When you step into a hotel or restaurant such as Dinner by Heston, a birthday restaurant in London today, it’s easy to forget the foundation that made it all possible. We take for granted the sumptuous meals, plush beds, and impeccable service that are the hallmarks of a luxurious experience. But behind the scenes, there have been women who have been making this all possible – not just today, but for centuries. From the first female pub owner to the modern-day hotelier, women have played a pivotal role in shaping the hospitality industry. So, let’s take a look at ways women have shaped the hospitality industry over the years and discover why it’s important to acknowledge their contributions.

The Pub Owners

When we think of a pub, we often picture a man behind the bar pulling pints. Well, think again! Women have been owning and running pubs for centuries and have left their mark on the hospitality industry. In fact, some of the most iconic British pub names are owned by women! From London’s famous The Spaniards Inn, owned by Liz Parrish-Casey, to The Mayflower in Canterbury, owned by Trish Marlow, these women have shown that they’ve got what it takes to run a successful pub. 

Not only do they bring their unique flair and personality to the industry, but they also provide a safe and welcoming environment for all customers. Most pubs in the present day, including The Mitre, a pub in Richmond, have acknowledged the profound impact these women have had in shaping pubs as we know them today. So, next time you’re at a pub, take a look behind the bar. You might just see a woman who’s rocking it in the male-dominated pub industry. Cheers to that!


During the 1800s, the idea of a hotel was becoming increasingly popular. However, hotels were not seen as a respectable enterprise for women at the time. Nevertheless, there were women who were keen to break the mold. One such woman was Cesar Ritz’s business partner, Cesarina Kutenplon. Together, they created the Ritz Hotel in London, which was not only a pioneering luxury hotel but also a haven where the rich and famous could stay while visiting the city. Since then, numerous women have followed in Cesarina’s footsteps, opening hotels and resorts across the world.


When it comes to running a restaurant, women have proven their chops time and time again. From Julia Child to Dominique Crenn, female chefs have made their mark on the culinary world. But women have also excelled as restaurateurs, shaping the hospitality industry in unique ways. As owners and managers, women have brought their own sensibilities to restaurant concepts, creating spaces that are both welcoming and stylish. Take, for example, Ekte, a cool restaurant in London, that has been transformed over the years by women’s expertise in the industry, Ekte is a great example of how female restaurateurs are innovating. With a focus on classic Scandinavian cuisine, Ekte combines historic traditions with modern flair. In doing so, they offer a dining experience that is both familiar and exciting – and it’s no wonder they’ve been a hit with diners!


When it comes to innovation in the hospitality industry, women have definitely left their mark; From inventing new kitchen gadgets to creating unique guest experiences, the ladies have been shaking things up for decades. Take, for example, the first woman to open a brewery in the United States – Susannah Oland – who paved the way for other females in the brewing business. Or how about Ruth Fertel, the woman behind the famous steakhouse chain, Ruth’s Chris, who changed the game by using incredibly high-quality cuts of meat? And let’s not forget about the countless female chefs who have pushed the boundaries of what we thought was possible in the kitchen. These women prove that when it comes to innovation in the hospitality industry, the ladies are leading the way.

Supply Chains

Another area of significant impact for female hospitality workers is the supply chains. Numerous women are influencing the pivotal shift from traditional sourcing practices to a more sustainable and ethical approach. Carolyn Steel, one of the prominent voices on the sustainable food front, has emphasized the need for us to understand the broader ecological implications of our food choices. The impact on supply chains is huge, and women have been leading this effort in the hospitality industry by incorporating ethically sourced ingredients in their establishments.

Paving the Way for the Future

Women have been paving the way for the future of the hospitality industry for years now; from running their own bed and breakfasts to designing world-class hotels, women are taking the world by storm! They have brought a unique perspective to the industry that was once dominated by men. Women’s attention to detail, multitasking skills, and empathy have transformed the hospitality industry and raised the bar for everyone in the game. So let’s give a round of applause for all the amazing women who have shaped this industry and continue to push the limits of what’s possible in the world of hospitality. Cheers to the ladies!

The hospitality industry has come a long way, and women have played a pivotal role in its evolution. From being the first pub owners to running world-class hotels, women have been trailblazers who have shattered stereotypes and created enduring legacies. It’s time we celebrated their achievements and contributions and recognized that without their pioneering spirit, the hospitality industry as we know it would be far less rich and diverse. So let’s applaud women in hospitality because we need more women to spread their wings and create the next generation of game-changing establishments.