A Cornwall-based entrepreneur has launched a new health and wellbeing app specifically for hospitality workers.
Healthy Hospo, which had been supporting hospitality workers globally through face-to-face workshops and events, was forced to move its services online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With support from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub it has further adapted its offering by launching the Healthy Hospo app, which takes a holistic approach to helping hospitality workers take care of their physical and mental health through online training and guides.
Owner Tim Etherington-Judge said: “Making up approximately 10% of the global workforce – but in one of the lowest paid industries – hospitality workers face a number of challenges, from sleep deprivation and a lack of routine, to regularly having to deal with demanding customers and stressful situations.
“Hospitality workers look after everyone else, but there are very few people looking after them. I firmly believe that a hospitality business’s number one asset is its staff, and that staff, and business owners, should have affordable, accessible resources to help their teams maintain good mental and physical health. It is important for staff, it is important for customers, and it is important for business.”
Launched in 2017, Healthy Hospo has provided business support, training, and workshops to hospitality employers and employees across 15 countries, including the UK. It is owned and managed by Tim Etherington-Judge, who has worked in the hospitality industry in Cornwall, London, Mumbai, and New Zealand.
In 2017, after suffering from long-term depression, exacerbated by the pressures facing him as a hospitality worker and a lack of accessible support, Tim attempted suicide. Following his recovery, he used his experience of suffering from poor mental health while working in the hospitality industry to launch Healthy Hospo, with the overarching message that employees’ mental and physical health should not be negatively impacted by the simple act of going to work.
Tim continued: “Health and wellbeing is at the forefront of everyone’s mind at the moment, so I have great faith that employers from the hospitality industry, one of the industries most impacted by the pandemic, will see the benefit in investing in the health and wellbeing of their staff.”
Helping hospitality workers build resilience, the app includes relevant, practical advice on getting good sleep, exercising to boost mood, eating a nutritious diet, planning finances, managing stress, building human connection, and more.
While Tim’s focus has predominantly been on business development, he has worked closely with health and wellbeing experts across all areas, adapting guidance to hospitality workers. An example of this collaborative approach includes working with elite sports performance coach Nick Littlehales to encourage hospitality workers to plan their required amount of sleep in 90-minute cycles, as regular sleeping patterns are difficult to establish when working irregular hours.
The Healthy Hospo web-app is available on all smartphones and laptops at a very affordable fixed monthly price per employee. Content can be accessed at any time, eliminating the need to fit in with fixed workshop dates and locations, and limitations surrounding Covid-19.
Moving back to Cornwall from London in May 2020, shortly after the first national lockdown was put into place, the Growth Hub introduced Healthy Hospo to Access to Finance , which provided guidance on securing funding for the app’s development. Since the launch of the app, Healthy Hospo has employed a digital marketing manager and a sales and training manager, with key clients including drinks brands Lucky Saint and Woodford Reserve, and international restaurant group Hawksmoor.