Quality employers support Passion4Hospitality 2018

untitledThe eighth edition of Passion4Hospitality, the Institute of Hospitality’s annual student and industry networking event, benefited from an extensive Careers Fair featuring nearly 40 companies looking for new talent.

Around 300 hospitality management students attended the all-day event which took place at Novotel London West on Monday (12 March). Students came from UK universities and colleges and from Stenden University in the Netherlands. They gained a wealth of advice on landing the right job during the interactive conference programme. They also had time to take full advantage of the excellent Careers Fair to make contact with the high-quality employers who are actively recruiting.


Represented at The Careers Fair were Royal Automobile Club, Victory Services Club, Shangri-La at the Shard, Georgian House, The Ritz, Dorchester Collection, Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, Doyle Collection/The Bloomsbury, BaxterStorey, Evolve Hospitality, Novotel London West, Sarova Hotels, Foxhills, Gravetye Manor, Bespoke Hotels, Edition Hotels, Nadler Hotels, Hyatt, Waldorf Hilton, Iconic Luxury Hotels Group, The Savoy, Harbour Hotels Group, CH&Co, Splendid Hospitality, Exclusive Hotels and Venues, Catapult, Jurys Inn, Dorsett Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Como Hotels and Resorts, SpaYse International, The Principal London, National Careers Service, Hospitality Assured, Dukes Collection, and Firmdale.

The HOTS Business Game runners-up from Stenden, Holland

Teams from six universities competed in the HOTS Business Game competition to run a virtual resort hotel. The winning team (above) was from Glion Institute of Higher Education, London. The runners-up came from Stenden University in the Netherlands. The University of Brighton came in third place. The competition was administered by Peter Russell MIH of the Russell Partnership.

Peter Ducker FIH, chief executive, Institute of Hospitality, introduced the event by telling students: “No one will ever care about your career as much as you do, so the sooner you start planning and setting yourself goals, the better.”

Get that job!

During a panel discussion, students were advised on how to stand out. Match the tone and message of your covering letter to the vacancy, said Shona Rye, director, Your Invisible Partner. Use social media as a research tool and go into the interview armed with information about the company, so that you are well-prepared when asked to contribute questions at the end of your interview, said Martin Smith, Collins King & Associates. Do not simply send in your CV and wait for a reply, said Neil Graham, managing director, SpaYse International. A follow-up phone call will help, and during the interview itself, recruiters are interested in personality.

Diversity dilemma

Asked whether she was in favour of quotas for female managers in hospitality, Debrah Dhugga FIH MI, managing director, Dukes Collection, replied: “I would never want to be given a job just because I was a woman.”

She added she would like to see more women at executive level: “A diverse board room generates a richness, a wider viewpoint in a world where women are increasingly a powerful force as consumers and business leaders.”

Diverse workplaces in general have advantages in terms of attaining customer loyalty, she said: “Value everyone in your organisation. Diversity refers to age, disability, religion, gender and more, and goes beyond just legal compliance. International work experience is of value and managers must be ready to harness the diversity of the workforce.”

Spotlight on the sectors

20180312_0528This panel discussion highlighted some of the lesser-known areas of employment in hospitality such as foodservice and private members clubs. Mark Field FIH, operations director, The Victory Services Club said that he found working in members clubs to be “a tremendous working environment where I can use my skills as a hotelier.” Jessica Berry, talent manager for The Doyle Collection, highlighted the similarities between her current role in human resources and her previous experience in event management. Delphine Delacroix AIH, MICE office manager at Novotel London West, added that working in events means that no two days are ever the same.

Adam Rowledge FIH, general manager, Georgian House, provided an extremely well-devised and useful A-Z of personal brand promotion. Using video well will give you a huge advantage on social media, he said, and concluded his presentation with a quote from Charles Buxton: “Experience shows that success is due less to ability than to zeal.”

Breaking the ice

Rory Kelly-Naughton, hotels business manager, Evolve, provided expert advice on networking. “Make contacts and then maintain them. I got my job with Evolve because I know the owner, even after six years. ”

Peter Ducker FIH concluded: “Passion4Hospitality is a highlight in our calendar and I always come away feeling inspired and energised. The speakers gave their time freely to help make today possible. My thanks to them; to all our sponsors; to the exhibitors at the Careers Fair; and also to Michael Sloan FIH and his team at the Novotel London West for their generosity as venue sponsors.”


The headline sponsor of Passion4Hospitality 2018 was Planday. The other sponsors were arena4finance, aslotel, the Council for Hospitality Management Education (CHME), Critiquie, Fresh Montgomery, Glion, HOTS, Novotel, Savoy Educational Trust, Stenden, SpaYse International.



35 of UK’s Top 100 restaurant groups now loss-making – up 75% in just a year

  • Oversaturated market, minimum wage hike put pressure on restaurants
  • Another minimum wage rise just weeks away

35 of the UK’s Top 100 restaurant groups are now loss-making, up 75% from just 20 last year, shows research by UHY Hacker Young, the national accountancy group.
UHY Hacker Young says that trading conditions have become increasingly difficult for restaurant chains dealing with oversaturation in the market as well as rising costs.
The firm adds that this research comes on the back of the high-profile struggles of several major restaurant chains in recent weeks, including:

  • Jamie’s Italian, started by Jamie Oliver, which has closed 12 branches as part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to restructure its £71.5m debt
  • Byron, the burger chain, which may close up to 20 of its 67 branches following a period of paying reduced rent
  • Prezzo, the Italian chain, which is expected to close some of its 300 branches as part of a restructuring
  • Strada, another Italian chain, which closed 11 branches over the festive period
  • Barbecoa, another Jamie Oliver chain, which entered administration in mid-February
  • EAT, the sandwich chain, which was rumoured in early February to be considering closing some of its 100 branches

UHY Hacker Young says that pressures of competing with numerous similar ‘fast casual’ restaurants in an overcrowded high street are a major driver of many large restaurant groups registering losses over the past year.

It adds that the National Minimum wage, which has risen by an above-inflation 19% to £7.50 per hour over the last five years, has added a substantial cost burden to large restaurant chains. From April 2018, the minimum wage will rise even further to £7.83.

Peter Kubik, Partner at UHY Hacker Young, comments: “More than a third of the biggest companies in the restaurant sector are losing money, and there is little respite on the horizon.”

“Pressures on the restaurant sector have been building for years, and the last year has pushed a number of major groups to breaking point.”

“With Brexit hanging over consumers like a dark cloud, restaurants can’t expect a bailout from a surge in discretionary spending.”

“Consumers only have a finite amount of spending power when it comes to eating out, and the oversaturation of the market means that groups that fall foul of changing trends can very easily fail.”

“The Government has ratcheted up costs with a series of above-inflation rises in the minimum wage, and we are just weeks away from another 4.4% rise in April. That will be tough for a lot of restaurants to absorb.”

About UHY Hacker Young:

 The UHY Hacker Young Group is one of the UK’s Top 15 accountancy networks with 110 partners and more than 620 professional staff working from 22 locations around the country. The offices within the Group provide a wide range of accounting, tax and business advisory services, with a reputation for integrity and reliability within the financial community, and particularly with London’s Stock Markets. UHY Hacker Young are also ranked 15th in the ARL Corporate Advisers Rankings Guide amongst other UK audit firms for advising London Stock Exchange listed companies.

UHY Hacker Young is a founder member of the UHY International network with offices in every major financial centre in the world. Further information can be found at www.uhy-uk.com


How restaurants are reacting to Vegetarian Month

March is vegetarian month. Recent news shows that an estimated 29% of evening meals in the UK are vegetarian or vegan. These numbers only seem to be increasing, but just how is the hospitality industry reacting? Wayne Redge reports

Reports show that sales of meat-free ready meals were up by 15% in January compared to 12 months before. Vegan numbers went up from 150,000 in 2006 to 540,000 just a decade later, with 1.2 million vegetarians in addition to this in the UK. Not only that, but there has been an uprising of ‘flexitarians’, those who reduce their meat consumption by choosing to have meat-free days. As a result, evidence shows that 25% of people in Britain have cut back on how much meat they eat. With all of these figures on the rise, the transitions to a meat-free way of living aren’t just a ‘fad’.

Signs of the hospitality industry acknowledging these statistics has come with many different reactions. Nando’s, the Afro-Portuguese chain restaurant known for its chicken, has been consistently adding to its range of vegetarian and vegan options over the past few years. The spiced chicken giant has now announced that two more vegetarian dishes will be added to its menu: golden brown halloumi sticks served with a pot of sweet chilli jam dip to start, alongside a new main of Veggie Cataplana (a South African inspired stew dish.)

A host of vegetarian restaurants are also popping up, giving people who have adopted this lifestyle a lot more options. Run by former mentee of Gordon Ramsay, Minal Patel, “Prashad” is a 2 rosette and Bib Gourmand standard Indian cuisine restaurant. The personalised and crafted menu boards created by Smart Hospitality encase an all vegetarian menu that has been the talk of popular review site, Trip Advisor, since the restaurant opened its doors. Receiving the “Most Talked About Restaurant On Trip Advisor Award” and a “Certificate of Excellence” on the site, it is proof of the popularity that a vegetarian restaurant can receive by focusing its efforts towards a collective audience.

January of this year saw a mass of high-profile restaurants trying out full vegan menus or dishes for ‘Veganuary’. Harvey Nichols brought a full vegan menu to its OXO Tower restaurant in the shape of a three course vegan meal and vegan wine list. Upon opening their menu cover, guests were welcomed by the sights of Grilled Tofu with Miso and a Poached Pear and Blackberry Dessert.


Even Michelin Star chef, Tom Aitken took part in his Tom’s Kitchen restaurant . Teaming up with vegetarian burger company, The Vurger Co, he served up a hoisin glazed mushroom patty with pak choi, red cabbage and crunchy spring onions ( pictured above). Due to the success of this vegan burger, he has adopted a vegetarian burger to his main menu since then.

The amount of vegan festivals has seen a massive increase too, with at least 75 festivals lined up for 2018 in the UK alone. The festivals are a celebration of the natural lifestyle whilst also introducing its participants to new vegan restaurants and foods that they may not have tried before. Restaurants are creating pop ups at these events to promote themselves to the vegan following and gain some new supporters.

So, with the popularity of no-meat lifestyles on the rise, it is clear that restaurants have an opportunity to increase their offerings and enable themselves to appeal to a wider clientele. If 25% of evening meals being eaten are meat free, would restaurants do well to make 25% of their offerings meat free? It might even serve as a cost effective alternative whilst not compromising on quality.

Wayne Redge is marketing assistant, Smart Hospitality Supplies

Why is the casual dining sector in trouble?

Byron is one of a number of casual dining chains that are shrinking their estates

Five years ago, the casual dining sector was booming. Private equity houses were investing large amounts of money into new chains of restaurants which quickly expanded their outlets, for example Byron, the burger chain, was bought for £100m.

Today, the sector is, to say the least, struggling. EAT is the latest brand to announce closures. Byron is going through a restructuring, Jamie’s Italian has entered into a company voluntary arrangement, and Strada is implementing a closure programme.

What has happened to bring about this sudden reversal of fortunes? Roger Gregory, partner at Pitmans Law, has the answers. Read on

Roger Gregory
Partner, Pitmans
D +44 (0)207 634 4634
M +44 (0)774 760 3864
E rgregory@pitmans.com

Pitmans Law is a Business Partner of the Institute of Hospitality.

Food additives are a cause of obesity, says Mike Duckett MBE FIH

Mike Duckett MBE FIH, centre, meets HRH The Prince of Wales

The hospitality industry has a responsibility to promote healthy eating habits, writes Mike Duckett MBE FIH, the ambassador for good hospital food and the former award-winning head of catering at The Royal Brompton Hospital, London.

“I have always worried about the amount of chemical additives added to food during manufacturing and the number of alien ingredients used to extend the colour and the shelf life of food, especially ready frozen meals. I have been very vocal in expressing my concerns which were confirmed recently when I visited the local hospital here in Surrey.

I was disturbed to hear of two eight-year-old boys who were hospitalised with severe pain from type-one diabetes. The senior nurse on duty told me that the main cause was their poor diet and lack of a variety of healthy food.

We therefore as the hospitality fraternity  have a collective responsibility to ensure that the food we serve is healthier.  We should persuade those who manufacture meals to be more aware of the steps needed to reducing high levels of obesity.

Statistics show that we are eating out more regularly and that we tend to eat more in a restaurant than in the home environment. This raises one important question. How safe is it to eat out these days? Recently we have heard that a major meat supplier was told by the FSA to stop supplying, a popular pub chain received a zero rating for hygiene,  and food factories change best before dates on food.  We also hear of customers dying from eating food that cause allergies. It makes you wonder if eating out is taking your life in their hands.

Hospitals, care homes, meals on wheels services and the general public are in the habit of purchasing  ready frozen microwave meals. These meals are high in fat, sugar and salt. Scientists have warned that emulsifiers – the chemicals widely used in processed foods including ice cream, bread and chocolate – may be a key cause of obesity. These emulsifiers are used to make smoother textures in foods such as peanut butter, sausages and mayonnaise. They are understood to be chemically active long after we digest them and they increase hunger and therefore we eat more.

If we are going to take the growing obesity epidemic seriously, we need an urgent look at what is being used in our food manufacturing and in the type of food and ready meals we serve our customers and campaign for the use of fresh local ingredients from as near the point of service as possible.”

Institute of Hospitality Showcases Student Research in New Digest

Digest coverThe Institute of Hospitality has published its inaugural Annual Digest of research by students from universities and colleges that are members of its Education Membership Scheme.

The subjects explored in the research papers include sophisticated menu engineering; the impact of the airbnb on the UK hotel industry; revenue management in ski resorts; and waffleshop franchises.

Alistair Sandall FIH, the Institute’s head of professional development, says: “We thank the students for their submissions to this inaugural Annual Digest. Thanks too must be passed to their lecturers for encouraging them to submit their research. ”

“If through this publication we can bring new insights and ideas into the bright lights and away from university shelves,  hopefully we can help to create closer links and ties between educators and practitioners.”

The following students’ research is showcased in the Digest;

Rosie Magurie, BA Professional Culinary Arts, University of Derby

Haroon Khan Afridi, MSc International Hotel Management, University of Surrey

Mara Leidi, BSc International Hospitality Management, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne

Ida Davidsen, UG studies BSc (Hons) Hospitality Leadership and Management, Leeds Beckett University.

The Institute has 75 universities and colleges on its Education Membership Scheme, adding up to more than 3,000 student members across the world.

Download the 2017 Digest Here

Submissions for the 2018 Digest will be open from September with a deadline of 31st October. Full information can be found by downloading the Institute of Hospitality Digest Submission Guidelines.

If you have any queries, please email digest@instituteofhospitality.org

If you would like your college or university to get involved but are not yet members of the Institute, contact the Membership Department on 020 8661 4900 or membership@instituteofhospitality.org




Who will be judging the Restaurant Manager of the Year 2018?

RMOY 2018 logo copy (4)
As the closing date for entries into the Restaurant Manager of the Year approaches, we reveal who will be judging the final in January 2018. We are delighted to reveal three new judges who will help find the next big name in hospitality. Romain Pottier from Rhubarb, Paul Hurren FIH from Lusso and the current title holder, Matthew Mawtus from Pollen Street Social join an already prestigious list of names. John Cousins will be the chair of judges for the final and joining him on the expert panel is: –

  • Alper Zan
  • Rory Kelly-Naughton
  • Stephane Davaine
  • Chantelle Nicholson
  • Johanna Wimmer
  • Ian Sturrock
  • Ludovic Solmi
  • Roy Sommer

What will the judges be looking for to find their next winner? What does it take to be a good restaurant manager? And why should you enter? We caught up with some of the judges to find out more.

Roy Sommer, Chairman of the F&B Managers Association commented: “The Restaurant manager of the Year award highlights the great talent in our industry. Its history has shown many deserved winners from all backgrounds. This award is about the overall package and shows that it doesn’t matter if you work for one of the best hotels in the UK, or for a high street chain. To be an award-winning restaurant manager you need to have everything under control, remain calm, guide your team through service and ensure that guests have the best possible experience. And if they don’t, it’s how restaurant managers deal with the situation that makes them stand out. For those considering entering, there is nothing to be afraid of. You will take away a lot from the day itself which will help you in your career. Previous winners have included people from contract catering, high street and Michelin restaurants, private members clubs and hotels. Everyone has as much chance as each other to take this title.”

Rory Kelly-Naughton, hotels divisional manager at Evolve Hospitality said: “This is a great opportunity for a UK restaurant manager to show their skills and knowledge to the wider hospitality industry. I am going to be looking for someone with personality, the ability to interact with everyone and a positive attitude. To be a great restaurant manager you must have an ability to cope under pressure, a logical mind set and a great sense of humour. I have been involved in this competition for five years and I have enjoyed seeing how it has developed and how the winners have done in their careers, I look forward to discovering who will take the title next. To anyone who enters the competition, my advice would be to enjoy the experience, make connections with your competitors and judges, be yourself and have fun.”

Reflecting back on his success in 2016, Matthew Mawtus, general manager at Pollen Street Social added: “To be a great restaurant manager you need to know your business inside out, have complete product knowledge, show fairness and a desire to motivate and develop staff, whilst always engaging with your guests. As a judge I am going to be looking for confidence, clarity, warmth, personality and enthusiasm but above all, a genuine love of hospitality.”

Alper Zan, operations manager and hospitality consultant, won the title in 2014 and so he has seen this competition from both sides. He told us: “This is a really special award for our industry because it provides an opportunity to recognise, learn and celebrate the success of front of house managers. It can help influence the next generation as they discover how the UK’s leading managers adapt to exceed guest expectations and help their teams develop. Hospitality is a way of life for me and not just a job. I believe we need to do more to champion front of house service and restaurant managers in our country. It is a privilege to support, learn and influence people who have devoted their life to serve others.”

Romain Pottier, director of restaurants at Rhubarb was delighted to be asked to judge the award this year. He said: “This award provides a great opportunity for talented individuals to challenge themselves in front of a panel of experienced and senior industry experts. It sets the standard of what is expected from a restaurant manager nowadays, exposing them to all areas of our wonderful industry. I will be looking for a natural ability to lead and influence people in a positive way. Candidates must be very well groomed, articulate and clearly passionate about the art of hospitality.”

Restaurant mangers have until the 24th November 2017 to enter this award and the entry form can be completed online at http://www.restaurantmanageroftheyear.co.uk/enter/.
To enter, managers must answer three questions as well as submitting a CV and reference.  The best candidates will compete in a final on Monday 8th January 2018.