It was a night of huge celebration for our winners and with the afterglow of the 2017 Caterer.com People Awards still in full effect, it’s important to remember that such a wonderful evening would never have been possible without the sterling support and commitment of our amazing sponsors.
Sponsoring the Emerging Talent Initiative category was Fresh Montgomery, producers of Hotelympia 2018. Ross Carter, Portfolio Director of Fresh Montgomery said, “Schemes like Caterer.com People Awards seek to shine a light on best practice and employer initiatives that work hard to boost productivity and safeguard retention.”
The Emerging Talent Initiative category was won by Q Hotels who took employee engagement to another level with a new and all-encompassing approach. With a strong focus on relationship building with schools, European colleges, and UK Universities together with their Management Development Programme, apprenticeships and a solid social network strategy, Q Hotels garnered fantastic results. This year alone, the company has presented 64 in-school careers support days, have welcomed 135 school work experience placements and have reduced their temporary staff costs by over £400,000. “This really is something to celebrate,” said Ross. “Hotelympia is proud to support these Awards and we applaud the deserved winner of our category, Q Hotels.”
Hotelympia continues to grow year on year and will return to London in 2018. “The show began life over 80 years ago under the guise of the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Show, before being rebranded as Hotelympia which is a nod to its original home of Olympia in West London,” explains Ross Carter.
Finally outgrowing its roots, the show moved to a new permanent home at London’s ExCeL in 2004, and today stands as the largest and most vital event in the UK hospitality calendar.
“Despite its rich heritage, the show has never once rested on its laurels, mirroring the vibrant industry that it serves, to stay relevant and always ahead of the curve in terms of innovation and insight,” Ross continued.
The ethos of the 2018 show will be no different, yet there are going to be some exciting new future-focused elements, tackling hot-button issues and championing future industry stars, which will sit perfectly alongside returning features, to help Hotelympia maintain its position at the head of the pack.
Whist the show will stay true to its remit, Ross is excited by upcoming changes and its growth. “The show has a new organising team at the helm and we are currently working with a steering committee of influential figures from the world of hospitality to ensure that its content and themes are exactly on point and this will benefit all of our exhibitors and visitors.”
The sheer scale of the show means that it comprehensively covers every element of the hospitality business, showcasing the very latest products and launches in Food & Drink; Catering Equipment; Technology; Interiors & Tableware and sustainability-focused waste-works, from some of the most respected companies in the game. “We also pride ourselves on consistently attracting top level speakers,” said Ross. “From the up-and-coming to those who have seen and done it all. They all impart their wisdom and share insight and experiences, and they all offer visitors inspiration to take back to their own place of work.”
There are certainly pressing recruitment issues facing the hospitality industry right now, among them; a well-documented skills shortage, Brexit and a negative perception of careers within the sector with one recent report suggesting that only 17% of parents regard hospitality as a positive career choice. “It’s clear that we are suffering from an image problem,” Ross commented. “Those of us who work daily in hospitality know different, of course, but there is definitely a job of work to be done to change such ideas.
“Hotelympia is a big show and, as such, won’t shy away from the big issues,” Ross continued. “That means subjects like recruitment, skills, women, the gender pay gap, productivity, retention and apprenticeships, will be tacked head-on, helping to lift some of the fog surrounding each of these issues and demonstrate that the industry can offer young people a viable and successful career.”
Hotelympia has a long history of welcoming and nurturing the next generation of chefs, designers, restaurateurs and publicans. Ross Carter says that this will continue in earnest through existing elements like Salon Culinaire, with the same ethos permeating into new standalone features that will help inspire and inform.
Caterer.com People Awards and Fresh Montgomery have enjoyed a long a fruitful relationship. We thank them for their continued support and for their work as a vital part of the UK hospitality industry. Hotelympia 2018 takes place at the ExCel Centre, London from the 5 -8 March 2018.