This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Best places to work 2017

If the HR team could single out just one of their great initiatives, however, it would be the two-and-a-half year management programme that aims to equip junior managers with the tools to embrace long-term careers within the company. This has helped with succession planning, reduced the need for ad hoc train- ing, helped promote brand consistency and reduced external recruitment costs. In addition, recruitment costs have dras- tically reduced by 90% and the trickle-down effect from employees learning to manage and in turn make their team feel recognised and rewarded has reduced staff turnover to 25%.


THE TROUT HOTEL In a nutshell Privately owned four-star 49-bedroom hotel, refurbished in 2010

Location Cockermouth, Cumbria Employees 73 Average staff turnover 5.4% (full time), 29% (including part-time) Annual sales turnover £3.5m year end July 2015 (last full year of operating)

The owners run this business with the mantra that a healthy work-life balance is maintained by sensible shift patterns and by sticking to contracted hours. Staff are offered flexibility even at Christmas, while any co-working cou- ples can take their annual leave and days off together. If that’s not enough, everyone gets biannual bonuses linked to net profit. However, the management ethos was put to the test when in December 2015 the Trout was flooded during Storm Desmond and was forced to close for seven months. Happily, the jobs of most employees were safeguarded. To keep people motivated, the owners offered staff placements with a sister business and during the closure everyone benefited from training and development together with site visits. The team was involved in every step of the restoration and had significant input when it came to planning specific areas within the business. Insiders say this inclusive attitude has generated a sense of ownership among staff. The business, in turn, benefited from retaining loyal employees. However, some 23 part-time staff did leave, which accounts for a higher than normal staff turnover percentage. It’s evident that the hotel’s style of manage- ment and the consideration it has for its peo- ple has established a cohesive and committed team, with 95% saying they want to do a really good job. This year, their commitment was recognised in a gold award from VisitEngland and a rosette from the AA.


GIBBON BRIDGE In a nutshell A 30-bedroom privately owned hotel

Location The Forest of Bowland, Lancashire Employees 34-38 (seasonal) Average staff turnover 6% Annual sales turnover £1.7m As a family-run business, the focus at Gibbon Bridge has always been on work-life balance, fair pay and career progression for staff. The

46 | The Caterer | 28 April 2017

The Gibbon Bridge hotel team

company strategy for a successful working environment has been to create a community. Thought, for instance, has been given to the staff living accommodation, which is located in the beautiful grounds around a picturesque pond in a peaceful part of the estate. Owner Janet Simpson has also just invested in a fibre SIP line to upgrade the staff Wi-Fi connection. Other amenities include gym facilities and bikes, while three meals a day and laundry facilities are available at a mini- mal charge, even when staff are on days off. As the Purple Cubed survey reveals, the result is a loyal and happy team. Gibbon Bridge scored a performance rating of 90% on being a company that treats its people well and 85% on creating a team that respects each other. One member of staff sums it up: “I have worked here for 34 years. Janet is inspirational as a boss and wouldn’t ask you to do anything that she wouldn’t do herself. She is fair, hard- working and has created a great environment to work in that we all feel proud of.”


THE KITCHIN GROUP In a nutshell Tom and Michaela Kitchin opened the Kitchin restaurant

in 2006, scooping a Michelin star in 2007. In 2010, the Kitchin and chef-proprietor Dominic Jack launched Castle Terrace restaurant, which also won a Michelin star a year after opening.

More recently they have opened the Scran & Scallie gastropub. Location Edinburgh Employees 113 Average staff turnover Undisclosed Annual sales turnover Undisclosed

The Kitchin Group’s listing here is partly down to husband and wife team Tom and Michaela Kitchin, who are described as hands-on propri- etors. Their passion and ambition are reflected throughout the strong team, with 88% of staff surveyed saying the leaders are inspirational and 85% saying they are motivated to do a good job. This is certainly a slick operation, demand- ing trust and loyalty from a close-knit team. Guests, for instance, can watch Tom and his brigade through a glass window in the Kitch- in’s dining room. As well as leaving no room for disharmony, the team need to be able at all times to display their professionalism. That’s because in line with Tom’s nature- to-plate philosophy, all the meat and fish is bought in whole and the butchering and filleting is done in-house daily

“One team; one dream,” is a telling com- ment from an insider.

19 Roberto Pajares

THE AMPERSAND HOTEL In a nutshell Privately owned, chic 111-bedroom hotel, opened in 2012

Location Harrington Road, London SW7 Employees 65-70 Average staff turnover 3-4% Annual sales turnover £9m

This super-stylish five-star boutique hotel has remained vibrant and exciting since it opened five years ago. To maintain the momentum, general manager Roberto Pajares is driving an “own and deliver” culture among employees. “This puts guest satisfaction at our heart by giving staff the freedom to make decisions and gets things done,” says Pajaras. “It’s what our customers say about us that really counts.” There is certainly a strong emphasis on cre- ating a positive work environment, with 83%

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92