Simon Rogan Named AA Chef of the Year


Congratulations to Simon Rogan on winning the coveted AA chef’s chef of the year award. There is no greater honour than to be recognised by one’s peers and is extremely proud to have sponsored this award. Simon is a singular talent and truly deserves this accolade. We applaud his success in realising his unique culinary vision and hope that this win serves as an inspiration to young, up and coming UK talent.

It was a night of great celebration for Simon Rogan last night when he was named AA Chef of the Year, sponsored by at the AA Hospitality Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.    This is a unique award that is one of the restaurant industry’s most sought-after accolades as it is presented to the chef voted ‘number one’ by their peers from over 2,000 restaurants with AA Rosettes.

Simon Rogan is a British chef who rose through the ranks with stints under Marco Pierre White, Keith Floyd, Jean Christophe Novelli and John Burton-Race.  Simon established his flagship restaurant L’Enclume in 2002 in Cartmel in Cumbrian which holds 5 AA Rosettes.  He is well known for his ‘foraging’ technique, which has been central to the success of L’Enclume along with the fruit and vegetables, chicken, sheep cattle and bees which are bred and cultivated on his own 12-acre farm.

Following the success on L’Enclume, Rogan went on to turn his adopted town of Cartmel into ‘Roganville’ through a series of other ventures which include Rogan and Company and the Pig and Whistle.  He also opened Roganic, a pop-up restaurant in London, The French and Mr Cooper’s House and Garden in Manchester and Aulis which is his research kitchen.

Simon Rogan has worked at an unprecedented level of innovation and technical skill for the past 15 years, and continues to strive for perfection, pushing the boundaries and exploring tastes and textures.  He is one of the most creative and dynamic chefs working in the UK today and his food has made an indelible impression on the country’s food scene, his influence is far-reaching.

Giovanna Grossi, AA Group Area Manager said, ‘I am delighted to see Simon recognised by his peers for this much sought after prestigious award. Simon is an incredibly talented, passionate, hardworking chef. What he has achieved up in Cartmel is truly amazing and to go on to develop two more outstanding restaurants in two fantastic hotels in key cities, allows so many more people the opportunity to sample his fantastic and unique style of food. The creation of a research and development kitchen where guests can actually enjoy new dishes as they are created, was ingenious and added to that the development of his farm near Cartmel has been a fantastic way to ensure a consistent standard of produce across all his operations. By winning this award, voted for by fellow Rosetted chefs, it is clear that Simon has not only inspired many up and coming younger chefs but he has also earned huge respect from his more established peers.’

Guests at the AA Hospitality Awards, hosted by Hugh Dennis, were treated to a gastronomic menu created by the 2015 AA Chefs’ Chef, Daniel Clifford.

All the winners will appear in the latest edition of the 2017 AA Hotel, Restaurant and Pub Guides which were launched at the event. You can view all images of the night, here. People Awards – Will you #BeThere? Book by September 30th

The menu has been chosen, the wine selected, the shortlists confirmed, and hundreds of tickets have been sold…

….all we need now is you!

The last remaining tickets are now available for the 2016 People Awards, taking place on October 12 at the spectacular Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge. It’s the hospitality employers event of the year when the great (and the even greater!) will gather to celebrate the very best initiatives in recruitment, retention and development.

Ours is an industry built upon delivering superb experiences, and our Caterer.cpm People Awards are no exception. Besides discovering just who will walk away with the coveted trophies, you will be treated to a fabulous three course dinner, designed to delight gourmands along with wines picked to complement that menu to perfection.

Together with his talented team, Executive Head Chef of Banqueting at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, Olivier Ruiz will bring you a seasonal menu featuring a Courgette Ricotta and Lemon Roulade with roast Pumpkin followed by an exquisite Confit du Canard with Roasted Winter Vegetables. Vegetarians will enjoy a luscious Mushroom Wellington with a Spinach and Stilton insert. Dessert is a trio of temptation – Assiette of vanilla and raspberry tart, chocolate and praline mousse and small religieuse.

We’ll have a fresh Lucien M, Macon Villages 2015. a vibrant Alto Molino Malbec to accompany the meal, and since you can’t celebrate without bubbles, you’re sure to love the Moutard Père & Fils, Méthode Traditionelle, Blanc de Blanc we’ll be serving at the drinks reception. Cheers!

We’re hugely excited about our host for the evening. It’s the hilarious Stephen Mangan (Episodes, Have I got News for You, Green Wing, Adrian Mole, Green Wing) who we know will deliver the awards with unique style and keep us entertained throughout the presentation of the 12 awards. He’ll be accompanied by our favourite voice over heartthrob Alan Dedicoat (Lotto, Strictly) who returns again this year to help guide us through proceedings.

And…as if all of this were not enough, there’ll be plenty of chance to enjoy the bar and the dancefloor until 1am, with the help of DJ B-Trix Kiddo.

If networking is your thing, you couldn’t hope to be in better company. Almost every employer from our shortlist will be in attendance amongst the 500 guests, with recruitment and HR teams from employers including The Dorchester Collection, Jumeirah London, Marriott, Hilton Worldwide, Rezidor Hotel Group, Leon Restaurants, Be At One,  Ask Italian, Café Rouge, Elior UK, Pod Food and National Theatre.

We’d love you to join us. There are very few tickets remaining before our booking deadline of 30th September. Tickets are £200 with limited tables available at £1800. Get in touch now to secure your place

Admiral Recruitment sponsoring People Awards 2016

It’s wonderful to welcome back Admiral Recruitment, as a sponsor of this year’s People Awards.

For the sixth year in a row, Admiral will be joining us in rewarding all that’s best in hospitality, recruitment, retention and development and this year they will be sponsoring two categories, HR Team and Employee Brand Campaign.

With a background in sales, events and hospitality, Paula Rogers founded Admiral Recruitment in 1995 and has seen her company go from strength to strength. As well as specialising in corporate hospitality, pubs, bars and restaurants, Admiral provides commercial and business services and is a niche player in the market. They also offer a diverse range of temporary and permanent contracts, senior positions, chefs, expert reception staff and concierge positions.

What sets Admiral Recruitment apart from other agencies is the forging of their close relationships with clients, relationships of trust and honesty. They never compromise on quality and pride themselves on their ethics.

The 2016 People Awards is a deserved celebration of initiatives designed to provide the best solutions for both employers and employees and Admiral Recruitment share that view.

Paula Rogers said, “This award programme shines a light on the companies, teams, individuals and initiatives that continue to make the UK hospitality sector such a dynamic and successful one. This is about acknowledging the many unsung heroes at every level of the recruitment process and the great work they do to raise the bar for others. For over twenty years Admiral Recruitment has been nurturing and developing talent, so as sponsors of the Employee Brand Campaign and HR Team categories, we are delighted to support the 2016 People Awards and the fantastic work they do in celebrating and rewarding excellence.”

We look forward to welcoming the team at Admiral Recruitment and their guests to the awards at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge on 12th October. To book tickets visit here now.



10 questions to help you gauge employee engagement

For hospitality businesses, the customer comes first. But the satisfaction of employees, who are arguably a company’s prime advocate, should never be neglected. And yet a 2015 poll by Gallup revealed that a mere 13% of employees worldwide felt engaged and emotionally invested in the organisation they work for – meaning 87% of them are not. 

That’s far from ideal, especially for an industry in which people (and working relationships) are of particular importance. But what is engagement? It’s a relatively new concept that is based on the work of William A Kahn, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Boston University. He carried out in-depth interviews that uncovered the fact that employees were more engaged emotionally if they had the following:

  • Psychological meaningfulness: the sense that what they were doing was making a positive difference.
  • Psychological safety: a feeling that they were working in a positive environment in which they were valued and respected.
  • Availability: the sense of feeling secure and confident in their work. 

So why is employee engagement important? A report for the Institute for Employment Studies, ‘Employee Engagement: a review of current thinking’, revealed that engaged employees are more likely to stay with an organisation, perform 20% better than their colleagues and act as advocates for the business. And that isn’t all: employee engagement can enhance bottom-line profit and improve efficiencies within a business.

So, in the absence of a scientific study of your own, how can you effectively gauge how your employees feel about their jobs and the business? Or understand how engaged your employees are in working with you? You could invest in a comprehensive employee engagement programme, and this may be the best route for you. But to begin with, asking your employees these 10 questions should provide a snapshot of what’s making them tick and highlight some immediate areas of improvement for you…

1. Do you enjoy your work?

Why go around the houses? The average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime, so it’s important to find out whether they are having a positive or negative experience doing so.

2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you in your work (1 being extremely dissatisfied, 10 being extremely satisfied?)

This question includes a numbered scale to allow people to quantify how good or bad their experience of work is. Aggregating these scores provides a broad picture of general satisfaction across a business.

3. Would you recommend your place of work to a friend or family member?

Answers to this question will reflect the satisfaction of your workforce, an important metric impacting on retention rates and employer brand.

4. Do you have a clear understanding of your career or promotion path?

This will help you ascertain whether a member of staff knows where they are headed within the organisation. According to the Gallup poll, employees who have the opportunity to continually develop are twice as likely to stay at a company, so if the response you receive is below par, you’ll need to start offering developmental opportunities to avoid losing the people that matter.

5. How frequently do you receive recognition from your manager?

According to the ‘Employee Engagement: a review of current thinking’ report, ‘inspiring leadership’ is one of the seven most commonly referenced drivers of engagement. Inspiration often comes from recognising the achievements of others. This question will help identify whether employees are receiving what William Kahn identified as ‘psychological safety’ (the feeling of working in an environment in which you’re valued). If the majority of workers say it’s been more than two weeks since they had any direct feedback from management, there’s a good chance that morale is sinking faster than a sagging soufflé.

6. Do you see yourself working here one year from now?

Answers to this question reveal a lot about retention rate, which is a real problem for hospitality employers generally, and an issue that is more pressing than ever. According to Gallup, millennials (who by 2020 will form 50% of the global workforce) are the most likely generation to switch jobs, with six in 10 open to hearing about new opportunities (15% higher than non-millennials). So if the majority of employees are saying they don’t see themselves working at your company within one year, then making key changes to up engagement can be a safeguard against attrition.

7. Do you believe you’ll be able to reach your full potential here?

The more the opportunities for growth, the longer staff will stick around. Two-thirds of millennials believe it is management’s job to provide accelerated development opportunities that will encourage them to stay, finds Gallup.

8. Do you think your manager can name your work-related strengths?

According to the Gallup poll, employees who believe their managers can name their work-related strengths are 71% more likely to feel engaged and energised, while teams led by managers who focus on their weaknesses are 26% less likely to be engaged.  

9. On a scale of 1 to 10, how comfortable do you feel giving upwards feedback to your supervisor?

A hostile or suppressive work environment tends not to be productive and certainly won’t help your retention rates or employer brand. Employers who enable and encourage employees to provide feedback to their manager and offer suggestions for improvement will benefit from inspired and engaged teams who in turn give back to the business.  

10. Do you feel that co-workers respect each other?

A primary aim for successful employers is a culture in which people respect one another – not one in which they lock horns. This question delves into how employees truly feel about their co-workers. If they are not supporting one another, it might be worth investing in a team-building day out, or a deeper assessment of your working culture.

With so much evidence pointing towards the fact that happier, more satisfied employees equal a better working environment and increased business performance, employee engagement isn’t something that hospitality businesses can afford to ignore. According to the ‘Employee Engagement: a review of current thinking’ report, aside from inspiring leadership, the other most commonly referenced drivers of engagement are: the nature of the work, the transparency of the work and its purpose, opportunities for development, receiving timely recognition and rewards, building respectful relationships and two-way communication. If your business isn’t measuring and addressing all or some of these metrics, you may be causing serious barriers to your attraction, recruitment and retention strategies. It’s worth asking your employees these important questions (and listening intently to the answers) in order to get a clear view of engagement levels. The results may surprise and inspire you.

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.


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