The Top 50 Best Employers in Hospitality: as voted for by 6,000 employees


The winners of the Best Employers in Hospitality awards 2013 have been revealed.

Employers of all sizes and across all sectors took home category wins, including YO! Sushi, QMH Hotels, Harbour & Jones, Urban Leisure and The Breakfast Club. Other winners included Peach Pub Company who were named Best Large Pub/Bar Employer award for the third year in a row. The Top 50 Best Employers in Hospitality were also announced, with the No1 spot going to Jolly Fine Pubs Ltd.

The vibrant awards ceremony and celebratory dinner, hosted by comedian Hal Cruttenden, took place at the Lancaster London on the 30th of September and was attended by 380 industry professionals, representing most of the shortlisted entries. Following a drinks reception provided by Marcato Direct, guests enjoyed a delicious meal accompanied by fine wines sourced by The VineKing.’s Best Employers in Hospitality Awards are free to enter and are judged by employee opinion, gathered via an online employee engagement survey provided by partners Purple Cubed.  No external panel of judges are involved and it is the employee responses alone that determine the results. It is this approach that makes these awards unique to the industry and a truly representative indication of which companies in the industry are the best employers in hospitality. Director Ian Burke explained:

“I believe that if you really want to know what an employer is like, you should ask not the employer, but the people that work for them. For the Best Employers in Hospitality Awards, that’s exactly the way it works.”

The awards are now in their 3rd and most successful year, with almost 6,000 employees taking part in the 2013 survey to determine the category winners and the employer rankings in the Top 50.

Jolly Fine Pubs Ltd Director Cedric Bosi said of their No1 Best Employer in Hospitality Award:

“We are very surprised and very pleased, it feels amazing to be the Best Employer in Hospitality 2013. Thank you to all of our employees!  We think this accolade will do wonders for our business.”

Sponsors included Part & Company, LaunchPad Recruits and EOH Business Solutions and Fresh Montgomery event Careers in Hospitality at Hotelympia.

Fresh Montgomery Managing Director Toby Wand commented:

“Hotelympia has long encouraged best practice throughout the industry. Making it a great place to work is critical for both the employees and the British economy.”

Part & Company sponsored the Best Independent Restaurant Category. Director Simon Part said:

 “Being recognised as the best in any business is challenging, especially in the competitive and constantly evolving world of hospitality.  It is hugely refreshing then that so many independently owned businesses, including many of our clients, are also being acknowledged  through these awards as standout companies to work for.”

A full list of category winners and the Top 50 Best Employers in Hospitality is available here and you can follow the conversation on Twitter too #BestEmployers2013


Cross Channel bike ride raise vital funds for The Springboard Charity

The Team Velo Challenge rolled into Paris on Friday (20th September) having departed London the previous day, in a bid to raise funds for The Springboard Charity.

Organised by The Genuine Dining Company and Pullman Hotels in association with Springboard, the event was hailed as a great success on many levels including the team building and networking opportunities and of course both raising funds and highlighting the work of the charity and its partners.

The teams involved were:

Genuine Dining Company with 3 teams

Pullman London St Pancras Hotel

ACT Clean

Core Recruitment

Greenclose with 3 teams


The Capital Hotel


The Team Velo Challenge cyclists were asked to raise £2,000 per team of 4, with the total money raised looking to be in excess of £22,000. The funds raised will go towards supporting Springboard Into Work programmes helping over 25 people into employment within the hospitality industry.

Anne Pierce, CEO at Springboard said, “The Team Velo Challenge was an amazing event that saw teams of all abilities rise to the occasion and take part in this brilliant fundraiser. Events like this are vital to The Springboard Charity in assisting us to help young, unemployed and disadvantaged people improve their prospects with life-changing opportunities and sustainable employment in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry”.

Chris Mitchell, Director, The Genuine Dining Co added: “Whilst it was a fun event, there was some friendly competition – not least from the very competitive Springboard, the team rolled over the line in Paris to be crowned the winners of this year’s challenge, at a ceremony held in the Pullman hotel Paris.

We are delighted to be part of this challenge and work with Springboard to support its work in raising the profile of the industry and getting people into employment within hospitality.”

Click here for more information about Springboard.

Building the case for the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign – A post by the BHA


Autumn is fast approaching and the political machine is back in full swing. Long gone are the heady days of summer.

For the British Hospitality Industry and those involved in the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign, summer 2013 will be seen as the time we started to build momentum for our cause. Together with the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions, Bourne Leisure Group and Merlin Entertainments Group in addition to support from over 500 groups, associations, businesses, individual hotels, restaurants and attractions around the United Kingdom, the BHA is determined that the voice of our industry is heard and our issues taken seriously.

We’re all familiar with the facts regarding tourism VAT.

  1. The UK is the only major tourism destination in the EU without a reduced Tourism VAT rate – all others have recognised the benefits and are taking advantage already
  2. A Tourism VAT reduction actually increases tax revenue – by £2.6 billion over 10 years. Also 80,000 extra jobs will be created
  3. Lower tourism VAT will be popular with voters – especially hard-working families and the “squeezed middle” who will be better able to afford a day break or staycation

As an industry, we have the strongest case for a reduction and it is the political case we need to win in our meetings with MPs and other political representatives over the coming months. The challenge now is to make the Prime Minister, his colleagues and representatives of all parties aware of the clear evidence that cutting tourism VAT is in the national economic interest, to the benefit of British businesses and British families.

The VAT issue is an important one. Cutting tourism VAT in the UK to 5% can benefit everyone, from the average Brit holidaying at home or keeping their children entertained in the school holidays; to local hotels, B&Bs and restaurants trying to survive; to local jobseekers looking for work.

The current VAT levels are making it hard for us to compete with cheap resorts abroad. As a result Britain’s hospitality industry is suffering.

We have so much to offer and it’s madness not to allow our hotels, resorts and attractions to compete on a level playing field with our European neighbours.

Click here for more information.


HR in Hospitality – Celebrates the best the industry has to offer!

The Park Plaza Riverside hosted the HR in hospitality awards for 2013 on Friday evening (6th September) – creating a fabulous backdrop of the Thames at night – an evening of celebrating the achievements of Human Resources within all sectors of the hospitality industry.  Compères for the night were vice-chair, Basil Blanco and Esther O’Halloran, committee member which made for a dynamic ceremony!  The night was sponsored by DLA Piper LLP, UpSkill People and Davidson Asset Management.  Two new awards featured in the honours this year – the Tom Crowley award and a Scholarship from; both of these added to a night of achievement and fun!

Over £5,000 was raised on the night for the HR in hospitality’s chosen charities of Springboard UK and Hospitality Action.  Judges for the awards included Sarah Edwards from Tragus Group, Jonathan Raggett from Red Carnation Hotels, Ian Scarth and Gerry Brown from People 1st.  Jane Sunley, HR in hospitality’s President wished everyone well via video link from Brazil!

There was a new award this year called The Tom Crowley award.  Tom Crowley was the General Manager of the Intercontinental Hotel and a committee member of the HCPTA, which is how HR in hospitality were known twenty years ago.  Tom encouraged and promoted the concept of recognition in the workplace. Very sadly Tom died on Christmas Day 2010 at the very young age of 62.  His widow Constantina Crowley presented the award along with sculptor Oliver Berchmans, who worked with Tom at the Intercontinental Hotel.  Another surprise for the evening was from Ian Burke of who generously offered to donate £2,500 by way of a Scholarship towards the Human Resources career progression of one award winner!  Ian pledged to offer this Scholarship each year – a very worthy and kind gesture.

The Tom Crowley Award went to the Red Carnation Hotel collection for their innovative initiatives for Excellence in Recognition.  Liz McGivern, Vice President HR said “We are so very honoured to be the first winners of this prestigious award and for being held up as good examples by industry leaders and our contemporaries.”

Natalie Wild of Marriott Hollins Hall was the very proud winner of the Links with Schools and Colleges award.  The judges recognised her for using a very proactive effort that was driven with passion and energy – simple ideas that were well executed, consistently and professionally in a tough market and a tough location – all of which illustrated that “where there’s a will there’s a way”!  Natalie said “Winning this award is a fantastic achievement, not only on a personal level but one that demonstrates the values and culture Marriott embraces as an organisation.”

The HRh Rising Star award went this year to Rakhee Patel of the Dorchester Collection.  Rakhee was recognised for her persistency and professionalism. Rakhee said “I find myself extremely honoured to be recognised by such as esteemed association.  It makes me even more engaged in Human Resources and I feel so proud to be part of Dorchester Collection and our hospitality industry!”

The award for Excellence in Learning & Talent went to PPHE Hotel Group.  This winner included a lot of detail in their entry and statistical evidence of the impact on bottom line.  They developed an innovative customer service initiative that was well researched to ensure it fitted the needs of the “Generation Y” perfectly in order to truly harness young talent.  Claire Whitehouse, Learning and Development Manager, EMEA said “We are extremely proud to have been recognised for the progress we have made over the last two years in Learning & Development.”

The final award went to Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons for Excellence in HR for showing clear evidence of success and dramatic effects on the business.  This team embodies excellence in HR and so is an excellent role model for our industry.  Julia Murrell, HR Director for Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons said “We are delighted to win this award and it is amazing for HR in hospitality to recognise the effort of the Human Resources team at Le Manoir and their achievements.”

The Scholarship went to a very surprised and delighted Natalie Wild of Marriott Hollins Hall!  She stood out for the judges for her outstanding initiatives, innovation and drive.  Natalie said “I am truly overwhelmed”.  They felt that Natalie would not only certainly benefit from this prestigious and valuable Scholarship but that she would enhance her already considerable HR skills guaranteeing her a bright future in HR!  Lucky Natalie!

All in all a memorable evening was had by all!  The HR in hospitality committee would like to extend its congratulations to all its worthy winners, thanks to everyone who attended the evening and say a huge gratitude of thanks too, to our sponsors.  

Anyone within any sector of hospitality interested in getting involved or being a member should in the first instance visit the HR in Hospitality website.

The importance of work experience – a post from Anne Pierce, CEO, Springboard


I have a bee in my bonnet about work experience. It’s a persistent one and its buzzing away loudly at the moment – work experience is THE critical factor in influence career decisions and we need to do more and do it well.

If you think about it, there can’t be many industries that can offer the breadth of experience and diversity that the hospitality industry can. And I am not just talking about Chefs. You only need to see the enthusiasm that emanates from the likes of Fred Sirieix from Galvin at Windows when he starts talking about front of house skills and careers; or Anne Britton when she enthuses about the housekeeping profession, to see that this is a wide and varied industry that literally has something for everyone. So, the opportunities are many in number and variety, but our previous research shows that we still have some work to do when it comes to executing work experience to the right standard.

At Springboard, we are committed to driving quality work experience in industry through our accredited Quality Standard and support programme INSPIRE – It’s this quality standard that we want the industry to unite behind and deliver truly great work experience. The INSPIRE standard  ensures that all work experience delivered by hotels, F&SM, restaurants, pubs, bars and private members clubs is of a high standard, relevant, challenging and part of a longer term resourcing strategy. It aims to inspire not only the young, but adult jobseekers, career changers, returners to work, the long term unemployed and also people who face multiple disadvantages to work, into fruitful careers and sustainable employment within hospitality. It also raises the industry profile by showcasing the benefits of working within the industry through the means of high quality work experience.

On-going Springboard research into the influences around career choice shows that there are many factors that contribute to the career decision process – and we need to make sure that our industry is well portrayed in all of them – on-line; social media; careers magazines; consumer press; speakers in schools; TV and radio BUT work experience remains the biggest influence on career decisions – it is the deal breaker. But it can work both ways – people can be turned off by a poor work experience for ever – and what’s more they will tell everyone! Whereas, a challenging, quality work experience creates aspiration and ambition, opens people’s eyes to the exciting opportunities that they didn’t know existed and is a critical tool in helping change stereotypes of working within hospitality by showcasing the opportunities and progression that are available within the sector. It’s great to see that companies who took part in The Big Conversation committed to over 10,000 INSPIRE work experience pledges – but we need more…can you help?

Find out more about Springboard UK and their activities here.

Springboard study shows that school leavers represent a huge opportunity for the hospitality industry

Research from Springboard shows that 82% of school leavers don’t know what they want to do when they leave full time education. Of those 53% would positively consider a career in the hospitality sector, double the number of those questioned back in 2005.

Commenting, Springboard CEO, Anne Pierce said: “The study tells us two things, one that we have a huge opportunity and secondly that young people understand that the sector is a great place to work, something that Springboard and its supporters have been dedicating huge energy and resource to for over 23 years.”

Adding: ”On-going Springboard research into the influences around career choice shows that there are many factors that contribute to the career decision process – and we’re here to help ensure that the hospitality, tourism and leisure industry is well portrayed in all of them – on-line; social media; careers magazines; consumer press; speakers in schools; TV and radio, but work experience remains the biggest influence on career decisions – it is the deal breaker. Work experience helps with the exploration of career opportunities and it is an important tool in helping change stereotypes of working within hospitality by showcasing the opportunities and progression that are available within the sector.”

Work Experience is critically important if we are to attract the right talent because it:

  • Opens people’s eyes to the breadth of opportunities that exist
  • Show-cases career progression
  • Motivates people to think about the industry and your company as their positive career choice
  • Provides opportunities for talent spotting
  • Builds and develops new and existing skills for you and the student
  • Challenges industry stereotypes
  • Influences career decisions/choices
  • Provides an opportunity to widen the talent pool
  • Enhances the students’ employability
  • Provides a realistic perspective of your business and the sector
  • Inspiring work based learning
  • Allows your organisation to review best practice and make better decisions
  • Builds innovation within the organisation
  • Raises the industry profile 
  • Is a cost effective recruitment tool

 But it needs to be done well, which is why Springboard developed the Quality Standard for Work Experience INSPIRE for the hospitality industry. Smart employers are adopting the standard to guarantee quality work experience. Alongside their INSPIRE programme, Springboard also run initiatives such as FutureChef. FutureChef helps young people aged 12-16 to learn to cook. It inspires them to explore food and cooking as a life skill by developing their culinary talent and informing them about entry routes into the hospitality industry.

Springboard also runs programmes to help young people leaving full time education experience a supported transition into employment and great careers throughout the industry – for those 82% of young people who don’t know what they want to do when they leave school, they would do well to check into Springboard’s KickStart programmes

Springboard are an organisation dedicated to promoting the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry as a great place to work and build a career.

For more information click here.

Competition for hospitality jobs hits new high


The latest Hospitality Employment Index report from and People 1st shows that whilst the number of UK hospitality jobs has remained stable over the last year, the number of applications has leapt by 17% with more than 1,000,000 over the quarter. All areas of the country saw an increase in applications ranging from 35% in London and 43% in the North West, to huge increases of 71% in Scotland and 114% in Wales.

The quarterly report, produced by, the UK’s leading specialist hospitality recruitment website and People 1st, the sector skills council for the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism in the UK, also contains specific analysis of the hotel sector, where applications averaged 62 per job across Hotel Management, Housekeeping, Porter, Reception – Concierge and Reservations Manager roles.

Although the hospitality industry has suffered skills shortages for some time, these soaring application levels do not herald an easy time for hospitality recruiters. Brian Wisdom, Chief Executive, People 1st explained:
“Despite these high levels of competition, some businesses still struggle to recruit people with the skills and personalities they need. Within the hotel industry, not only does this affect overall productivity levels but it also has a knock-on effect to labour turnover. This results in an ongoing need to replace staff who lack the motivation and commitment to remain with the company for a prolonged period.”

Although the level of competition for roles has risen within hotels, so has the proportion of hotel employers reporting that they have vacancies, hard-to-fill vacancies and skills shortage vacancies, illustrating that few people stay in the industry long term. In fact, one fifth of the existing hotel workforce leaves each year. To make matters tougher still, there have been 154,000 new hotel jobs created throughout the UK since 2010.

Ian Burke, Website Director,, commented: “Whilst industry skills shortages make life difficult for employers, they can position themselves to ensure that they recruit and retain staff that fit their desired profile. The question for hospitality employers now is how to attract and retain the most relevant candidates. There is no one simple solution, but a key component is to have a strong and meaningful employer brand, something which an increasing number of hospitality employers are successfully embracing.”

The Hospitality Employment Index is available to download free of charge at: 

Biking for Breast Cancer Care


The Mercure Edinburgh City Hotel team is doing a tour of the Scottish Mercure hotels – on an exercise bike! The hotel volunteers will cycle the equivalent of a journey starting at Mercure Ayr and finishing at Mercure Inverness visiting Glasgow, Livingston, Edinburgh and Perth en route. The hotel is on its way to raising a target of £2000 for Breast Cancer Care and the challenge will take place at the entrance to the Mercure Edinburgh City Hotel on Princes Street on Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd August. Commenting on the event James Fraser, General Manager said ‘We are delighted to help in any way to this worthwhile cause and the hotel team is fully committed to reaching the target. I am also trying to lose some weight in a separate quest so hopefully my shift on the bike on Thursday will help me towards that goal.’

For more information contact:

James Fraser, General Manager Mercure Edinburgh City – Princes Street Hotel.

Mobile 07917830694.

Click here to donate.


Springboard to recognise Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Industry with their ‘Awards For Excellence 2013

The Springboard Awards for Excellence 2013 will celebrate and reward inspiring people, organisations and initiatives – those that work hard to elevate the profile of the industry as an employer and demonstrating an ability to attract and retain talent.

Last year’s winners included: Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir, Charles Wells, InterContinental London Park Lane and David Mulcahy, who received the coveted Chris Beaumont Award.

Commenting, Springboard CEO, Anne Pierce said: “The Springboard Awards for Excellence 2013 will recognise the very best in the industry. The process of entering the awards will help businesses identify their achievements as organisations and the outstanding work carried out by the individuals within it. Winning an award has a significant and positive impact on both business and your employees.”

Closing date for entries is 13th September 2013 with the Award winners announced at a spectacular celebration evening on 1st November 2013 at the Novotel London West.

For more information, or to enter, click here.


Promoting Careers

The Springboard Ambassador Award – sponsored by SSP UK

Best Regional Initiative

The New Media Award – sponsored by drp Group

The Education Pipeline Award

Attracting & Developing People

Best Student Placement Provider – sponsored by James Hallam

Best Recruitment Initiative – sponsored by

The Young People Award – sponsored by American Express

The People Innovation Award – sponsored by LaunchPad Recruits

Best Chef Strategy – sponsored by HandPicked Hotels

Best Management Strategy – sponsored by LifeTime

Best Food & Beverage Strategy

Best Employment Practice

The Diversity In Employment Award – sponsored by Dunleavy White

Best Career Progression Award – sponsored by LCBT

The Retention Award – sponsored by Axminster

The Corporate Responsibility Award – sponsored by BonaSystems

Best Employer Award – sponsored by Charnwood Training

The Chris Beaumont Special Award – sponsored by 3663


HR in Hospitality Awards 2013 shortlist announcement

Shortlist revealed for the HR in Hospitality Awards 2013

The shortlist has been revealed for the prestigious HR in Hospitality Awards 2013. The winners will be announced at the awards on the 6th of September at the Park Plaza Riverbank London. The shortlist includes worthy individuals and teams from Red Carnation Hotels, CH & Co, The Dorchester Collection and Intercontinental London Park Lane.

As part of the awards, is this year launching a special scholarship to one lucky individual in the form of financial support for learning and development. Carl Smith, HR in hospitality’s chairman said “This is a generous gesture which will be announced on the night. The recipient may not be one of the actual winners but somebody who has shown they are serious about a career in HR within hospitality. Watch this space!” 

Carl added “I particularly wanted to thank our sponsors.  We have very loyal support from DLA Piper and Davidson Asset Management again this year and we are thrilled they have chosen to sponsor us again. I am also very proud to announce that Upskill People are our third sponsors for 2013. Upskill People Ltd is a pioneer in online learning for hospitality. They have always been at the forefront of developing fully interactive and highly engaging courses so employees learn quickly, retain new knowledge and implement skills, saving HR people and the business, time and money”.

Pete Fullard, Creative Director of Upskill People Ltd added “We’ve been closely involved with HR in hospitality for a number of years and really appreciate their involvement and support of the industry. As we specialise in online learning for hospitality, we’re delighted to be able to sponsor the Learning and Development Category for the awards and also to support HR in hospitality throughout the year. It’s a great opportunity and we’re delighted to be on board.”

Tickets for the awards can be booked directly with Kim Raynes at for £100 + vat each.

HR in Hospitality supports the two closely associated charities to hospitality – Springboard and Hospitality Action on the awards night. 

The shortlist is as follows:

Tom Crowley Award (Excellence in Promotion Recognition)

The Team at Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel

HR Team at Red Carnation Hotels 

Rising Star Award:

Lana Clark – The Waldorf Hilton London
Rakhee Patel – The Dorchester Collection
Kerry Haynes – CH & Co

Award for Excellence in forging links with schools and colleges:

Natalie Wild at Marriot Hollins Hall Hotel
HR team at Red Carnation 

Award for Excellence in Learning and Talent:

Café Royal People & Development Team
Intercontinental London Park Lane
PPHE Hotel Group

Award for Excellence in HR:

Pauline Vallance & The HR Team – Brookwood Partnership
CH & Co
The HR Team – Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

HR in Hospitality

The Association provides a forum for Human Resources professionals & other interested parties within the hospitality industry. The HCPTA was formed in May 1975 out of an amalgamation between the Hotel & Catering Personnel Managers Association which was founded in 1968, and The Hotel & Catering Training Association founded in 1966. The association was renamed H.R. in Hospitality in March 2009.

For further information please contact HR in hospitality board members Kim Raynes or Liz McGivern


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