Bravo to BC Hospitality Foundation

Henry Yuen

As in most retail industry, workers in the food service industry tend to be more transient than other occupations.  Significant numbers of part-timers holding more than one job are often students looking for few hours of work as a mean of earning extra income.  Consequently, the workforce is not as close knit compared with other industries where employees are more permanent and steady. As a result, looking after workers’ general interest and welfare becomes a challenge.

This, however, changed in 2006, when a group of hospitality leaders got together to form the B.C. Hospitality Foundation. Having been in the industry for a long time, they understand the industry comprises of more than servers and cooks at restaurants but all other related industrial occupations such as hotel staffs, food suppliers, wine agents, marketers, tourism staff, cooking schools and personnel whose work nature directly and indirectly ties in with the food industry.  To have such a broad view upon the hospitality industry proved to be the foremost element which led them to their overall goal.

They might not be asking for too much, but to create an encompassing and strong community where they can look out for each other took more than time and effort, but strong passion and the will to help, smart planning and lots of noises and supports. BC Hospitality Foundation searches for and gathers the resources to empower them the means to look after their own members when they are in need of various kinds of medical and health related assistance. The Foundation’s objective is to organize a vibrant association where members can build up a strong sense of community and benefit from it at vulnerable times.

Who are the members? Anyone in the hospitality industry or related fields including food and wine writers who promotes and supports the industries with different tools! The most encouraging act of BC Hospitality Foundation is the fact that no membership application form needs to be filled and submitted.  As long as you are working, or have been working and contributing to BC’s hospitality industry, you are automatically a member!

It’s a known reality that without BC Hospitality Foundation’s initiative, it is a challenge   for most workers to acquire the need and support needed, when most of the time; they do not even know where to seek assistance. It is a relief for many to know where to turn to when help seems scarce, and is heart warming that there is a group of volunteers who understand the importance of forming a strong community within the hospitality industry so it is not fragmented or fragile in times of crisis.         

Besides financial assistances to medical needs, the Foundation also award bursaries and scholarships to students enrolled in various hospitality programmes. It’s a lofty goal worthy of support by anybody not necessarily related to the industry. The Foundation raises funds through donations, third party functions and events such as annual golf tournament, Dish N’dazzle and Tip to Help Out.

Currently, the Tip Out to Help Out program is in full swing where restaurant staffs and owners are encouraged to donate a portion of their tips or revenue to the cause. Since these are all volunteering activities, all hospitality related businesses are urged to organize their own arrangement to help out this meaningful campaign.

Do check out www.bchospitalityfoundation.com and see what and how they are doing, may be you are inspired to get involved and willing to lend a helping hand.