Institute of Hospitality engages with students at the start of their careers

Students let their individuality shine at the Institute of Hospitality Learning & Development Forum

LinkedIn, the gig economy, the boutique sector, Brexit and the National Living Wage were on the agenda at the Institute of Hospitality Learning & Development Forum on 21 November.

The one-day networking conference provided 180 hospitality management students from across the UK with a wealth of advice and contacts to help them make the best start in their chosen careers.

The event, now in its 11th year, was organised and hosted by the Institute of Hospitality London Branch. It took place at Firmdale’s Ham Yard Hotel, the stunning Soho boutique property that features its own cinema and 1950s-style bowling alley.

The event provided tips on job-seeking and how graduates can find the best cultural fit for themselves in today’s vibrant hospitality sector.

This year’s event was chaired by Michael Voigt FIH, opening general manager, L’Oscar, and facilitated by Peter Ducker FIH, chief executive, Institute of Hospitality .

To get the full story of a marvellous day, read the press coverage in:
Hospitality & Catering News
The Caterer
And more coverage in The Caterer


Sheffield Hallam Hospitality Alumni and Students Look to the Future

img_5236Natalie Haynes MIH, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University writes: Against the exciting backdrop of World Travel Market, Sheffield Hallam University hospitality alumni, students and staff came together this November for their annual event, courtesy of sponsors ExCeL London. The new Dean of the Sheffield Business School, Professor Kevin Kerrigan, sparked the start of what would be a dynamic and thought-provoking evening.

The chosen theme of the event was “Food, Drink and Society” and the audience was lucky enough to witness a lively panel discussion, featuring Professor David Foskett MBE FIH, Steven Henderson, Chief Procurement Officer at the Hashoo Group and Visiting Fellow at Sheffield Business School, as well as Michael Masserella from Masserella Catering Group. Topics ranged from culinary medicine to ice-cream making, from food service styles to memories of first encounters with hospitality, and from praising the diversity of the UK food and drink sector to the challenges of Brexit.  Nobody left the room without feeling a strong sense of the global and diverse nature of our fascinating industry.

Sheffield Hallam hospitality students also presented a cheque to industry charity, Hospitality Action for over four hundred pounds, money which they had raised from tips earned in the restaurant simulations that form part of their courses.

The event also saw the launch of Sheffield Hallam University’s 2016-17 Hospitality Mentor Scheme, where final year hospitality students are partnered with recent graduates to gain support during their final year at university and graduate job search. Many met in person for the first time at the event and were able to cement their mentoring partnerships during the networking session.  The noise levels played testament to the wonderful sight of current students engaging with alumni to gain advice, open up placement and graduate job opportunities and share a collective passion for the hospitality industry. Nothing short of inspirational!


Take part in the Institute of Hospitality Brexit survey


It is almost six months since the EU referendum result. The most evident impact so far has been the pound sterling devaluation. A weakened currency boosted leisure visits to the UK with an influx of visitors in July and August.

On the other hand, the pound devaluation has made international travel more expensive for UK residents. This has impacted countries in Europe that rely on arrivals from the UK, particularly Spain and Ireland.

What is your experience? Has it affected your costs and your retention and recruitment of staff? Please take a few minutes to complete our survey on the impact that Brexit has had on you and your business so far.

We know how busy you are, so this survey is very short and it is confidential. The results will be aggregated and reported on our website and in our magazine. Your participation is much appreciated.

Please complete our quick survey by clicking here.

‘Stand up to stand out’ at the Institute of Hospitality Learning & Development Forum

The stunning Ham Yard Hotel is the venue for the 11th Institute of Hospitality Learning & Development Forum

The Institute of Hospitality’s Learning & Development Forum is a one-day conference in the heart of London with a brilliant line-up of motivational speakers and panel discussions.

The event, now in its 11th year, is organised and hosted by the London Branch and takes place next week on Monday (21 November) at the Ham Yard Hotel. Our thanks go to Firmdale Hotels for their generous support. The event, now fully booked,  promises to be a superb networking opportunity for the 150 hospitality management students who are attending from colleges and universities across the UK.

This year’s high-calibre speakers include:
Peter Ducker FIH, chief executive, Insitute of Hospitality
Alastair Storey FIH, chairman and chief executiveof WSH and president of the Institute of Hospitality,
Emily Kidson & Peter Jackson, Edge Hotel School
Michael Voigt FIH and Tony Fleming, L’Oscar
M J Flanagan, mjinspire
Christoph Hoffmann FIH, Omni Facilities Management
Ciaran Fahy FIH, The Ritz, London
Daniele Quatromini AIH, Cliveden House and Gold Service Scholarship winner,
Beth Aarons, Dorchester Collection,
Michael Crow & Charlie Brodie, The Edition, London
Jessica Berry & Josh Light, Firmdale Hotels
Lesley Reynolds, PSD
Sean Wheeler FIH, Project 1898
Anthony Woodstock, Gig to Gig

Michael Voigt FIH, education officer, Institute of Hospitality London Branch, says: “This event is all about giving students a ‘leg up’ into finding the right position in the right environment and working with the right people in hospitality. Please take the time to understand the huge variety of opportunities out there and find where you can fit in. Today is about helping students make the right choice in their future careers.”

Participating universities and colleges include City College Norwich, Westminster Kingsway College, University of West London, The London College UCK, University of Derby, Edge Hotel School, Glion Institute of Higher Education, Oxford Brookes University.

The event is generously sponsored by Firmdale Hotels, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Gig, The Omni Group and Graphico.

Download the full programme here

The Hospitality Pandemic – Are You Infected?

giles-g-s-for-iohThis blog comes from one of our newest members, Giles Gordon-Smith AIH, a former hotel inspector and manager at The Goring who now runs his own customer service consultancy Penshee. Giles is blogging on The Huffington Post, where the following first appeared.

Everything seemed to be going so well, and then it happened again. “ENJOY”. Nothing with it, other than perhaps an exclamation mark – “ENJOY!”. You’ve heard it too, right? You must have done, it’s everywhere; from London to LA and back again the long way around, that word echoes through our industry.

I know by now to try to block it out but occasionally one slips through the net like a cardamom pod in a biryani – Whack! ENJOY! Don’t let the Michelin star and the immaculately groomed waiter fool you either, a Swiss sommelier once hit me with one after decanting a rather fine bottle of claret and telling us a wonderful story about the owner of the house (who used to sit on table three). I nosed and tasted the perfectly poured measure and then he got me. “ENJOY!”

This was another good one – I was in a hotel in Istanbul and I’d asked for some shampoo to be sent to the room. The delivery interaction went something like this:

Friendly attendant: Good evening Mr. Gordon-Smith, I have the shampoo that you requested.
Me: Thank you, that’s kind.
Friendly attendant: Enjoy!

What? How? Okay, it was good shampoo and it left a pleasant scent of lime groves, but really. I even used to count them – fourteen ‘enjoys’ in a meal was the record (I won’t name and shame the hotel). Can a verbal tick be contagious, or worse still, pandemic? I get that it’s an easy thing to say and, your supervisor does it and it’s better than silence, but please, think about stopping.

It’s indicative of something bigger

Okay, I’m being playful, but actually I think that this innocuous and essentially well-meaning five letter word is reflective of something larger. Oh, and here’s my confession; I used to use it too. I wasn’t really even aware, but I did. It was only when it was pointed out to me by none other than my mother, that I started to realise the abandon with which I used the word.

Habitual behaviour can be a positive in hospitality; you need it to be prepared on a daily basis and to deliver service according to the expected rigorous standards. However, becoming too rehearsed by nature can have a negative effect. Repeatedly using terms such as ‘enjoy’ is reflective of a roboticism in the industry that is getting in the way of natural service. Variations include the over-use of affirmations such as ‘you’re welcome’ and ‘that’s fine’ (I should hope that it’s fine to ask for a menu) and superlatives such as ‘wonderful’ and ‘absolutely’ – especially bothersome when taken out of context and not relating to what you have just said as a guest. It also demonstrates lack of thought and a certain ‘presenteeism’ – being there, but going through the motions.

Am I Infected?

Given that I was unaware that I was using the term so much, perhaps you are too? Maybe you have your own verbal tick? The fact that you are now asking the question is a good start; after all, self-awareness is hugely important when trying to improve the way that we interact with guests, friends and colleagues.

If the answer is yes, what do we do about it?

The problem is that me telling you what to say as an alternative is paradoxical and so I’m not going to do that. What I would urge instead is to think. Look to be present in the moment when you are serving guests and where possible, make your comment relevant to what’s gone before in your interactions. By way of a compromise and to wean yourself off the shortened version, you could even revert to the fuller version “I hope you enjoy your scallops madam”, but don’t say it if you don’t mean it. As always, look to make eye contact and listen to the guest, and if they thank you for the dish, there’s your opportunity to respond in kind. This might sound like extraordinarily elementary advice, but take it from somebody who has been lucky enough to have had thousands of fine dining experiences around the world – it’s advice that’s needed. Your guests want to feel understood and appreciated, and you simply cannot do that by adopting a ‘one phrase fits all’ service mentality. Enj… Good luck.

Follow Giles Gordon-Smith on Twitter:




Institute of Hospitality’s London Aspiring Managers Revealed

5-nominees-with-chair-hon-president-speaker-and-chair-of-awardsLeft to right: Vic Laws MBE FIH (Branch Honorary President), Michael J Gray FIH MI (Guest speaker), Andre Borges, Natalja Naumenkova, Gaia Martini, Koula Michaelides, Ashley Gomes, Antonio Fernandes FIH (Awards officer), Ben Singer MIH (Branch Chairman)

Stars of the hospitality industry were recognised at the Institute of Hospitality Aspiring Manager Awards Dinner at The Lansdowne Club on 29 October.

The awards, now in their ninth year, are organised by the Institute of Hospitality London Branch.  Entries from across the hospitality industry were treated to a Champagne reception, four-course dinner and casino entertainment. The guest speaker was Michael Gray FIH MI.

The winners announced on the night were:
Koula Michaelides – The Ritz Hotel London
Natalja Naumenkova – The Tamarind Collection
Ashley Gomes – The Langham
Gaia Martini – The Arts Club
Andre Borges – The Wellesley Hotel

Branch chairman Ben Singer MIH said: “The Institute of Hospitality is the Industry’s Professional Body as well as an Educational Charity. We support hospitality organisations and professionals throughout their careers, promoting CPD (continuous professional development) and rewarding hardworking talented individuals. One of the ways we do this is through our Aspiring Managers Awards programme. A Hospitality organisation can recognise and reward their talent through The Institute and their peers.”

To view and download photos from the night click here

The Gram Go Green Summit is back for 2016

B295794780ack by popular demand, this Autumn’s Gram Go Green Summit is getting ready to tackle the issue of sustainability across an ever-changing foodservice landscape.

Taking place on 29 November at London’s sustainably committed venue, The Soho Hotel, The Gram Go Green Summit’s exciting line-up of industry experts including Kirsty Saddler from popular restaurant chain Leon, Mike Hanson MIH from BaxterStorey and celebrity Eco chef, Tom Hunt is ready to arm caterers and business owners with in-depth knowledge and simple tools to help them work towards a more financially and environmentally sustainable future for the wider industry.

The full-day conference will also see the launch of the long-awaited 4th Gram Green Paper. Published biennially, the paper reports on the attitudes and changes made in the foodservice industry over a two-year period.

For more information and to register visit