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As a result, the HR team says audit results have improved, staff turnover has reduced, there are fewer team issues and niggles and everyone says they like working together as they now “share together”. All this is borne out by Purple Cubed’s survey, with 51.61% against a benchmark of 38.23% reporting that they feel creating a team that respects each other is “done well” by the company.


JUST HOSPITALITY In a nutshell A contract caterer focused on providing fresh, healthy,

sustainable food in workplaces Location Central London Employees 62 Average staff turnover Undisclosed Annual sales turnover £4.7m

As a contract caterer that states it is committed to keeping its clients’ workforces happy, it goes without saying that Just Hospitality strives to make its own staff feel cared for, too. Indeed, in the past year, it has added new initiatives to make sure they know they are valued. Some are very simple – but effective. For instance, tapping into the fact no-one really wants to be at work on their birthday, Just Hos- pitality now gives staff a paid day off. This is in addition to the initiative that’s been running for the past few years offering working par- ents an extra day off for their child’s first day of school. It’s a clear win for most of the team, with 91.67% of those surveyed enjoying a good work-life balance.

Back at work, all staff now have the oppor- tunity to shadow a colleague in a different department or contract for a day. This helps broaden employees’ understanding of how the company works, build relationships with the people they collaborate with and try some- thing new and exciting.

And should employees be facing personal or professional difficulties, they can access an employee assistance programme run in part- nership with charity Hospitality Action that provides specialist, independent and confi- dential advice, support and assistance on a wide range of issues. As one HR insider says: “It’s a small way of showing our commitment to our employees – that we care about them as individuals and not just their wellbeing while at work.”


EXCLUSIVE HOTELS & VENUES In a nutshell A collection of four luxury hotels, plus two venues

and one Golf Club and Castle Inn Location South of England Employees 700 Average staff turnover 39% Annual sales turnover £50m

Past listings in Best Places to Work show that this employee-centric company never rests on its laurels. Over the past year, the focus has continued to be on offering employees learning and development opportunities through the introduction of a number of new

The Manor House at Castle Combe, part of Exclusive Hotels and Venues

programmes. For instance, weekly training sessions enhance development opportunities for the F&B team, building knowledge and practical skills across all roles. This includes a new Bar Training Programme that has proven popular for bartenders. Fun and interactive educational trips to visit suppliers are a continuing feature, and there is constant encouragement for interested team members to gain nationally recognised quali- fications The Chefs Academy, a two-year programme introduced in 2014, is gearing up for its latest intake in July and the assessment centres are proving popular.

This year has also seen the introduction of a customer service programme, which has been rolled out across all the properties and forms an integral part of Exclusive’s revised on-boarding programme. The reservations, sales and events teams have all benefited from dedicated courses and are armed with online learning tools so they can continue to develop skills after the programme. Last but not least, the Exclusive Graduate Management Programme is well under way.

The company has broadened its partnership with colleges and universities so the pro- gramme now extends to all properties. And as it matures, those who have graduated from the scheme are mentoring the most recent joiners.


BRASSERIE BAR CO In a nutshell Brasserie Bar Co comprises two core formats:

Brasserie Blanc, the French brasserie business inspired by Raymond Blanc, and quality pub dining business the White Brasserie Company Locations 29 sites across both brands in the UK Employees 1,100 Average staff turnover Undisclosed Annual sales turnover £48m

Brasserie Bar Co is on the expansion trail. The White Brasserie pub company, based in the south of England, started in 2016 with six sites and now has 11. Meanwhile, Brasserie Blanc, which has sites dotted UK-wide, will open its 19th venue in Hammersmith in June. To keep its people sharp, engaged and in shape, the company launched a bespoke man- agement leadership programme at its annual management conference last September. Such is the momentum of this that by the end of March, all of its general managers, head chefs, operations teams and the executive had completed a two-day residential course with external consultant Developchange. The programme will be one of continuous development for managers to help further develop both brands into high-performing businesses. Nearly 90% of staff told Purple Cubed they were happy to work at Brasserie Bar Co, so what do they appreciate about it? “[The com- pany is] rapidly expanding, so there is plenty of opportunity for everyone; great training programme in place,” is one remark. Another says: “I work hard for my company because they work hard for me.”

Brasserie Blanc 28 April 2017 | The Caterer | 49

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