The Best Employer Scotland 2012 Goes To…

Best Employers in Hospitality 2012 ScotlandThe Knight Residence near Edinburgh Castle and known for  their award winning, five star, serviced apartments took this years title for Best Employer in Hospitality Awards 2012 Scotland.

The awards were again held and the superb and unique Prestonfield Edinburgh.  The team are known for their philosophy to deliver; “efficient, unobtrusive, helpful and friendly; each member of our team is there simply to provide you with the very best in Scottish hospitality…”

They also took the title for Best Small Independent Hotel Employer. We caught up with Mr Colin Stone, General Manager and he said;

“I’m absolutely delighted to win, it’s a really great accolade to add to our set of awards and be recognised for being a Best Employer. It means that we’re working well with our team and therefore delivering a good experience to our guests. We work hard to engage with the team and develop them wherever possible. Good communication with our staff is key and they are more than just employees, they all take ownership of their roles.”

It’s a good time to review how you engage and motivate your teams ahead of the new year and what will always be a tough trading time. Think about how you can retain your teams by being a ‘Best Employer’ and deliver the best possible experience to both your staff and guests.

By working hard now you can prepare to enter and win the awards next year, after all it’s important to not only recruit team members but keep them when you get them.

For more on how works with industry click here.

The Christmas Conundrum

Every year we all think about getting the right amount of staff in for the peaks and troughs that the run up to Christmas brings. With the inevitable Christmas parties kicking off in the next couple of weeks, businesses will be gearing up to deliver what should be the biggest contribution to their bottom line this year.

Getting the right level of staff in is always tricky, either you, overstaff and send people home or are rushing around and deliver a bad experience and your customers who won’t come back. To beat the yearly conundrum here are our top recruiter tips for the Christmas rush:

  1. Look back at your last two years sales (if available) and use the 8 week trading period as a guide to manage your rota. (Take the snowfall into account, which would have had an impact on footfall).
  2. Speak to any team members that were with you last year about any unexpected rushes or quiet periods.
  3. Communicate with your team – give them a draft rota and get them scheduled in for hard to cover shifts such as Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and the New Year period.
  4. Offer peak shifts – ie 3 hour slots that some team members will work to generate more hours and tips.
  5. Recruit a Christmas host to welcome, seat and say goodbye to guests, this will allow them to manage the capacity of each section.
  6. Give any new recruits the right level of training – keep their sections simple and allow them to deliver the best they can in one area.

Please feel free to share your tips from running previous operations and recruiting over the Christmas period as we would love to hear them. If you require additional staff over the Christmas period then get recruiting now on

MyTrends: A Chef’s Guide to Recruitment

We recently spoke to head chef Allan Picket on the state of chef recruitment in the hospitality industry and, in his opinion, there could be signs of a skill shortage on the horizon. Allan, head chef at Plateau in London, said: “With the amount of openings in London alone this summer, I do wonder how all the positions available will be filled.”

Allan has worked alongside top chefs like Michel Roux Junior and Marco Pierre White, and has given us an insider’s view on what it’s currently like on the front line of chef recruitment, along with top tips for recruiters and applicants, for MyTrends — a handy cut-out-and-keep visual guide to chef recruitment that you can share with colleagues and contemporaries. Check it out below, or download a PDF version:

Click the image for a bigger version, or embed our MyTrends: Chefs visual guide to chef recruitment on your site by copying and pasting the code below.

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Hr in hospitality awards celebrate the best the industry has to offer

The HR in hospitality awards 2012 were hosted at the Dorchester and celebrated the achievements of Human Resources within all sectors of the hospitality industry.  With over £5,000 raised on the night for the HR in hospitality’s chosen charities of Springboard UK and Hospitality Action it was a huge success for not just the winners. Judges for the awards included Ian Burke from and Penny Moore from Hospitality Action.

The Excellence in Recruitment and Retention Award went to Red Carnation Hotels for their innovative initiatives for looking for new talent to join the industry.  Liz McGivern, Vice President HR said “We are so delighted to be recognised for this by industry leaders and our contemporaries.  Finding great people and holding onto them isn’t easy, so how brilliant to have this endorsement.”

Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons were the very proud winner of the Establishing Links with Schools and Colleges award.  Julia Murrell, HR Director said “I can’t tell you how pleased we all are at Le Manoir – the whole team – as we have worked so hard to build relationships with education.  This was definitely the year when all our efforts really paid off.  Thank you to HR in hospitality for recognising us”.

The famous Rising Star award went this year to Philip Jackson from Jumeirah – a talent beyond expectation and one to watch for the future!  Philip looked delighted at winning this prestigious award that has recognized so many people who have gone on to become true ‘forces to be reckoned with’ in the industry.

Excellence by an Operations / Line Manager award was, for the first time in 17 years, won by two people – the judges were unable to place one contender over the other.  The joint winners were Tzveta Ivanova from the Milestone Hotel and Amanda Godfrey from The Savoy.  Director of HR, Emma Jayne, from The Savoy said “The whole Savoy HR team were absolutely thrilled to see Amanda Godfrey, who is one of our strongest People Leaders here at The Savoy, receive this wonderful accolade in recognition of her continued commitment to her Back of House Team’s welfare, development and basically her huge support and motivation for the sheer hard work they put in every day in our hotel.”

Employee Engagement award was won by IHG Group and Zoe Hiscoke was truly surprised and delighted “This award is very dear to our hearts. We pride ourselves on creating great hotels that guests love and this can’t be achieved without our associates.”

Excellence in Learning and Development award went this year to CH & Co for their superb approach to employee development.  Park Plaza were also awarded a special Highly Recommended by the judges.

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

HEI TrendWatch: Your Path to Employee Retention

The UK’s descent into a double-dip recession in the first quarter of 2012 put a furrow on the brow of many business leaders across the hospitality industry. While most sectors were left reeling though, hoteliers were able to breathe a partial sigh of relief, according to the Hospitality Employment Index (HEI) report Q1 2012, produced by People1st, in partnership with But even though the HEI indicated that hotel job ads were up compared to the first quarter of 2011, there were strong indications that businesses need to invest in their future by finding ways of increasing employee retention.

Click the image for a bigger version, or embed our Choose Them, Keep Them, Train Them infographic on your site by copying and pasting the code below.

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Jobs on the go

The recent Hospitality Employer Index report produced by People1st in partnership with highlights that according to the European Dining Index from Livebookings, online restaurant booking in the UK more than doubled in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 2011. Furthermore, bookings made via mobile phones had trebled. The report also pointed out that nearly a third of restaurants in the UK do not have a website, and the authors estimate that that this could result in an approximately £31,000 revenue loss each year.

With this in mind businesses are not only losing potential business but also a route for customers and potential staff to interact with them.’s recent user profile survey showed that 46 percent of respondents have used their mobile phones to apply for jobs and 60 percent have used a tablet. Moreover, 82 percent of respondents said they will make more use of their mobile phone or tablet in the future to search for jobs. This trend will continue to grow and the use of a second screen, i.e. phone or tablet whilst watching television is becoming more and more common, especially for this age group.

Without a website or area for people to find out more about you your competitor has the upper hand. Updates, notifications and emails are now all done on the go so ensure your company profiles and available jobs are kept up to date so that you can attract the right people at the right time.  Visit now to update your profile and post your jobs.


Call for entries: ScotHot Young Restaurateur & Young Hotelier of the Year Award

ScotHotScotland’s largest hospitality show, ScotHot is once again searching for the 2012 ScotHot Young Restaurateur of the Year and ScotHot Young Hotelier of the Year in partnership with Don’t delay – as the closing date for entries is 10th October 2012.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for rising industry stars aged under 30 to showcase their skills or for employers to nominate deserving individuals.  All shortlisted finalists will be invited with a guest to attend’s Best Employers in Hospitality 2012 Scotland Awards on the 6th November at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh, where the two winners will be announced and presented with their prizes.

The winning restaurateur will win an exclusive work placement with Martin Wishart and the winning hotelier will receive a fantastic prize including a work placement with Stephen Carter OBE of Cameron House on Loch Lomond.

Toby Wand of Scothot organiser Fresh Montgomery said:

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from the very best professionals in the industry. Judges of the competition are looking for individuals who have already helped to make a significant difference to their establishment, and who have demonstrated strong, inspirational leadership and exceptional customer care”.

Ian Burke, director of said:

“I think these Awards are great as they truly recognise young talented individuals who are passionate about the industry. It is vital to the growth of Scotland’s important hospitality sector that we continue to encourage and nurture professionals throughout their careers”.

Entry is free and online entries forms with further information are available at or

Restaurants engage with emerging talent

The latest Hospitality Employer Index report for Quarter two of 2012 from and People 1st has been released and holds the industry high in respect of other service industries.  The report also focuses on restaurants and they are clearly setting the pace for expansion and attracting talent.

Generation Y (18-34 year olds) are said to be leading the way in restaurant usage and eat out twice as often as 35-54 year olds and three times as often as those aged 55 and over.  Likely to be due to this group having the most disposable income with less mortgage ties or living at home and having a more carefree approach to what they spend their money on.

The use of online media has also transformed the way that hospitality can communicate with this audience and restaurants have been quick off the mark to engage this group.   They have adapted quickly and other brands are engulfing the opportunity of social media, apps and mobile sites that engage with their market on the move. Restaurant brand Giraffe are well known for their Twitter feed as are many smaller and independent businesses.

The opportunity for businesses of all sizes to develop this area is huge and building a relationship with their target market and responding at a suitable pace will hold the attention of this generation and attract new talent. Generation Y are using mobile on the go and 46% use their phones to apply for jobs and 60% use a tablet, yet an almighty third of restaurants do not even have a website.

Now is the time to develop your online communications, showcase what opportunities are available in your operation and build brand awareness to attract this emerging talent to work in your business. After all the industry is slowly becoming a more appealing place to work and the report highlights this well:

Source:, User Profile Survey 2012

Download your free copy of the Q2 Hospitality Employer Index at: The report also provides predictions of trends businesses should be aware of if they are to enhance their overall operations.

Springboard Awards for Excellence are now open

Working with industry to attract new and emerging talent is key to the success of hospitality.  Many see hospitality  as a stop-gap career, are not encouraged by parents and peers to enter it and do not see it as a long-term option. are partners with Springboard to ensure that industry can join and support the charity to do just that. This week sees the launch of the Springboard Awards for Excellence 2012 and are well respected in their 10th year. They are designed to celebrate and reward inspired individuals, organisations and initiatives – those that work hard to elevate the profile of the industry as an employer, attract and retain talent, and demonstrate best employer practices.

The awards are divided into three categories: Promoting careers; Attracting & Developing People, and Best Employment Practice across hospitality, leisure and tourism. Entering the awards is motivational for employees and teams and beneficial for the profile of employers and winning an award has a significant and positive impact on both the business and your employees.

There are 17 awards in total and something for everyone in every sector, all you have to do is provide a 750 word statement outlining your initiative using the given criteria and submit to us before the 7th September deadline.

Do something to support the future pipeline into our industry and showcase your talents at the same time. Full details of the awards can be found here and small to large companies are encouraged to enter. The Award winners will be announced at a spectacular celebration evening on 18th October 2012 at Novotel, London West and tickets can be purchased here.

The perfect front of house team

Your front of house team are the first port of call of any customer experience, whether the customer has spoken with someone on the phone, are enquiring or are being served by those facing the guest.  Many positions available in front of house teams require a set of personal and excellent customer services skills and positions include from a Porter, Receptionist, Maitre d’, Waiter, Bar Manager, Host, Doorman, General Manager – the list goes on.  What is clear is a cross-over in the skills needed to deliver and traditionally, many businesses have recruited front line staff on the basis of personality and good customer service skills.

However, there appears to be a trend towards requiring more multi-skilled staff in these roles to enable greater productivity from all of those in the team so that businesses can adapt to the management of each operation.  What has been your view when looking for new front of house team members? Has their been an increase in requests for those that can maximise returns on every area of the business for example, rising costs of food, utilities, managing areas of the business?

There has also been a skills shift within the industry and the use of apprenticeships are to be determined after the recent announcement from Government to review apprenticeships going forward and ‘The Bringing Apprenticeships Back to the Future’ event that was held earlier this month will enable People 1st to coordinate an industry wide response by the Government deadline of 7 September 2012. So watch this space. People 1st (Sector Skills Council) states that:

“Apprenticeships are of growing value to the hospitality sector. Between the 2009-10 financial year and 2010-11 financial year, apprenticeships increased by almost 40 percent, from 21,500 to 29,800, with the number continuing to rise. This period of review is a once in a generation opportunity for employers to mould the framework that will underpin training for a vast proportion of our workforce.”

They also benefit from the experience of working hands on in industry and without the development of these areas could industry be missing a trick in creating the perfect front of house team?

In the mean time the likes of The Edge Hotel School are bringing a new level of learning to the industry with their Hotel training that provides BA(Hons) Hotel Management or  a BA(Hons) Culinary Management.  The University of Essex along with industry experts such as Stephen Mannock, Wivenhoe House General Manager and a board of industry patrons behind the excellent and innovative foundation welcomes an addition in skills development in hospitality and will help to create the perfect front of house teams for the future of British hospitality.


We continue to work with industry  organisations such as The BHA, AA Hotel Services, Springboard and HIT Scotland to ensure that the best stream continues to find out about jobs from you at To access this pool of talent click here.

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