The pandemic has brought the hospitality industry to its knees - yet community favourites in Stevenage, North Herts and Central Beds continue to serve customers with a smile.

Last year we had the government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme to get people returning to pubs and restaurants following the lockdown.

The Comet: The Engine, Baldock. Picture: DANNY LOOThe Engine, Baldock. Picture: DANNY LOO (Image: ©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved)

After another crippling lockdown in 2021, the hospitality sector once again needs your help.

Despite the 'Freedom Day' easing of restrictions on July 19, many businesses are still seriously impacted by the aftermath of COVID-19.

While pubs, restaurants and cafés are no longer hampered by table-only service and social distancing restrictions indoors, the food and drinks industry is still struggling.

The Comet: Gary Byrne, Steve Biggs, Claire Wrighton and Cher Burton enjoy a coffee on Hermitage Road Day in HitchinGary Byrne, Steve Biggs, Claire Wrighton and Cher Burton enjoy a coffee on Hermitage Road Day in Hitchin (Image: Karyn Haddon)

The 'pingdemic', staff shortages due to periods of self-isolation, and the reluctance of people to go back out for a meal have all contributed to a significant loss of revenue.

To help the industry bounce back from the pandemic, an action day to celebrate the places we love to eat out at will take place next month.

The Comet: Smiling staff at the Fisherman in StevenageSmiling staff at the Fisherman in Stevenage (Image: Archant)

When is National Hospitality Day?

National Hospitality Day is a nationwide celebration of our brilliant and resilient restaurants, hotels, pubs and bars, and the suppliers that support them.

The campaign will support the food and drinks sector in the lead up to a huge party on Saturday, September 18, 2021.

The Comet: el bar de tapas in Stevenage Old Townel bar de tapas in Stevenage Old Town (Image: Archant)

This day is designed to get people across the country supporting our great pubs, restaurants, hotels, cafes and eateries that we know have suffered terribly – and continue to do so – due to the pandemic.

Until last March, we took our favourite destinations for granted. Now, our restaurants, hotels and pubs are back – but they need the nation’s support if they are to survive and thrive.

National Hospitality Day is a chance for people to say “welcome back – we’ve missed you” by voting with their feet.

It will be a collective shout-out for the places we’ve all missed – and a financial shot in the arm for a sector that’s been hit hardest by coronavirus.

Whether it be a pint with some friends in Stevenage Old Town or Hitchin High Street, or a meal in one of our country pubs or independent restaurants - on September 18 people are encouraged to visit their local hospitality venues.

Organisers are asking the nation to 'go out to help out!' for the stricken industry – and to help businesses that have been thrown to their knees by COVID-19.

The charities involved and how to donate

All monies generated by National Hospitality Day will be divided between four participating charities: the Drinks Trust, Hospitality Action, the Licensed Trade Charity, and Springboard.

Together, they other lifelines to the people and businesses behind UK hospitality.

Hospitality Action was established in 1837 and has since offered vital assistance to all who work, or have worked, within the sector in the UK.

The charity is there for chefs, waiters, housekeepers and managers, as well as concierges, receptionists and kitchen porters. It's also there for every sommelier, bartender, catering assistant and cook across the UK.

Whether you work in hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars or cafés, schools, hospitals or event venues, Hospitality Action is there to give you the help, advice and support you need whenever times get tough.

Visit for more about Hospitality Action Day 2021.

By supporting your favourite local place on National Hospitality Day you will be helping a struggling business back on its feet.

You will also be supporting a coalition of the main industry charities who support those hardest hit by the events of the last 18 months.

Where will you be visiting on National Hospitality Day? Let us know in the survey below: