Oxford School of Hospitality Management stages inaugural Bacchus Alumni Awards

The inaugural Bacchus Alumni Awards, held on the 30th March 2015 at London’s St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, marked the professional achievements of alumni of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University. Staged as part of the university’s 150th anniversary, the landmark occasion brought together nearly 300 graduates, students, staff and friends of the School.

The event was hosted by renowned actor, broadcaster and food writer Madhur Jaffrey CBE, who has had a long association with the Oxford School of Hospitality Management. She commented: “This has been a glorious evening of celebration. Alumni of the School follow such incredibly successful careers in all parts of the world, and these awards are our way of offering congratulations, and of communicating how proud we are of their achievements.”

From a range of shortlisted candidates, the winners of the 2015 Bacchus Awards were:

Bacchus Student Award: Vita Juniviciute and Dragos Dorobat (both final year undergraduates)

Bacchus Young Alumni Award: Holly Brown, General Manager with BaxterStorey

Bacchus Major Contribution to Hospitality Award: Tim West, Chairman, Elior

Bacchus Special Award: Lou Willcock, Director, Indicater

Ben McEwen, Chair of the Bacchus Society, spoke after the event: “There is a palpable sense of pride amongst alumni of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management. We belong to an exclusive community of professionals who support each other and who take pride in each others’ successes. I can already sense that the Bacchus Alumni Awards are going to strengthen the sense of belonging we all share.”

Donald Sloan, Head of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management commented: “My colleagues and I are incredibly proud of our graduates. Not only do they pursue exciting careers, they also give their time and energy to current students, providing perspectives that are not available in the academic environment. Their contributions are inspiring to future leaders of the hospitality industry”.

The Oxford School of Hospitality Management is known for the closeness of its relationships with industry and the employability of its graduates. Students are constantly exposed to the realities of industry, ensuring that upon graduation they are well placed to adjust to their new roles. The School is ranked top in the UK for graduate salaries and top for the proportion of alumni in managerial positions within six months of graduating. Initiatives such as the Bacchus Mentoring Programme, through which every student is assigned a formal industry mentor, further enhance graduates’ employability. There are currently over 150 senior industry figures contributing to the Bacchus Mentoring Programme.

The members of the judging panel for the 2015 Bacchus Awards were:

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University

Donald Sloan, Head of School, Oxford School of Hospitality Management

Madhur Jaffrey CBE, food writer, actor, and broadcaster

Julia Sibley OBE, Chief Executive, The Savoy Educational Trust

Lou Willcock, Managing Director, Indicater

The Bacchus Society is very grateful for the generous support of the following companies who made the Awards possible:

Headline sponsors – Caterer.com / Best Employers in Hospitality

Award category sponsors – Sodexo, The Restaurant Group

Venue sponsor – The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

Click here for more information.

Easter is upon us and the General Election just weeks away; new beginnings are all around, says Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association

With Easter upon us the BHA, like other hospitality businesses and organisations, is turning its attention to the future. We’re now a matter of weeks away from the general election and historically hospitality and tourism has been conspicuous by its absence from the manifestos of the main political parties.  What’s more, this is described as the most important election for a generation with experts anticipating that no party will win an overall majority and the expectation that the events of May 7th could change the political landscape forever.

While hospitality and tourism accounts for 1 in every 10 jobs in the UK, it is a truth well known that this industry could drive a step change in the growth and generation of jobs if MPs focused on the fact that hospitality and tourism lies at the heart of our economy. All political parties should include hospitality and tourism at the centre of their economic growth plans, and in their party manifestos they should set out a commitment to boost the competitiveness of this important industry. The UK hospitality and tourism industry has suffered uncompetitive VAT rates, a strain on aviation capacity and uncompetitive visa regimes for far too long. It is time for a new government to put an end to the current rate of UK VAT at 20% – double that of the rest of Europe. The UK is one of only three countries not to take advantage of a reduced VAT rate in Europe. This means that visitors choosing a holiday to visit the Royal Crescent in Bath or exploring the Lake District, for example, would pay almost three times as much VAT compared to a French or German break, and twice as much as a holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Italy and Spain.

While our local hospitality and tourism businesses continue to innovate and strive to strengthen their products and services, and thereby local economies across the UK, past governments and many local enterprise partnerships have failed to support the 3 million employees and their families dependent on our industry for their livelihoods. Just as the governments of competing destinations such as Spain – which recently set a Zero VAT rate on inbound conferences, meetings and events – act to improve their national industry, the incoming government must too rise to their responsibility to invest in UK business, 3 million employees and the local communities they serve.

Looking to the future the BHA is working tirelessly and ambitiously to champion the Hospitality and Tourism industry on behalf of its members. We plan to unite more than 40,00 businesses to build our collaborative efforts to ensure that post May 7th 2015, the members of our collective associations will target every MP across the country to convey the urgency with which government action is demanded to help to unlock our industry’s potential for growth. As well as lobbying for change, our industry needs to be the very best at acting upon government legislation so that we can continue to be upheld as a positive example for other sectors to learn from. A core BHA goal is to actively support businesses, in particular SMEs, to tackle and practically deliver on areas of legislation and policy such as apprenticeships, allergens, health and fire safety.  Equally, providing specialist support is key for the BHA membership.  It’s only through collaboration, commercial expertise, and grassroots action that our sector will achieve the status and recognition it so rightly deserves from Government.

Read more about the British Hospitality Association here.

Winner of Springboard’s FutureChef 2015 announced

Tom Hamblet was announced as Winner of Springboard’s FutureChef 2015 at the National Final beating over 8,000 contestants to claim the title.

Taking place at Westminster Kingsway College, where 12 finalists competed to be crowned winner of Springboard’s FutureChef 2015, the finalists already completed school, local and regional finals before making it to the National Final beating over 8,000 students.

Serving up a menu of Poached fillets of sole, dill and spinach stuffing, purple sprouting turned potatoes and fish cream foam and a dessert of Vanilla Cake with raspberry sorbet, bitter chocolate ganache and caramel nut clusters, Tom from Atanbridge House School, West Sussex cooked his way into the judges hearts at the Springboard’s FutureChef 2015 National Final competition.

On hearing he won Springboard’s FutureChef 2015 Tom said “I’m so excited that I won, I can’t believe this has happened to me and I am privileged to be in this position right now.”

Springboard’s FutureChef, is a nationwide culinary initiative delivered in over 500 schools nationwide. The main goal of FutureChef is to help young people aged 12-16 to learn the vital life skill of cooking and understanding nutrition as well as providing invaluable insight into and inspiration for building a career within the hospitality industry.

Springboard’s Chief Executive Anne Pierce MBE said “Congratulations to all of our hard working, committed finalists – they have all been part of a great FutureChef.  It really is amazing to see the quality of work by young chefs improve year on year, the talent we see as a result of the Springboard FutureChef initiative is remarkable and Tom is a true winner.”

Celebrated Chef Brian Turner CBE said “It has been a fantastic day and it’s good to see so many dedicated young people with so much talent. Thanks must also go to teachers and mentors who make such a great contribution to the success of the event. Tom is a great winner.”

Tom Hamblet wins a unique behind the scene visit to Henley Regatta where he will work with top chefs whilst his parents enjoy boat trip along River Thames. Tom and his guests will return to Henley to enjoy full hospitality, courtesy of Sodexo.

Atanbridge House School wins vouchers to the value of £400, courtesy of Bunzl Lockhart and Tom’s mentor chef Christopher Basten receives a commemorative plate, courtesy of Steelite International.

Other prizes

Second place – Jai Parsons from Castlebrae Community HIgh in Edinburgh will be able to invite 3 people to the Delaware North box at Wembley for the Summertime Ball 2015. Jai will also undertake a work placement in the VIP area before the concert shadowing the Executive Head Chef for Hospitality, Mark Reynolds. The prize includes seeing the back of house area of Wembley Stadium, as well as Jai joining his guests for the concert itself, courtesy of Delaware North.

Third place- Ciaran Liddy from Rathmore Grammar School, Belfast and his mentor John Paul Leake will work on an inspirational dinner with a celebrity chef and the Elior development chefs to produce a fine dining banquet for 100 VIP guests, courtesy of Elior.

All National Finalists received:

  • £100 cash prize from the Worshipful Company of Cooks
  • Personally embroidered aprons provided by Russums
  • Commemorative plates from Steelite International
  • Commemorative medals supplied by Craft Guild of Chefs
  • Personally embroidered chefs jackets provided by Johnsons Stalbridge Linen
  • Skull Caps sponsored by Tonstate
  • Cookery Book courtesy of Mark Reynolds, Delaware North
  • A Taste of Summer courtesy of Brian Turner

Finalists

Central and South Scotland – Jai Parsons, 15 – Castlebrae Community High School

East Midlands – Max Faulkner, 13 – Lutterworth High School

East of England – Ashleigh Sheppard, 15 – Stour Valley Community School

North East – Ashleigh Hellowell, 15 – The Maltings College

Northern Ireland – Ciaran Liddy, 14 – Rathmore Grammar School

South West – Anna West, 13 – Penair School

Wales – Siriol Richards, 16 – Ysgol Brodinefwr

West Midlands – Carl Ridsdale, 16 – South Bromsgrove High School

North West – Joseph Kelly,  13 – William Howard School

North Scotland – Hannah Hunter, 16 – Ardnamurchan High School

London – Georgia Morgan, 16 – Abbey Manor College

South East – Tom Hamblet, 15 – Tanbridge House School

Judges

David Mulcahy, Culinary Director, Sodexo UK and Ireland, Head Judge

Steve Munkley, Executive Chef, The Royal Garden Hotel

Matt Owens, Executive Pastry Chef, Fusion Catering Solutions

Adam Degg, Head Pastry Chef, Chiltern Firehouse

Simon Stocker, Advanced Practitioner< Westminster Kingsway College

Joe Queen, Executive Chef, Tennents Training Academy

Richard Davis, Executive Chef The Manor House

Adam Handling, Executive Chef, Adam Handling at Caxton

Hayden Groves, Executive Chef, BaxterStorey

Anna Carmichael, FutureChef Winner 2014

For more information, click here or contact Victoria Togun or Louise Routh

E: victoriat@springboarduk.org.uk

E: lousier@springboarduk.org.uk

T: 0207 921 0428

 

Apprenticeship scheme aims to tackle chef skills shortage

According to the Hospitality Sector Skills Council, People 1st, 16% of UK hotels and 13% of restaurants complained of consistent, long-term difficulties in filling vacancies, due to widespread skills shortages.

With new restaurants and hotels opening every week around the UK, the reality is that the hospitality industry simply can’t keep up with the increasing demand for hospitality staff. This is echoed by over a quarter of UK hotels and restaurants who claim they are finding it increasingly difficult to fill chef vacancies.

Even though the hospitality industry is the third fastest growing, job creating sector employing over 1.8 million people in the UK alone, almost three in ten vacancies are reported to be hard-to-fill, and shortages in suitably skilled, qualified and/or experienced workers are the main reason for this (UKCES). Training and development of young people is needed in order to fill these skills gaps and quality Apprenticeships schemes have a major part to play in the future of our local economy as the skills they bring will help businesses to develop, be successful and grow.

Babcock, one of the UK’s largest private sector providers of work-based training, has been operating in the Hospitality sector since 1993 and saw this as an opportunity to offer young people a chance to enhance their career through a combination of training and assessment. Over the last ten years c. 45,000 learners have completed hospitality apprenticeships with Babcock and have gone into great careers as a chef and other hospitality careers.

They are also a strong supporter of Springboard’s FutureChef initiative which is a nationwide culinary programme run by The Springboard Charity, helping young people aged 12-16 to learn to cook, explore food and develop a vital life skill.

Babcock understands the importance of educating school pupils about the career options available once they leave education which is why they work with FutureChef to inspire and increase awareness of the vibrant career opportunities available in hospitality.

Springboard’s FutureChef doesn’t only inspires students to learn to cook, but it also introduces them and their schools to well respected industry chefs, and through Springboard’s FutureChef programme young people are able to develop valuable life skills to make an informed career path into the UK’s leisure and hospitality industry.

You can find out more information on Babcock by clicking here, or if you would like to read more about FutureChef, click here.

Our industry’s changing face means the aparthotel and serviced apartment sector is gaining momentum as a core part of the hospitality sector, says Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association…

Evolving market forces and trends in the hospitality sector combined with new innovations mean branded aparthotels and serviced apartments are starting to gain solid recognition as a core part of the hospitality industry.  Defined as branded ‘cook-in’ plus sleeping accommodation with various degrees of hospitality services offered, this sector of the industry often has very specific customer target markets such as the increasingly mobile business traveller, VFR market, leisure travellers, and even university students.

What’s more, independent apartment-living with all the benefits of expert hospitality services are a popular and fast-growing trend, particularly for young people and business travellers. As well as dedicated new brands, many of the BHA’s international member hotel brands are adding serviced apartment offers to their brand portfolios. That’s why it’s vital to have a dedicated representation within the BHA membership.

The market share for aparthotels and serviced apartments currently stands at 10% of accommodation in London, yet the Centre for Economics and Business Research suggests that with London’s economy set to expand by 15% over the four years to 2019, there will be an increase in current aparthotels and serviced apartments stock levels by 16.7% (Savills).  And while London is the main focus for expansion, regional aparthotels and serviced apartments are also on the increase.  The growth of this sector can be attributed to increased consumer demand and greater availability – largely triggered by the 2012 Olympic Games and the rise of the leisure consumer.

Marie Hickey, at Savills says: “While the sector in the UK remains small compared to hotels, accounting for only 3% of hotel bed supply, expansion has been picking up pace with almost 50 new site openings over the last two years as opposed to the five openings reported back in 2005 with 3,200 new units in the development pipeline through to end 2017.”

Savills has identified the fastest growth markets in the UK for the aparthotel and serviced apartment sector as London, Birmingham, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle.

Max Thorne CEO of CL Serviced Apartments, who is representing a PE fund that is investing over half a billion dollars into this sector and is also Chairman and founding member of the BHA’s sector programme for Aparthotels said: “Aparthotels and serviced apartments are one of the fastest growing sectors of the hospitality and tourism industry, particularly in London and the UK’s leading regional cities, so it’s important that our Group has a strong voice in shaping key issues. For our sector, this year we see these priorities as sector brand building, jobs and skills, the sharing economy and cutting tourism VAT.”

The BHA’s sector programme for Aparthotels currently has 15 committee members of the including key representatives of the major sector business and a balanced addition of other supporting industries, including, planning, building, design and legal sectors.

For more information on the British Hospitality Association, click here.

Calling all Chefs in Northern Ireland – Inspire the next generation of chefs!

Now in its 15th year, Springboard’s FutureChef was developed to support schools and students aged 12-16 and educate them about careers in hospitality by getting top industry chefs to visit schools and inspire students about the important life skill of learning how to cook.

So far, over 5,000 students have taken part in Springboard’s FutureChef programme whether it is a chef demonstration, workshop or a ‘Have a Go’ sessions.

The programme provides an opportunity for industry professional chefs to support cooking classes in schools across the UK. It involves chefs delivering a demonstration to a class group, engaging with students to help prepare and cook dishes and providing Learning Bites that support the curriculum with topics relating specifically to the Hospitality Industry.

These demonstrations and workshops capture the imagination of students as they not only learn but demonstrated new skills in the kitchen.

Springboard’s FutureChef understands the importance of inspiring students about a career in hospitality at an early stage in their education which is why we is calling all chefs in the Northern Ireland area to get involved in this initiative.

Chefs you can organised a Look & Learn activity, ‘Have a Go’ session or offer a student work experience!

If you would like to know more and get involved visit FutureChef or email programmesa@springboarduk.org.uk

 

Caterer.com are proud to sponsor the Bacchus Awards Dinner

The inaugural Bacchus Awards Dinner, being held on 30th March 2015 at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London, will be a landmark occasion for the Oxford School of Hospitality Management (Oxford Brookes University) and Caterer.com are proud to be sponsors. It will bring together alumni, students, staff and friends of the School to mark the professional achievements of its graduates, and to reassert its commitment to working in close partnership with industry. Donald Sloan, Head of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management commented, “My colleagues and I are incredibly proud of our alumni. They follow highly successful careers in the international hospitality industry, with many becoming leading players in the sector. They also give back a great deal to the School – supporting current students, employing fellow graduates and acting as our ambassadors all around the world.  The Bacchus Awards, launched as part of Oxford Brookes University’s 150th anniversary celebrations, will be the biggest party we have ever thrown. Together we will celebrate being part of the vibrant professional community of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management”.

The shortlisted candidates for the 2015 Bacchus Awards, all of them graduates of Oxford Brookes University, are:

Bacchus Young Alumni Award (under the age of 30)

Rakhee Patel, People and Talent Lead, Dorchester Collection

Dan Joines, Co-proprietor, The Manor

Oli Richardson, Recruitment Manager, Soho House Group

Holly Brown, Operations Manager, Baxter Storey

Fabian Zschweigert, Corporate Finance and Business Development Manager, IHG 

Major Contribution to Industry

Robin Sheppard, Chairman, Bespoke Hotels

Henry Ashworth, CEO, The Portman Group

Tim West, Chairman, Elior

Angela Maher, Programme Lead, Oxford School of Hospitality Management

Gerard Greene, Co-founder and former CEO, Yotel

The judging panel is meeting on 23rd March 2015 to reach its final decision, and the winners will receive their awards on 30th March. Awards will also be made in two other categories –the Bacchus Student Award and the Bacchus Special Award.

Ben McEwen, Alumni Chair of the Bacchus Society and Business Development Manager with BaxterStorey commented, “The Oxford School of Hospitality Management has an incredibly strong culture, founded on the commitment of students, alumni and staff. We are sure the Bacchus Awards will further enhance that culture by stimulating pride in the contribution that our graduates make to the international hospitality industry. It is so inspiring for young students to see what those who have come before them have gone on to achieve in their professional careers”.

Tickets for the Bacchus Awards Dinner are available for alumni, staff and all friends of the School, priced at £120 each, or £1000 for a table of ten. The price for current students is £49 per head.

The Bacchus Awards Dinner is the perfect event for companies who already employ Brookes graduates or who want to attract young talent, by strengthening their relationship with the Oxford School of Hospitality Management.

The members of the judging panel for the 2015 Bacchus Awards are:

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University

Donald Sloan, Head of School, Oxford School of Hospitality Management

Madhur Jaffrey CBE, food writer, actor, and broadcaster

Julia Sibley OBE, Chief Executive, The Savoy Educational Trust

Lou Willcock, Managing Director, Indicater

The Oxford School of Hospitality Management acknowledges the generous contribution of the following sponsors:

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

Caterer.com

The Restaurant Group plc

To book tickets, click here.

It is only by embracing young people that our industry can futureproof itself, says Ufi Ibrahim CEO of the British Hospitality Association….

Recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) news indicates that unemployment continues to fall, currently standing at 5.8%, compared with an average of 7.25% between 1971 and 2014. Meanwhile, youth unemployment for 16-24 year olds also continued to fall significantly. While improving employment figures can only be good for economic recovery, last year’s Institute for Public Policy Report (IPPR) says that a full blown economic recovery will not resolve the UK’s youth unemployment issue in the long term because there is a mismatch between what young people are training for and the types of jobs available. The UK can learn, says the IPPR, from our counterparts in Germany and the Netherlands where strong workplace-based vocational education training enables a smoother transition from education into work. In my view, this is critical, but we can go further by considering opportunities to use new technologies and digital learning platforms to make training more exciting and interactive.

Hospitality and tourism is renowned for its on-the-job-training and apprenticeships, and our sector is ideally placed for young people seeking a vocation-based and fast-paced career. Over the past two years the industry’s Big Hospitality Conversation (BHC) initiative has created over 36,000 job opportunities for young people. And our industry has pledged to go further and create 60,000 job opportunities.

However, young people have choices, and attracting the best talent is highly competitive. As an industry, we need to showcase the quality of training and development offered and the range of career paths ahead. We must actively encourage young people to seriously consider hospitality and tourism for their career and not just a starter job.

Hospitality Works is an initiative from BHC partner JobCentrePlus, supported by the British Hospitality Association, which is taking place throughout February 2015. Its aim is to encourage JobCentrePlus employees to recognise the importance of the hospitality and tourism sector, promoting opportunities and vacancies and linking young people to locally available training. For our part, the BHA has launched My Hospitality Story, a video blogging campaign which aims to find the new vlogging stars of the hospitality world. Young hospitality and tourism employees are encouraged to make short video blogs about why they love what they do in our industry, upload it onto YouTube and post the link to the Big Hospitality Conversation Facebook page. Our aim is to recruit young hospitality and tourism ambassadors from across the UK so they can start a conversation with their contemporaries and spread the word through their favourite communication platforms.

Working with young people and embracing their approach to digital learning and technology and their wide and varied communication channels is how we plan to future proof our industry.  Harnessing the passion and commitment of young people through grassroots campaigns like My Hospitality Story is part of our mission to encourage young people that ours in an exciting, varied and credible path; that a career in hospitality and tourism is the future.

Encourage young people in your organisation to join My Hospitality Story by posting videos and adding #MyHospitalityStory.

Additionally, as part of Hospitality Works, the BHA and JobCentrePlus will co-host a careers Q&A session via Twitter @UKJobsChat and taking questions using #HW2015. We are inviting all employers and career experts to join us, ask questions, share resources, offer advice and a little inspiration for those seeking a career in this incredible industry.

Click here to read more about the British Hospitality Association.

 

Springboard’s Awards for Excellence: A triumphant night for Accor!

Accor UK & Ireland Hotels went home the big winners of the night walking away with 3 awards, whilst Oakman Inns & Restaurants, PPHE and Red Carnation all received 2 awards. 

The hospitality industry turned out in force at Chelsea Football Club on the 9th February to see who had been crowned the winners at this year’s glittering awards ceremony.

This year saw entries of the highest quality and really gave the judges a tough task to pick outright winners in all categories. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and shortlists.

“What a fantastic night of celebration to reward people, organisations and projects that work to raise the profile of the hospitality sector and to attract and retain talent to this great industry.’’ commented Anne Pierce, CEO, Springboard

The Winners

The Springboard Ambassador Award

Winner: Sarah Walsh (Red Carnation Hotels)

Best Regional Initiative Award – sponsored by Bibendum

Winner: Accor UK & Ireland Hotels

The Education Pipeline Award – sponsored by Service Line

Winner: InterContinental London Park Lane 

Best Work Experience Provider Award – sponsored by James Hallam

Winner: PPHE Hotel Group

Best Use of Digital Media Award – sponsored by drp

Winner: Delaware North

Best Recruitment Initiative Award – sponsored by Caterer.com

Winner: The Brookwood Partnership

The Young People Award – sponsored by American Express

Winner: Accor UK & Ireland Hotels

Best Housekeeping Strategy – sponsored by Bonasystems

Winner: Oakman Inns and Restaurants

Best Chef Development Strategy – sponsored by Gram UK

Winner: Lexington Catering

Best Management Development Strategy – sponsored by Lifetime Training

Winner: Red Carnation Hotels

Best Food & Beverage Development Strategy – sponsored by Handpicked Hotels

Winner: Edwardian Group, London

Diversity In Employment Award

Winner: Accor UK & Ireland Hotels

Best Career Progression Award – sponsored by Zenith Hygiene

Winner: PPHE Hotel Group

The Retention Award

Winner: Boodles

The Corporate Responsibility Award – sponsored by Powerful Allies

Winner: River Cottage Chefs’ School

Best Employer Award – Collins King & Associates

Winner: Oakman Inns & Restaurants

The very special Chris Beaumont Special Award – sponsored by Bidvest 3663

Alastair Storey, BaxterStorey

“We are extremely proud to have won these awards which stand for the growth of the industry which are the people” Accor UK & Ireland

You can find more information on the Springboard Awards for Excellence here

A Day in the life of Kate Taylor, Nutritionist, Gather & Gather

What prepared you for work in hospitality?

I have always had a great interest in food, sport and health. When I left school (in Australia) I travelled for a few years and then decided to turn my passion into my career and go to university in London, one of the best places to study in the world. After 3 years of full time university and working part time on a helpdesk I graduated with a joint honours degree in Human Nutrition & Sports Science.

How easy was it to find a job?

I applied for job after job but with no experience in this industry it’s hard to get your first break. I took a chance and sent an email to Heidi Stone, who had joined, as it was previously known, MITIE Catering as Sales Director. To cut a long story short, I was offered a joint admin and nutrition position which over the past 3 years has developed into a full time role as company Nutritionist. I am also now registered with the Association for Nutrition and sit on the Nutritionists in Industry committee.

From morning coffee to clocking out we would like to find out a little more about a ‘typical’ day is for you, what-ever time that might be!

There really is no such thing as a typical day for me but I do try to keep a routine where possible.

5.30am to 6am

I will do some exercise, running, Pilates or HIIT (high intensity interval training).

7am

The day starts always with breakfast! Everything from eggs, avocado, fruit, yoghurt, I’ll always couple it with a tea or coffee. 

7.30am – 5pm

I’ll be at work, whether that’s getting my head down doing some planning at our office in London Bridge, cooking with our chef development team, running a health and wellbeing event for customers or doing a sales presentation.

After work

I try to be home at a reasonable hour and love cooking dinner for me and my partner; it’s always something different. I also teach 4 fitness classes a week which as well as keeping me in shape, motivates and gives something back to my local community. 

Why does Gather & Gather work closely with Springboard?

Gather & Gather work with Springboard because of its commitment to connecting people with great food and inspiring people of any age about the wonderful careers on offer in catering.

Jobs in hospitality and catering are often linked to personalities like Jamie Oliver or big hotel chains, but there are all sorts of pathways into working with food and corporate catering is a great gateway to a career that not many people know about. Through working with Springboard over 20 Gather & Gather employees, including some of our senior chefs, have become Springboard Ambassadors.

Gather & Gather’s Ambassadors visit schools and colleges inspiring young people about the career opportunities on offer, sharing our experiences with students and our head chefs have also taken part in judging catering competitions. This March three employees are taking part in the Springboard’s Trek to Little Tibet 2015 aiming to work with local people in northern India and trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas. All the funds raised will go towards Springboard’s vital work of helping young people achieve their potential, nurturing unemployed people of any age into work and helping to alleviate poverty.

For more information on Springboard, click here, or visit Gather & Gather to read more on their initiatives.

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