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Hoisting the flag for Hospitality

We welcome HMSHost to the 2019 People Awards.

Apart from celebrating the best programmes and initiatives UK hospitality recruitment, retention and development, our People Awards serve to bring people from the sector together. Some you will know, others will be new. In that spirit, we extend a warm welcome to HMSHost as a first time sponsor of our awards. On the night, they will be sponsoring our ever popular photobooth.

“As a proud employer of incredible talent in the UK and abroad, we are delighted to be part of the 2019 People Awards; together we can recognise the hard work and emerging talent that gives life to our industry,” said John Khan, Head of Human Resources for HMSHost.

About HMSHost

In 1967 the company HEMS was founded in the Netherlands, the predecessor of HMSHost as a simple pop-up serving ‘coffee, tea and a bite’ at Schiphol Airport. Since then, the company has rapidly developed from a local store to HMSHost International, operating more than 500 stores in 19 countries, across 43 airports, 35 train stations and 4 shopping malls. “Right now, we have more than 11,500 associates working for us around the world,” explained John. “Each associate has been carefully selected based on the combination of their own unique skillset, matched with the role and the team in which they will be working, along with their natural ability to deliver special attention to our guests. This is how we’ve turned our 500-plus F&B stores from simple food outlets in to ‘places to be’, places where impressions, genuine hospitality and attention to detail are priorities.”

HMSHost currently operate 36 stores under their UK business. Locations include Kings Cross and Euston Stations, Eurotunnel (Folkestone and Calais terminals), Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet and airports at Manchester, East Midlands, Heathrow, Stansted, Inverness, Belfast City. “We are about to open two new stores in the Ashford Designer Outlet as well as expanding into the new terminal at Manchester Airport with five new stores,” said John. “Our partner brands in the UK include Starbucks, LEON, Burger King, Comptoir Libanais, KFC in addition to our proprietary brands which includes The Gorgeous Kitchen, Lion & Antelope, Castle Rock, Trattoria Milano and others.”

HMSHost is proud to invest significantly in the personal development and training of their associates. “All of our associates are encouraged to pursue opportunities to develop their careers be it nationally or globally within HMSHost,” John said. “With more than 50 years in the business, we know that their expertise, enthusiasm and experience is truly priceless to our success.”

Providing a great candidate experience

Over the past few years HMSHost has been working on a number of initiatives aimed to provide a great candidate experience. “Right now we are trialling new group assessment based interviews designed to be fun-filled sessions that allow us to see the personality of candidates over their skill-set as we provide structured training upon joining the company,” John said. “For our chefs, we are trialling a competitive cooking format, similar to those that are shown on television. For our front of house roles, we organise a talent show format where candidates can audition as a group or individually. Both of these formats are very light-hearted where we encourage lots of laughter and teamwork.”

HMSHost’s associates are at the centre of their company. “To bring this into the spotlight we are globally rolling out our cultural change movement titled Return on Attention,” said John. “Attention is more than just a word to us, it’s our guiding principle. It makes people smile, it breaks down barriers and it generates goodwill and indulgence. Attention is our secret ingredient that includes everyone. It inspires our associates, it generates partners that prefer to work with us and it turns hasty people on the move into appreciative guests that keep coming back.”

Return on Attention is completely aimed at focusing on associates with a continual roll-out of initiatives to recognise and reward as well as showing appreciation. “Return on Attention is a welcome addition to our broad portfolio of employee benefits and programmes including our fast-track management program, apprenticeship scheme, assistance to EU Nationals with applying for Settled Status and recent increase in pay rates to match the UK’s recommended Living Wage,” John explained further. “We believe strongly in our values and we boost our company culture through a monthly corporate value promotion;  every month an employee from each of our stores is nominated as most strongly demonstrating the month’s value, receiving a recognition pin, their name mentioned in our newsletter and an entry into our annual prize draw.”

Acknowledging the importance of people

As a company, HMSHost has been operating for more than 50 years, and readily acknowledge the importance of their people. With that in mind, they’re striving to become an employer of choice and are committed to achieve this, beginning with recognising those already working with them.

HMSHost understands why our People Awards are so important. “The hospitality industry is central to the day to day lives of so many, yet we need attention,” John said. “Attention to draw more people to our understaffed industry, to encourage more people to shape their careers in our industry, and attention to shine the spotlight on those who are working hard to make our industry what it should be. The People Awards help in all three ways, by providing great recognition for those who strive to make this industry great by going above and beyond, giving an aspirational story for the communities and colleagues around them. For us at HMSHost, this event shares our value of attention, of working with some of the best people in the industry, and takes us steps forward in creating an engaging, innovative and flourishing industry where we can celebrate success together.”

The 2019 People Awards take place on September 20 at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge. We’re looking forward to seeing your photos from the photobooth, sponsored by HMSHost on Awards night.

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