The Great Hospitality Show Sponors People Awards 2016

We are pleased that The Great Hospitality Show 2017 will be sponsoring the Leadership in Recruitment, Retention and Development category in this year’s People Awards.

The Great Hospitality Show will be one of the major highlights of the Hospitality calendar next year. It’s the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of food service and hospitality in the UK and the only show concentrating on the business of the sector. The event will be held at the NEC Birmingham between the 23-25 January 2017 and will be the number one destination for the industry to meet, network and witness the incredible innovations being made.

Over the two days, visitors can discover and learn more about every aspect of the industry, from the finest food & drink, equipment, interior design and technology to uniforms and other specialist attire, everything you need to assist you in running your restaurant, hotel, pub or catering organisation will be found at the show.

Unique to The Great Hospitality Show will be the participation of Business Mentors, who will be providing free one-on-one advice to help you with any queries or current business concerns. The Business Mentors will also be taking part in the insightful panel discussions on the special Business Briefing Stage

One of the main attractions of The Great Hospitality Show will be the Salon Culinaire, which promises to be the largest and most prestigious chef competition of the year. The Salon Culinaire will include a restaurant, La Parade des Chefs and the special Skills Theatre, where up and coming young chefs can hone their skills in the heat of competition.

Toby Wand from The Great Hospitality Show said, “The shortlist for Leadership in Recruitment, Retention and Development at this years’ People Awards is a strong one and is evidence of the invention and commitment that these companies have, not just to their own businesses, but to their people. We are delighted to be sponsoring this category.” People Awards would not be at all possible without the help and sponsorship of The Great Hospitality Show and we are very grateful for their support.

The spectacular People Awards 2016 will take place on October 12 at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge. Tickets are available here.


Fresh Montgomery Sponsors People Awards 2016

We are delighted that Fresh Montgomery, the UK’s leading business-to-business events organiser, catering exclusively to the food and hospitality industry in the UK and Ireland are once again the headline sponsor for this year’s People Awards.

As part of the Montgomery Group and drawing on more than 120 years experience, Fresh Montgomery specialises in market-leading events enabling the sector to come together and to learn and grow, helping to make the UK Hospitality industry the envy of the world.

You will more than likely have attended an event organised by Fresh Montgomery. Among them each year are The International Food & Drink Event, Hotelympia, The Speciality & Fine Food Fair, The Speciality Chocolate Fair, Northern Ireland’s premier Hospitality show, IFEX and Careers in Hospitality.

Toby Wand, Managing Director of Fresh Montgomery said, “Fresh Montgomery are very pleased to be overall sponsor of these prestigious Awards. We pride ourselves in using our events to be superior platforms for the industry to meet, network and learn new skills. We present seminar and business content from the cream of the industry and encourage great ambassadors and mentors to pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation of hospitality professionals.”

Delivery of our People Awards would not be possible without our sponsors and we value the partnership and ongoing support from Fresh Montgomery for our awards, now in their sixth year. People Awards 2016 takes place at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge on October 12. Tickets are still available. Book now.



Every employer has a brand. What’s yours?

Employer branding can seem a baffling concept, and one that is only applicable to larger organisations. But believe it or not, every company ­– from a local pub to a multinational restaurant chain – has a brand. And while salary is thought to be the overriding factor when considering a new role, 35% of employees view a trusted employer brand as more important than the figure on their pay slip.

So how do companies get a better idea of what its brand looks like, in order to effectively channel it? Or, if they don’t yet have one, how should they go about developing one? So many questions!

First up, for those nodding along but reluctant to admit they don’t know what an employer brand is, here’s a short explanation…

An employer brand creates the perceptions that current and potential employees have of an organisation and is why the hires it wants to attract would want to sign up.

Why do companies need one?

The current jobs market is highly competitive from an employer’s point of view, especially in sectors requiring niche skills. This means that the more clearly defined and audible a company’s employer brand is, the more likely they are to attract and retain the top talent that’s out there. More than half (56%) of recruiters say employer branding is a top priority, and employers with a strong talent brand drive twice the amount of applicants per job compared to other companies.

What’s more, 67% of employers believe that retention rates would be higher if candidates had a clearer picture of what to expect from working at the company before taking the job. See: it pays to know who you are.

Who’s doing it well?

Pret A Manger

As well as purveyors of organic fast food, Pret is a trailblazer in employer branding. The high-street eatery was the talk of the industry earlier this year when a complaint on social media turned into a hilarious Twitter exchange – not to mention an impressive three-hour rap battle – that showcased their vibrant, playful company culture and employer brand. A spokesperson for Pret said: “Having fun with our customers is a big part of what makes us tick – both in our shops and on social media.”

Staff at Pret are hired not on the strength of a traditional CV, but on whether they possess the three core Pret behaviours: passion, team-working and clear talking.

The company provides a wealth of training opportunities and invests heavily in award schemes. Each week, for example, every shop has a mystery shopper who is looking for engagement with a team member. If the mystery shopper has a good experience, team members are paid an extra £1 an hour for every hour they have worked for the week. “Eighty per cent of our shops get the bonus every week,” says Pret’s Director of People Andrea Wareham. Impressive stuff.

Measuring the brand – why would someone want to work for you?

Tools such as employee satisfaction surveys, employee workshops and exit interviews can all provide invaluable insight into what a company’s brand looks like. But to begin with, they should be asking their people these key questions:

  • What are the most attractive and compelling attributes of the organisation to current and potential employees?
  • What are the current perceptions of working within the organisation? How are they affecting current ability to recruit top talent?
  • What percentage of employees would recommend the company as a great place to work?

With a clearer understanding of these areas, companies can define where they are now, what they would like their employer brand to be and the steps required to get there – all of which form the backbone for an employer brand strategy.

Hospitality Employers Tackle Skills Shortage with Innovation

The massive skills shortage in the hospitality industry is well documented and much discussed. According to research body, People 1st, longer-term employment projections show that the sector’s workforce is growing faster than economy forecasts. Including replacement demand, an additional 660,200 people will be required. If more skilled workers are not recruited and retained, the sector could suffer serious consequences by the end of the decade.

According to BHA figures, the Hospitality sector is the fourth largest industry in the UK, employing nearly five million people and accounting for 17% of the total jobs growth in the UK.  Employers in the sector, however, still struggle to recruit the talent they need. Whilst the reasons behind this are many and varied, a growing number of hotel, restaurant, pub & bar and food service employers are taking matters into their own hands, tackling the skills shortage issue with a range of ingenious initiatives that not only help them recruit and develop new staff, but to keep them too.

This year, these exciting projects will be recognised and rewarded by leading UK hospitality job website, through their People Awards 2016. These awards celebrate the very best in Hospitality Recruitment, Retention and Development across 12 categories including Employee Engagement, On-Boarding schemes, Employer Brand Initiatives and Learning and Development programmes. There are also awards for the people who drive these initiatives, including HR Teams, In House Recruitment teams and Industry Ambassadors.

The 50 strong People Awards shortlist spans the sector from small family businesses to large multinationals. Bringing them together are the challenges that the industry has been facing for a while but also that spark of innovation shown by the shortlisted employers and their understanding that developing talent is the key to their future success.

Among the shortlisted companies are not only high end luxury brands like The Dorchester Collection, The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel and London EDITION, but also well-known high street names such as  Bella Italia, Be At One Bars and restaurant chain Leon. Also appearing on the shortlist are The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, The National Theatre, Durham University Catering Department, Anglian Country Inns and Soho House.

The range of recruitment, retention and development initiatives demonstrated by the shortlisted employers is truly inspiring. On the shortlist in the Candidate Experience category, Firmdale Hotels has utilised increased Employer Brand Engagement and their ‘Love What You Do’ campaign to successfully reduce the number of candidates dropping out before on-boarding. In order to retain experienced and valued staff, the tranquil and remote Portavadie Marina in Scotland accommodates nearly three quarters of its workforce in apartments matching those of guests. This incentive ensured the resort a place on the shortlist in the Rewards & Benefits category. On the Employee Engagement shortlist are Leon Restaurants who utilised ancient Oriental techniques to help Baristas reduce their stress levels, increase speed and improve quality of product and service. Fuller’s Brewery created programmes that would act as a career pathway from the ‘front door’, all the way through to management. This has resulted in 70% rise in retention and promotion. Fuller’s are in the shortlist in the Candidate Experience category. These examples are just an indication of the innovation and results shown by all 50 shortlisted employers.

In an industry that prides itself on delivering a quality experience for the customer, these companies confirm that this quality begins with their people. Each of the shortlisted employers has demonstrated their hard work, results and a dedication to their staff and the hospitality industry as a whole. People Awards 2016 is an important recognition of the impressive work of the employers and staff that make up over seven percent of the UK workforce.

Hosted by the hilarious Stephen Mangan, the glittering People Awards 2016 takes place on October 12th at Park Plaza Westminster, London and will be an evening to remember with 500 industry guests in attendance. Sponsors for this year’s awards include Part & Co., Admiral Recruitment, Careers in Hospitality at Hotelympia 2018, Fresh Montgomery, Cingo Recruit, The Great Hospitality Show and Nicholas Jon Recruitment. Tickets provide a drinks reception, a delicious three course dinner designed by Executive Head Chef Olivier Ruiz and his team, first class entertainment and a post awards party. Tickets are now available (here)

6 top interview questions you need to ask

From the bizarre to the banal, the list of questions that could be asked at an interview is endless – and subject to variables based on the role, company and industry doing the hiring. As a result, there are some core questions that all candidates should be asked as part of any interview process, as well as those that specifically gauge someone’s suitability for a role in the hospitality industry. With that in mind, here’s a cocktail of six great questions to assess a candidate’s suitability – and why they’re helpful.

A job interview needs to keep multiple plates spinning. First and foremost, it needs to address two key areas: the candidate’s attitude and aptitude, and whether they’ll be a good fit for the company’s culture. So as well as questions that will measure the range and level of skills, they need to assess an applicant’s desire to join the organisation, and their ability to fit in.

1. Why do you want this job?

A fairly standard question, you might think, but one that can be difficult to answer without leaning on clichés and generalisations. An answer to this question should ideally convey enthusiasm, interest for the particular opportunity and evidence of the candidate having done some good old-fashioned homework on the organisation and what exactly what the role entails. Failure to provoke a knowledgeable answer should set off the alarm bells.

2. When it comes to work, what are your main motivations?

Are they looking to develop their skills; do they feel passionate about the industry you operate in; are customer satisfaction and interaction with people what drives them? This is a question that should provide a handy snapshot of what drives the individual that’s sat across the desk or at the other end of the phone.

3. What would you describe as your greatest weakness?

This is a tricky one to answer and one that people can often stumble over, but it’s a good way to see how an interviewee reacts under pressure. The answer should be honest, without revealing a major flaw that writes off the candidate entirely. The best answers are those that admit a weakness and describe steps taken to remedy the problem.

4. What type of people do you like to work with?

Answers to this question will help you discover whether the person you are interviewing will fit into your existing team. This is essential for cultural fit and will help enable long-term retention.

5. Tell me about the most difficult individual you have ever had to deal with. What was the problem, what did you do and what was the outcome?

Measured thinking is crucial here. Does the interviewee recognise that difficult individuals (be they customers, clients or colleagues) are part and parcel of the industry you work in, or do they get worked up and bent out of shape when they are describing the situation? Is what they consider to be ‘difficult’ a fair assessment or an overreaction and, most importantly, did the way that they handled the situation align with the policies and values of your company? If not, do you get the sense that this individual would be able to adapt accordingly?

6. Describe the most positive team you have ever worked in? What made it this way?

A question like this will help to measure levels of awareness of both interpersonal and team skills. If someone has stopped to think about what made a team successful in the past and taken these considerations on board, they may be perceptive, self-aware and a possible leader of tomorrow.

While these questions form a broad base from which the interviewer can gain essential insights into what drives an interviewee; what they’ve done in the past and what they may be capable of doing in future – these shouldn’t be the only questions asked. These should be supplemented with enquiries into areas specific to the business in question. If conducted well, the interview process can be lean and efficient, and help find the best people fast.

The Countdown Continues

The excitement is building as the countdown continues toward the outstanding People Awards 2016.

We’re sure you don’t need reminding that our glittering Awards ceremony will take place at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge on the 12th October when we’ll be celebrating the very best in Hospitality Recruitment, Retention and Development.

It’s a real time of change in the Hospitality sector. Despite Brexit, UK unemployment sits at just 5% and new talent, new projects and new initiatives are coming into play, all ensuring better experiences, not only for employees and candidates, but for your customers too. This, coupled with a healthy return of profits, shows that the industry is growing and the Shortlist for our People Awards is the perfect reflection of that. , Without doubt, recruiting top talent in the hospitality industry has always been and will always be a challenge.  It’s how employers deal with these issues that can turn the tide.

Take one employer in our shortlist for example: the Z Hotel Group. Z Hotels operate eight luxury, boutique hotels within the UK, six of them in London. They make great investments in their 190 staff and not just monetarily. All hotel staff from Duty Managers to Guest Services Assistants are made to feel like Brand Ambassadors, creative individuals, providing Z Hotels with its USP. Guest feedback reveals that Z’s staff is one of the main reasons they choose to return time and again.

For all businesses, labour turnover doesn’t only present a cost to business in terms of filling vacant positions but it’s also a loss of talent and operational knowledge to the company. Within the market, Z Hotels is a small but fast growing organisation, with many opportunities for internal progression. However, turnover was at a rate that needed to be managed more proactively in order to retain that talent and develop it as the company expanded.

The Z Group created several initiatives including a Management Academy, which developed a structured cross-training policy, a mentoring programme and a development map for potential Duty Managers. This was key, as Duty Managers were empowered to steer these new projects and to involve all members of staff, thus triggering a higher level of engagement. Since the implementation of these initiatives, internal applications with the Z Hotel Groups have increased, turnover has dropped and they maintain a stability rate of 67%, an improvement on the previous year. Z Hotels are on this year’s People Awards shortlist in the Employee Engagement Programme category.

Sir Richard Branson once said, “Train people well enough so that they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Wise words, indeed. Words not wasted on the team at another of our shortlisted employers; Anglian Country Inns.

As you grow as a company and deal with the day-to-day complications that success delivers, it’s sometimes easy to forget where you started and the values that got you to where you are now. Anglian Country Inns, in the truest sense of the term, is a family company. Cliff Nye fell in love with the view from the back of a rundown Norfolk pub. Knowing nothing about the publican trade, he bought the pub anyway. Before long, The White Horse was winning awards. The company now runs a portfolio of seven pubs, with a microbrewery thrown in for good measure. Naturally, as a result, staff numbers have risen. The Nye family have always valued their staff and have worked hard to treat them as members of that family, so to ensure that this strong bond continues into the future, Anglian Country Inns developed a rewards programme which reinforced ‘Family, Friends, Focus & Fun’, a comprehensive discount scheme, reduced prices on bicycles for staff, regular staff outings allowing them to experience some of the finest hospitality the industry can offer and gym membership. The company also launched the MAD (Making a Difference) Awards, where staff can nominate colleagues that they felt were making a real difference to the company and the working environment. Winners receive and all expenses paid trip to Portugal.

Anglian Country Inns staff work together and play together. They have 56% staff retention in the past year, team building has paid off with staff coming together to raise thousands of pounds for charity and a lot of internal promotion. The company continues to go from strength to strength and have made it to the People Awards shortlist in the Rewards and Benefits category.

The Hospitality industry is expansive and varied, butall employers work toward the same goal: running a successful enterprise, and importantly, providing an amazing experience for the customer. It’s our people that get us there. So come and celebrate those people at’s People Awards. Tickets include a welcoming drinks reception, a three-course dinner designed by Executive Head Chef Olivier Ruiz and his team, the Awards presentation hosted by the wonderful Stephen Mangan and dancing until late with incredible DJ, B-Trix Kiddo. All this under the glamorous roof of the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge. Join us on October 12. More information can be found here or book here now.


Celebrated Chef, Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL, Hosts Apprentice Graduation at Café Spice Namaste for Umbrella Training

“Apprenticeships are vital for the development of industry” Say’s Cyrus Todiwala.

Last night (30 August 2016) at world famous Café Spice Namaste, Apprentices from Umbrella Training received their apprenticeship certificates from award-winning and the 2014 BBC Food Personality of the Year Chef, Cyrus Todiwala, at a VIP Event.

Attended by some of the great and good of the industry, the 69 apprentices who have completed their 12 to 18-month apprenticeship programme in the last 4 months – from novice to expert – were recognised for their commitment to lifelong learning and the achievement of sustainable employment with employers including Lancaster London, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, Patty & Bun and Georgian House Hotel.

At the event, Todiwala shared his views on apprenticeships: “Apprenticeships are a vital ingredient for our industry; helping to attract talent, retain them and develop them to be the very best in our industry.”

Adele Oxberry, Managing Director at Umbrella Training added: “It fills us with great pride to see our learners graduating this evening. They joined us with little or no experience in the hospitality sector and leave us for great roles in fantastic businesses. While the vast majority of their success comes from their own commitment to the apprenticeship, it cannot be achieved without the strong support from their employer. Our sector is a wonderful place for an apprentice to learn skills and nurture their talents; we need to offer more of this to those who are looking for a career in service and so thank our employer partners for their continued focus on apprenticeships.”

As part of the framework of the apprenticeship leaners, who range in age, ability and background, achieve functional skills in Maths, English & ICT, Technical certificates (Food Safety for example) and a NVQ level 2 to level 5, plus learning about British Values and Employment Rights & Responsibilities. Umbrella works closely with employers to help nurture the apprentice ensuring they gain lifelong learning.

Jess Baker, an Umbrella Apprentice at Hampton Court Golf Club said: “I am so happy to have achieved my apprenticeship in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership at level 3 and thank you Umbrella Training for helping me at every step of the way, this apprenticeship has given me confidence to be a better hospitality professional and now I am looking forward to the next part of my career.”

Kitchen Inspirations

The event also launched Kitchen Inspirations, a series of short films where industry chefs cook and talk about the sector, apprenticeships and give valuable advice to aspiring chefs.  In the first feature, Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL and Ben Purton from Lancaster London share their stories and serve two fantastic dishes – Beetroot marinated Scottish salmon by Ben Purton and LEELI KOLMI NI CURRY by Cyrus Todiwala.

The video can be viewed here: and people are encouraged to vote for their favourite through @UmbrellaTES on Twitter.


About Umbrella Training

Umbrella Training and Employment Solutions is an Elite Hospitality Apprenticeship provider which offers over 100 years’ hospitality experience, work-based learning and tailored assessment for your organisation.

As the experts, we understand how important it is for employers to maximise their return on investment while implementing new and exciting apprenticeship programmes. And so we work collaboratively with our learner and employer partners to deliver quality and consistent training to our apprentices.

Cingo Recruit Sponsors the 2016 People Awards

We are pleased to announce that Cingo Recruit will be sponsoring the Candidate Experience category at this year’s People Awards.

Cingo Recruit is an online recruitment platform that allows employers to interview prospective candidates via an internet based video link. Supported with specialist software, Cingo makes the selection process simple, efficient and arguably more cost effective.

Meeting a potential employee face-to-face is not always possible, especially if recruiting over distance. Cingo enables recruitment managers to manage their candidates as well as customise and brand the online interview space to fit with their corporate identity.

Cingo Recruit has been created to meet the needs of different organisations, from in-house human resources departments to recruitment and outsourcing agencies. The option of both offline and real-time interviews can be used for different seniority levels, from hiring top executives to temporary seasonal staff. Cingo is free to use for jobseekers. They can upload video CVs and hone their interview techniques in the practice area, as well as connecting with hiring businesses.

Cingo help’s recruiters form a better picture of the candidate, more so than reading a CV, and can also help in creating a more focused candidate shortlist. In addition, Cingo allows recruiters to record interviews in the cloud which can then be shared to a wider range of decision makers, thus delivering a more balanced outcome.

From a candidate viewpoint, Cingo Recruit, Head of Sales, Neil Brodie said, “Our technology gives candidates the opportunity to present themselves to a wider audience. This can be done by simply creating a video CV or by taking part in an offline or live interview, all of which is recorded online for sharing with future employers and HR managers alike. We are delighted to sponsor’s People Awards in the Candidate Experience category.”

Without our sponsors, our People Awards would not be possible and we are extremely grateful to Cingo Recruit for its generous support.

#PeopleAwards #BeThere



Tickets Selling Fast for the 2016 Caterer.Com People Awards

The Hospitality Recruitment event of the year is happening on October 12 at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge and you’re invited. Tickets for the glittering People Awards 2016 are selling fast and we don’t want you to miss out!

Over 500 employers, leaders, innovators and decision makers will be in attendance to celebrate all that’s best in Hospitality Recruitment, Retention and Development.

Last year was incredible (just take a look at the video below) but our awards this year take on a brand new and exciting format that ultimately celebrate and reward your hard work and invention, and your dedication to this amazing industry.

Tickets include a networking drinks reception, a wonderful three-course dinner designed by Executive Head Chef Olivier Ruiz and his talented Park Plaza Banqueting Team, wine, all hosted by the brilliant Stephen Managan and after the Awards ceremony DJ BTrix-Kiddo will lead us into the early hours!

Tables of 10 £1800 + vat
Individual tickets £200 + vat
Larger tables: price on application

To book, contact the team at People Awards 2016. People make these awards what they are. #PeopleAwards  #BeThere

 View last year’s Awards highlights – click on the image below:



Nicholas Jon Recruitment Sponsor People Awards 2016

We extend a very warm welcome to Nicholas Jon Recruitment as sponsors of the Emerging Talent Initiative Category in the 2016 People Awards.

After working for other, non-specialist agencies, and feeling hugely disaffected by the service they provided, Nick Hodgson formed Nicholas Jon Recruitment in 2008.

Spanning the industry from gastro pubs to five star hotels, the team at Nicholas Jon possess a wealth of experience in Hospitality, and know that getting things right takes time and know-how.

Nicholas Jon work under the maxim of ‘Quality not Quantity’, they supply only permanent staff and if the right candidate isn’t immediately available for the required vacancy, they continue their search to the mutual satisfaction of employee and employer.

All members at Nicholas Jon remain in love with the business, they like to keep their fingers the on the pulse, keeping abreast of changes in the fast moving world of Hospitality. “We want to stay ahead of the game. It’s our life!” says Nick Hodgson, Managing Director.

We are delighted that Nicholas Jon Recruitment decided to support this year’s People Awards and sponsor the Emerging Talent Initiative category. Nicholas Jon is a young and vibrant company and their dedication to the Hospitality industry perfectly represents this strong category.

Nick Hodgson said, “We are incredibly proud to be sponsoring the Emerging Talent Initiative Award.  We truly believe that it is an awesome opportunity to recognise the companies who are investing time into their teams. This is something we believe is imperative and is a keystone of Nicholas Jon’s mentality.”

Without our sponsors our People Awards cannot take place and would like to thank Nicholas Jon Recruitment for their support. Awards night is October 12 at Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, London. Tickets are available now.

#PeopleAwards  #BeThere

totaljobs GROUP is a trademark of Totaljobs Group Ltd
© Copyright and database rights Totaljobs Group Ltd 2013

Working with
SpringBoard   AA Hotel Services   Hospitality   hit Scotland