Restaurant and café owners become voice for hospitality industry

Members of the Worthing Hospitality Federation, including chairman Andy Sparsis, centre, and Stefan Sykes, owner of Coast Caf� des Artistes on Beach Parade, Worthing, left, at Food restaurant in New Street, Worthing
Members of the Worthing Hospitality Federation, including chairman Andy Sparsis, centre, and Stefan Sykes, owner of Coast Caf� des Artistes on Beach Parade, Worthing, left, at Food restaurant in New Street, Worthing

Business leaders have joined forces to become a voice for Worthing’s hospitality industry.

Worthing Hospitality Federation was formed last year to promote hotels, bars, cafés and restaurants in the town and to lobby Worthing Borough Council on issues these businesses face.

According to chairman Andy Sparsis, founder of the Proto Restaurant Group, the federation currently has 20 members but he expected this figure to be 300 by the end of 2018.

Speaking at a meeting at Food restaurant in New Street last Thursday, he said: “We are one of the biggest business rates payers, so how well we operate has the biggest impact on our town.

“We are all about helping each other out as a family with the same goals, and speaking with a strong voice when something isn’t right.”

He said the group lobbied Worthing Borough Council to reduce the amount of A-boards in Warwick Street, and was in talks with the council about seafront usage in peak summer months.

He said they ‘strongly recommended’ the council to move the funfair from the seafront to make way for watersports to attract young, active families to visit.

Stefan Sykes, owner of Coast Café des Artistes in Beach Parade, said in the last 10 years young people had moved from Brighton and London, a shot in the arm for our town’s hospitality sector.

He said: “They expect better food, a better drink, and to be better looked after.”

According to the café owner, a key issue was making sure infrastructure like buses ‘responded better to our customers’ needs’.

Tim Taylor, owner of The Corner House in High Street and The Beach House in Marine Parade, said: “The town’s demographic is changing, and we are trying to come together to promote the hospitality market and push the town forward.”

Fiona Burn, place and economy manager for Worthing Borough Council, was at the meeting and said the group was ‘tremendous’: “It is terrific from the council’s perspective because it means we have a knowledgeable group of businesses that we can discuss our strategy with and their aspirations for Worthing.”

To join the federation, email andy@loveproto.com.