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Updates from Avondata and the hospitality technology sector

What’s so special about family businesses?

At Avon Data, we’ve previously written about our heritage as a family-established and run business since we were founded in 1986.

It’s part of what defines how we operate, our culture and why we value and invest in our long-term client relationships.

Perhaps little surprise then that the industry trade magazine The Caterer reported earlier this month that almost half of hospitality firms in the UK are family run. We certainly know this to be true as many of our clients are family teams.

The article states that family partnerships make up 45% of the UK’s hotel and restaurant sector, with 2.3 million more people working in family businesses since 2010.

Based on a report by Oxford Economics for the Institute for Family Business (IFB) Research Foundation, the hospitality trade magazine reports that there are more than 153,000 family-run hotels and restaurant firms, employing almost one million people.

Family run operations across all sectors now make a GVA (Gross Value Added) contribution to UK GDP of £519b, meaning family firms now generate a quarter of UK GDP.

Why does our industry attract such a high proportion of family run businesses in hospitality compared with other industries?

The answers can surely be found in the nature of hospitality as a whole.

Hospitality is about just that – being hospitable and welcoming. Hotel and accommodation businesses are often a reflection, albeit on a larger scale, of welcoming guests into your own home. This makes the day-to-day operation of a hotel or accommodation business conducive to members of the same family working together.

Many of our first ever experiences of hospitality involve being with family members – whether that’s going out for a meal, a day trip or holiday, it’s something that’s usually experienced for the first time alongside close relatives.

It’s no secret that working in a hotel can involve unsocial hours and shifts to cover early mornings and late nights – therefore, no surprise that families often work together in these settings.

When push comes to shove, a family (despite their differences) can come together to form a natural ‘team’. Each family member can bring their personality and individuality to the business, giving it the authentic ‘family feel’ that gives any hotel and accommodation businesses that all important personal touch.