorts of learners in the near future.”

To find out more about HIT Training, please visit
To find out more about The Clink Charity, go to:

NITAs Press Release

The BII’s National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs), recognising excellence in people development of teams and individuals from across the hospitality sector, were celebrated yesterday evening in front of a packed house at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City.
The NITAs followed the BII People Conference during the day where guests heard from leading thinkers from across the sector on attracting & retaining talent, creating truly inclusive spaces and creating nurturing environment for teams.  CEO Steve Alton also announced the launch of a brand-new membership offer for team members, Workforce, in early 2024. Collaborating with key industry partners, Workforce will support those starting and developing their careers in hospitality with training, mentoring, development resources and inspiration from across the sector.
This year saw the introduction of three new awards, the Best Training Programmes for Sustainability and Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity, and the Best Recruitment Strategy.
Winners on the evening were:
Best Training Programme: Apprenticeships - Brewhouse & Kitchen
Training Professional of the Year - Sze Rasak, Fuller’s
Best Training Programme: Leased & Tenanted - Marston’s
Best Training Programme: Managed Over 50 - Brunning & Price
Best Training Programme: Managed Under 50 - Oakman Inns
Best Training Programme: Individual Operator - Ollie Coulombeau, The Turk’s Head
Best Recruitment Strategy - Star Pubs & Bars
Team Wellbeing Award - Brunning & Price
Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity Award - ABinBev
Best Training Programme: Sustainability - Marston’s
Hospitality Apprentice of the Year - Harry Widgery, Wykeham Arms

The awards culminated in the very special Franca Knowles Live your Life Award, presented by Keith Knowles OBE CBII, CEO of Beds and Bars. Decided by a panel of previous winners, this year the award went to Executive Chair of HIT Training, Jill Whittaker.  Jill has been a long-term passionate advocate of hospitality and how professional development can power careers.  She was also awarded an OBE by the King earlier this year recognising her contribution to the sector.

Huge congratulations to all of the finalists and winners, all doing incredible things in the recruitment, training and development of their teams.

Self Assessment HMRC - FAQs

What is Self Assessment and why do I need to do it? 
Self Assessment is the process used to declare and pay tax owed on untaxed income.  
If you are employed, then your employer will deduct any tax owed (Income Tax and National Insurance) before they pay you. This is known as PAYE (pay as you earn) and is also known as being taxed at source. But if you have any additional income, which has not been taxed, you may need to do a tax return.

If you don’t have an employer deducting your tax or National Insurance, you may be required to do a Self Assessment tax return. 

Who must send a tax return
GOV.UK sets out
who must send a Self Assessment tax return each year. You must send a tax return if you: 

are self employed
had a total taxable income of more than £100,000
need to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge 

If you are unsure, you can use the free online checking tool on GOV.UK to check whether it applies to you. 

How can I register for Self Assessment? 
If you need to complete Self Assessment, you must register via GOV.UK. 

If you are self-employed, you will need to register for Self Assessment and Class 2 National Insurance contributions.  

If you’ve not used our online service before you’ll need two forms of evidence to prove your identity. This can include your UK passport and UK driving licence. We may also offer you a new identity checking app as an alternative. It lets you use the camera on your phone to confirm a match with your driving licence.  
Once you have registered, HMRC will send you your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). Keep this safe because you will need it every year when you complete your Self Assessment. 

What information will I need before I start my tax return? 
When you are ready to start your tax return you will need your UTR and National Insurance number – you can get these on the HMRC app, as well as details of your income, earnings and other financial records. If you are unsure what records you need to keep in order to complete your Self Assessment, you can check on GOV.UK. 

When is the deadline? 
The Self Assessment deadline for the 2022 to 2023 tax year is 31 January 2024.  You must file your tax return and pay any tax owed by the deadline. If you miss it, you may incur penalties. 
Other Self Assessment dates to remember: 
30 December – the deadline if you want HMRC to automatically collect the tax you owe from your wages and pension. Find out if you are eligible to pay this way. 

For customers who pay their current estimated tax bill via Payments on Account, the first instalment for the 2023 to 2024 tax year is due on 31 January., the first instalment for the 2023 to 2024 tax year is due on 31 January.

How do I submit my tax return? 
You can do it online. You can save your progress and fill it in at a time that suits you ahead of the deadline. There is no fixed length of time to complete your tax return. If you have straightforward tax affairs, the likelihood is that it will take you less time to complete it compared to someone with more complex tax affairs. 

What help is available? 
It is important to make sure the information you provide on your tax return is accurate and HMRC wants to help taxpayers to get it right first time. 

Before you pick up the phone to HMRC, take a look at the many online resources and guidance to help you with your tax return on GOV.UK. 

Our phone lines get busy in the run-up to the deadline in January, but you can use our online services to do what you need to do quickly and easily. 

Around two-thirds of all Self Assessment calls can be resolved by customers themselves online. We’ve found customer satisfaction for our online services is consistently around 80%.  

HMRC has a series of video tutorials on YouTube to help you, including how you can register and fill in your first tax return. There is also a new customised step by step guide for anyone filing their return for the first time. 

How do I pay?  
Once you have filed your Self Assessment, it is time to arrange to pay any tax you owe. The earlier you file, the more time you will have to plan how you will pay your tax bill. If you submit your tax return before the deadline, you do not have to pay what you owe until the 31 January, although you can choose to do so. It’s up to you. 

The quickest and easiest way to pay your Self Assessment is via the HMRC app. This YouTube video explains how you can use the app to make a payment through online banking or your bank’s own app. 
You can make a payment any time, for any amount, but you must pay what you owe by the deadline to avoid interest and penalties. If you can’t pay in full, HMRC will work with you to find an affordable way for you to pay the tax you owe.  If you owe less than £30,000 you may be able to do this online without speaking to us. Go to GOV.UK and search ‘HMRC payment plan’.    

Remember to include your bank account details on your tax return so that we can repay you quickly and securely if you are owed a refund.  

Working from home tax relief 
If you work from home, you may be able to claim tax relief for your job expenses which you get through a change to your tax code. Anyone who claimed it when working from home during the pandemic but who is now back in the office should check their tax code to make sure it accurately reflects their current situation.   

Do I need to do Self Assessment every year, even if I don’t make as much money as last year? 
Yes, Self Assessment is an annual requirement. If you make less money, your tax bill will be calculated accordingly. It’s important to let us know if you have stopped being self-employed or your business has closed, or of any changes to your details, such as a new address or name.

Don’t assume someone else will update us, please do this yourself on GOV.UK. It is important to tell HMRC before the deadline on 31 January 2024 to avoid any penalties. 

HMRC’s tips for getting it right 
1. Plan ahead – when you are ready to start, get all the documents you will need together so you don’t have to search for them at a later date. 
2. Take your time – accuracy is important when completing your tax return. Give yourself plenty of time to fill it in and don’t rush. 
3. Go online for help – there is help and support available on GOV.UK to help you get your tax return right. But if you’re not doing it yourself, you can appoint someone to fill in and send your tax return, for example an accountant or tax adviser. If you need extra support to help your with Self Assessment you can contact a voluntary or community sector organisation who can provide you with help and advice.  
4. Remember the deadline – it’s 31 January 2024. Put it in your calendar or set a reminder on your phone. If you miss the deadline, you risk facing penalties. 
5. Don’t forget to press ‘submit’ – if you’re filing online, don’t forget to press the ‘submit your tax return’ button. HMRC won’t receive your tax return until you press that button and if you miss the deadline you could incur penalties. 
6. If your circumstances change – remember to tell HMRC if you close your business or you are no longer self-employed. Don’t assume we will know. You could still incur fines and penalties after your business has stopped trading if we aren’t informed. Tell us on the HMRC app or via GOV.UK.

Hospitality Apprenticeship Showcase Competition 2024


Are you mastering the art of cocktail making or learning to perfect a new speciality dish? Is your ambition to be a hospitality business leader or to become a brewing expert or a marketing pro?

To celebrate the talented apprentices attending the Hospitality Apprenticeship Showcase 2024, we are hosting a social media video competition open to attending apprentices. 

You are invited to demonstrate the beneficial and unique skills you are learning throughout your apprenticeship in a creative 30- to 60-second-long video and upload it to Instagram or TikTok by 7 January 2024. (Please see full entry instructions below.) 

Competition winners will be selected by a panel of industry experts and announced at the Hospitality Apprentice Showcase 2024 on Wednesday 7 February 2024 in the House of Commons, with the selected winners’ videos showcased during the event. The overall winner will go home with a £1000 cash prize, while additional prizes will be given out to the best creative video of a support function apprentice, the most viewed video, the most inclusive video adding up to an overall prize money of £2000.  

How to qualify:

Entrants must be 18 years or older and employed by a hospitality company.
Entrants’ hospitality apprenticeship must be taking place with one of the companies attending the Hospitality Apprentice Showcase 2024.
You must be attending the Hospitality Apprentice Showcase 2024.

How to enter:

Create a 30 to 60 second long lifestyle video, filmed on a mobile phone (no professional videography) showcasing the skills you are learning/have learned throughout your hospitality apprenticeship. The video style is up to you- the more unique and creative the video the better!
You must post your video on Instagram or TikTok under the hashtag #HAS2024RisingStar (make sure your profile is public so we can see the video entry.) 
You must complete an entry form found here with your name and contact details with a link to the video created. 
The competition ends at 11:59pm GMT on 7 January 2024.

Prize Categories:

*All applications will be automatically entered to best overall video and highest viewing figures. Entrants will have to select if they wish to enter the most inclusive video and most creative video from a support function apprentice categories. 

Best overall video £1000 cash prize 
Highest collective viewing figures as of Monday 5th February midday £500 cash prize 
Most creative video from a support function apprentice £250 cash prize
Most inclusive video £250 cash prize 

Terms & Conditions:

Entrants must be 18 years or older and employed by a hospitality company at the time of entry to be eligible to enter.
The competition is free to enter, and no purchase is necessary.
The competition closes at 11:59pm GMT on 7 January 2024. Late entries will not be considered. 
An entry form must be completed and submitted to qualify. Entrants may enter each category one time.
The 30 to 60 second video must be posted on a public Instagram or TikTok profile and #HAS2024RisingStar must be tagged in the description to qualify as an entry. 
By entering, the entrant confirms they are eligible to do so and eligible to claim the prize they may win. 
Competition winners will be announced live at Hospitality Apprentice Showcase 2024 on Wednesday 7 February 2024 in the House of Commons and winners will be presented with the cash prize during the event. The prize is not transferable and cannot be exchanged. 
Entrants agree to the use of their social media handle (TikTok/Instagram) in any publicity material, as well as their entry. 
Entrants confirm that any additional individuals captured on the video have granted permission for the use of their image in any publicity material. Image release forms can be provided on request. 
By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

Any questions? Please email [email protected], tel: 07713098243 

Ultimate Guide to Christmas from KAM and HGEM

Christmas is about sharing, supporting and bringing people together. So here's a little gift from research consultancy KAM and guest experience management platform HGEM, bringing together all of their Christmas research into one report - the ultimate Christmas guide for hospitality venues.

KAM and HGEM are both 100% focused on helping hospitality operators understand and enhance the guest experience so they’re pushing thoughts of rail strikes to one side and focussing on what operators CAN do to really SHINE during this golden quarter.

Here are some of the key take-outs:

🎄 Whilst 34% of Brits say they are planning to spend less this festive season in pubs and restaurants, and whilst there’s a clear case of the ‘careful’ consumer with the cost of living crisis, 49% of people say they will visit a pub or bar or restaurant over the period. 
🎄19% of Brits have already made at least some Christmas plans by September! Only 27% of people said they won’t make plans until December – and most of these are either those without children or those identifying as male. 
🎄Christmas Day is looking positive. Nearly 1 in 10 UK adults intend to visit a pub on Christmas Day, which is back to pre-pandemic levels (Christmas Eve, Boxing Day & New Year’s Eve are following the same pattern.)
🎄 And BIG bookings are back! Over 39% will definitely be visiting a hospitality venue with 12 or more people. And what about how they book & what they expect? 46% want to speak directly to the venue with 32% wanting a same-day response to an enquiry. Responding & response times are definitely key. (Tripleseat have done some great research on maximising BIG bookings here.)

🎄 Set menus/packages are popular with 37% of consumers and 60% want to be able to pre-order their food from a set menu as it’s easier & less stressful, with 39% also wanting to pre-order drinks. 
🎄 Finally – hospitality gifting remains ever popular, with 39% saying they would buy a gift card for a pub/restaurant as a Christmas gift. (We did some GREAT research on this with Toggle last year, take a look here.

You can download the Ultimate Christmas Guide from KAM and HGEM here. 

Survey Shows Hospitality Businesses May Cut Investment and Staffing Without Rates Support


The new figures demonstrate the importance of the Chancellor extending the hospitality sector relief and freezing the multiplier at the Autumn Statement, with 38% of hospitality venues failing to make a profit. The survey, conducted by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), Hospitality Ulster and UKHospitality, reveals Government action on business rates is viewed as a top priority by 60% of respondents, up 16% from August. 

The survey also reveals that business optimism has slumped to just 29%, down 10 percentage points from the summer. 

A joint spokesperson for the trade bodies said:

“These figures lay bare the enormous impact inaction at the Autumn Statement would have on the hospitality sector. Pubs, restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, to name a few, will fall victim to a significant business rates bill, if relief expires and rates are hiked with inflation. 

“Reducing investment and cutting staffing levels are the last thing venues want to do. In fact, they want to do the opposite, but their hands will be tied if rates increase to such an extent in April. 

“Businesses are only able to absorb endless cost rises for so long and yet more pressure in the form of business rates will only force them to consider whether this is passed onto consumers. 

“The Government must listen to the concerns of hospitality businesses, as the nation’s third largest employer, and extend the hospitality sector relief and freeze the business rates multiplier at the Autumn Statement, and as well as taking steps to reduce the overall tax burden on the sector in relation to business rates, VAT and excise duty.

“These businesses are at the heart of communities and high streets across the country, employing millions, generating economic growth and driving investment across our cities, towns and villages.

“Our economy cannot grow if hospitality cannot grow. The Government must act immediately to underpin this growth and ensure our pubs and hospitality venues survive.” 

The survey also highlights the double whammy of rising businesses costs and more cautious consumers, with budgets stretched thin due to the cost-of-living crisis. There has been an 18% rise in businesses noticing consumers purchasing fewer drinks when they go out, with 72% of respondents reporting the number of drinks purchased having decreased slightly (55%) or significantly (17%). 

Combined with energy bills being 60% higher year-on-year and record food and drink inflation, 55% of respondents said they had not raised menu prices by as much as their own cost increases. 

The survey follows a joint letter written to the Chancellor by the BBPA, the BII, Hospitality Ulster, UKHospitality and other trade bodies in the pub, brewing and hospitality sector in October, urging the extension of business rates relief and a freeze in beer duty.

HGEM Xmas 2023 Consumer Report

HGEM has released their Xmas 2023 Consumer Report, which you can access for free using the link at the bottom of this article.


Find out how customers plan on celebrating Xmas this year, including where they go, what they order and how much they spend.



Key takeaways

Consumers might have to dig deeper in their pockets this year due to cost-of-living, but nevertheless, they are determined to celebrate Xmas out in hospitality. We are seeing an increase in office-sponsored parties, which improves affordability for the customer. It’s interesting to see that men are more likely to celebrate with colleagues, whereas women most likely go out in their friendship groups. This should give a steer to what kind of packages to target for different demographics.

Given how heavily ‘recommended’ and ‘tried and tested’ venues come into play for customers choosing Xmas venues - a good Net Promoter Score should be a primary focus (if it isn’t already). Worth paying attention also to customers’ pre-order preferences - they may not have the desire to pre-order drinks, but if you give them a reason (a deal), they just might, due to the cost-sensitive nature of budgets this year.

It may also be useful to slide your eyes over the most common dietary requirements, to see how your menu measures up. Although veganism might be trendy, it’s vegetarians who actually make up the majority. Don’t make the mistake of lumping vegans and vegetarians together in the menu - I’ve got on good authority that vegetarians do not like vegan cheese!

Steven Pike | MD HGEM


Click here to access the full report for free.

BII insight shows despite strong sales for many pubs, only 50% are profitable due to exceptional trading pressures

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has today revealed trading insight from their members which highlights the severe impact of exceptional costs on their businesses over the last few years.  Pubs have seen significant cost increases, driven by high inflation, across all areas of their business in additional to inflated and unfair energy prices.

Whilst 2/3 of respondents are reporting trading back to normal levels or seeing a rise in sales over the past year, their fortunes are mixed when it comes to profitability, with only 1 in 2 of these making a profit.

The BII has written to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Statement, taking its members’ voices to the heart of Government to call for further investment in these essential businesses at the heart of their communities.

Steve Alton, CEO of the British Institute of Innkeeping commented: 

“Many long-standing, viable and diversified pub businesses are seeing strong sales simply not translate to profit.  This is holding back their ability to further grow their businesses through investment in their offer and their teams.  The exceptional short-term pressures will abate, and Government must now invest in these essential community businesses to allow them to weather current trading challenges.  Announcing an extension to the existing business rates support for at least another year will be a vital lifeline for many.  Also levelling the playing field for pub businesses through reducing unfair and disproportionate taxes, focusing on a specific VAT reduction for pubs and hospitality, will be key to unlock the full potential of our sector.”

The BII’s #MyPub campaign has also called on licensees across the country to write to their MPs, asking for their backing for the continuation of the 75% business rates relief seen in England and Wales members, as well as an extension of the same relief to Scottish businesses.

Any operators wishing to take part can visit the #MyPub campaign page on the
BII website here.

You can view the letter to the Chancellor here.
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