The thoughts and views of leading consultants
July 2017 • Issue 05 • £5.00 • epmagazine.co.uk
EP | INSIGHTS & ACTION July 2017 • Issue 05
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epmagazine.co.uk | 3
July 2017 • Issue 05 • epmagazine.co.uk
6 The industry has failed to meet the challenge
The biggest danger facing Britain’s hospitality industry, post
Brexit, is the potential clamp-down on migrant labour.
14 Lessons in consumption
The new ‘food savvy’ generation are progressively demanding
and knowledgeable. Companies must act to match their habits.
16 A sense of community
A strong workplace culture can make all the difference.
22 Intrapreneurs can act like entrepreneurs
John Dixey explains how he introduced an intrapreneur approach.
24 Time to find the balance and reignite old skills
28 Insights are great but then what do you do?
The importance of taking action following research.
32 Innovating in business
It’s no secret that businesses must innovate to grow.
35 The tipping point
In an increasing fast paced world, the risk of workplace
behavioural health issues intensifies.
44 Sweating your assets
Niall McCann explains why not using the regulatory regime
to its full extent can be wasteful in the extreme.
51 The theory of equality of respect
Aren’t you bored hearing that Hospitality is not a profession?
8 Time to get a grip
Chris Stern argues the dominance of red tape in the
procurement process is causing mass frustration.
10 Why is productivity such a puzzle for
Chris Humphrey and Malcolm Ross argue why creating real
value for customers can improve productivity.
15 Multi-sensory dining experience
What role can architecture play in the balance between
technologies and dining?
18 Research in the health care profession can
answer questions in hospitality
Behavioural techniques can benefit businesses.
4 | Insights & Action | July 2017
CONTENTS IN THIS ISSUE
The thoughts and views of leading consultants
20 Is there more to nutrition than just
sustenance, satiation and longevity?
26 The performance and talent revolution
Many are having a rethink on how to maximise staff value.
30 Does a catering tender work?
Problems are cropping up in the current catering tender process
and small organisations are potentially missing out.
36 The move of sustainability to become an
increasing core issue
The conversation has truly started.
37 Doing best what matters most
Consumer insight allows companies to focus.
40 Which hat should procurement really wear?
The very varied world of the procurement process.
42 What can we do to help tackle obesity?
Should consultants put pressure on caterers?
45 A journey of transformation
The process that led to the launch of a new consultancy.
48 How will we cater for the rise of office towers?
The potential effect on future catering service delivery.
50 Is this the magic solution?
Greater empowerment ticks all the right boxes but isn’t the
default management style in many companies.
12 Auditions not interviews
Kevin Watson, Managing Director at Amadeus explains
how they always look to recruit, train and retain the best.
27 The risk of unregulated nutrition
38 Leading the war on waste
The Compass Group and Winnow Solutions partnership.
46 Reinvention: What is the approach?
It is not an easy process to go outside one’s comfort zone.
epmagazine.co.uk | 5
The industry has failed to meet
the challenge for 50 years,
but now is the time to act
The biggest danger facing Britain’s hospitality industry, post Brexit,
is the potential clamp-down on migrant labour to this country.
But Brexit should not be feared, say Bob Cotton and Miles Quest.
Recruiting Britain’s youngest has been difficult, nevertheless low productivity is the industry’s Achilles’ Heel.
Brexit, looming on the horizon, is
catching the UK hospitality industry
on a decade-long roll. Cheap money
had led to a remarkable upsurge in
the construction of new hotels and other
hospitality establishments. At the same time,
a prolific supply of EU migrant labour has
enabled the industry to experience more
than a decade of unadulterated growth.
Migrant workers, willing to accept the
national minimum wage, have kept wage
ratios firmly in check. And now, the weak
pound – Brexit’s very own beneficial wind of
good fortune – is encouraging more overseas
visitors to the UK than ever before. UK
hospitality could hardly be in a better place.
But is this favourable scenario lulling the
industry into a sense of false security? Cheap
money and cheap labour have encouraged
too many businesses to give too little thought
to a future in which there will be fewer – and
far more expensive – workers.
Undeniably, wage costs are already on
the increase as the National Living Wage
rises to £9 an hour by 2020; new pension
arrangements are an additional expense.
Energy, rates and food costs are all rising.
A decline in domestic consumer spending is
On top of these increases and developments
will come a reduction in the availability of
6 | Insights & Action | July 2017
COMMENT BOB COTTON & MILES QUEST
migrant labour once Brexit comes into effect
in 2020. Here’s the rub. Any reduction in that
supply will be serious and far-reaching.
Government thoughts are clearly (and
rightly) turning to the introduction of annual
work permits. The British Hospitality
Association claims that hospitality will need
100,000 work permits a year post-Brexit
– a not unrealistic figure. But even a vague
admission by present government ministers
that work permits might be a way forward has
yet to be tested in terms of numbers and key
decisions have still to be taken about the skill
levels of workers allowed in. There is little
evidence to suggest that the government would
agree to the large number that hospitality
is claiming when there are competing, and
maybe bigger, claims from the care industry
and NHS, retail and agriculture in particular.
Post Brexit, far fewer migrant workers
are likely to push average wage rates even
beyond the present government’s proposed
increase in the National Living Wage to £9
an hour by 2020. As so many hospitality
workers (how many – 20 per cent? 30 per
cent? More?) are at or below the current
NLW wage level, the industry will inevitably
find payroll costs under severe pressure.
In many ways, the ready availability of
migrant labour and low rates of pay has
discouraged employers from sharpening
up their act in the past. Only if productivity
can be raised – if fewer people do more
work at, yes, better rates of pay – can service
standards be protected, staff be recruited and
retained and wage costs contained.
Low productivity remains the industry’s
Even so, while Brexit poses a great
danger in this respect, the larger picture for
hospitality is more encouraging.
Providing sterling stays at realistic levels
and prices remain competitive (difficult
with rising costs), Britain will continue as
one of the world’s most attractive tourism
destinations. Brexit won’t change that.
Britain’s standards of food and hospitality
are now high and rising; this will not change.
When largely unhampered by EU oversight,
the UK government will hopefully be able
to implement desired changes in labour
and food regulations, competitive tendering
and other key issues that increase business
costs. Comparison with EU VAT rates will
continue to rankle though they are still
unlikely to change.
continue as one of the
world’s most attractive
Brexit won’t change that.
© NIROWORLD | 123RF.COM
Nevertheless, post-Brexit, businesses
will have to organise their more expensive
workforce more smartly, ensuring that
they take full advantage of technology and
automation (not easy in a service industry).
Placing greater emphasis on training and
developing staff – apprentices, in particular
– is as important as making a career in
hospitality more attractive for Britishborn
youngsters in terms of total working
conditions – not just pay; unforgivably, this is
a challenge the industry has signally failed to
meet for the last 50 years which is one reason
why it is still finding recruitment of British
youngsters so difficult.
In a post-Brexit world – only two years
away – those businesses that plan for a highly
trained, lean staff, high-wage hospitality
economy will surely be the wisest and the
most successful. It’s not too late to plan for
epmagazine.co.uk | 7
Time to get a grip
Chris Stern, Managing Director at Stern Consultancy
argues the dominance of red tape in the
procurement process is causing mass frustration.
Solutions are now needed for an essential division in many companies.
We live in a world where there
seems to be a need to justify
any corporate decision that is
made (especially in the public
sector) and where it is critical not only to be
fair but to be seen to be fair.
This all makes perfect sense and there
are not many who would argue with it. To
address this, procurement professionals have
developed processes to ensure thoroughness
and transparency, culminating in the
European standard “OJEU” process, to
which most public bodies subscribe.
These doubtless work well when a costbased
product or service is being procured.
However, with catering contracts, the process
often struggles to cope with the concept of
revenue and the probability that services will
change and develop over the contract period.
It also seems to struggle with the complexity
of our industry, where, like it or not, there is
an element of subjectivity when measuring
quality and where there are numerous
moving parts. At its most extreme we have
seen clients refusing to go on what we would
regard are essential reference visits because
they are “too subjective”.
There’s also a “light touch” version of
the formal OJEU process for small sites.
However, experience so far has been that
procurement professionals are wary of it and
tend to revert to “best practice” following the
full OJEU nightmare just to cover themselves.
The result of this is often self-defeating, with
potential bidders being put off going through
the pain of responding to what often at first
glance appear to be huge and unintelligible
documents with lists of requirements before
getting anywhere near the reality of how
they might operate the services. Even the big,
supposedly well-resourced contractors are
hesitating and considering whether it is worth
the time and effort.
On the receiving end of bids prepared via
a lengthy and complex process, we often find
that innovation and flair struggles to shine
through and that we spend an inordinate
amount of time looking at areas which are
frankly not germane to an operator’s ability
to run a great foodservice operation. We’re
also having to take longer running a process
thereby costing clients more in fees.
I’m obviously not the first person to identify
the challenges associated with the rules
and regulations that are in place. There are
several organisations who have put together
“framework” agreements which supposedly
streamline the process by having already
addressed a lot of the boring administration
needed to qualify bidders. Yet again though,
these very often appear just to cause more,
not less red tape in the eyes of potential
bidders, so some don’t bother getting on the
approved lists (in fact, it’s a bit of a mystery
as to how they are supposed to know about
8 | Insights & Action | July 2017
INSIGHTS STERN CONSULTANCY
So, what to do?
The answer is in the hands of the everexpanding
procurement industry. All this
red tape has meant that procurement
professionals have become an essential
division of any reasonably sized organisation.
The problem is that the industry seems to
have grown so fast that there is often a lack
of understanding of how best to procure
catering services. They suffer from the same
challenge we identified in the OJEU process
in that catering is probably the only product/
service they have to procure that operates
as a living business and where sometimes
higher costs can result in better value. This
is anathema to anyone who has only ever
procured cost-based products and services.
“The problem is that
the industry seems
to have grown so fast
that there is often a
lack of understanding
of how best to procure
all the frameworks that are in place). This
can mean that clients seeking to tender their
catering align themselves to a process with
a list of contractors who at worst may be
inappropriate for their very specific needs
or at the very least may not include the very
best players in the market. The basis on
which they are listed is likely to be less about
being able to provide great catering at a
competitive cost and more about how strong
their insurance policies are and whether they
have correctly filed accounts. On one website,
the following claim is made: “Suppliers listed
on the framework were assessed during
the procurement process for their financial
stability, track record, experience and
technical & professional ability, before being
awarded a place on the framework”. Quite
how they can all be qualified for any catering
contract using this framework is questionable
to say the least. This is indicative of the lack of
understanding of our sector we are seeing.
© JORGENMAC | 123RF.COM
The Chartered Institute of Purchasing
and Supply (CIPS) could, and in my opinion
should, seek to develop a separate, specific
process for procuring catering that is
custom-built to get the best results for this
very specific service. Inevitably there will
have to be some red tape (and contractors
have to take some of the blame for this,
when they seek to challenge decisions
made after a process, maybe looking for
faults in it so forcing clients to be wary), but
surely, it’s possible to develop a streamlined
procurement vehicle that won’t scare off the
smaller, more interesting suppliers.
CIPS could engage with consultants
and contractors, who would probably be
happy to help if we can arrive at a relevant,
fair, but less onerous process that can then be
communicated to their members as
epmagazine.co.uk | 9
Why is productivity
such a puzzle
British firms appear to have a severe blind spot
about creating value for customers.
Chris Humphrey and Malcolm Ross argue
why creating real value for customers can
improve productivity and add as much as
£130 billion to the economy.
Brexit, Donald Trump’s election, the
rising price of PG Tips…many things
have been described as calamitous
and dismal recently, including
Britain’s productivity performance, which has
been the worst in 150 years. Andy Haldane,
the Bank of England’s chief economist said
that, “rectifying this disaster is the UK’s
most important policy challenge, far more
so than Brexit”. Productivity dominates
the government’s recent Green Paper on
industrial strategy, which single-mindedly
aims “to improve living standards and
economic growth by increasing productivity
and driving growth across the whole country”.
Britain has become a high-employment,
low productivity economy. Chancellor of
the Exchequer Philip Hammond said “it is
shocking” that “in the real world it takes a
German worker four days to produce what
we make in five”. Productivity improvements
could add as much as £130 billion or 7.5% a
year to the economy, dwarfing the £52 billion
annual shortfall in the public finances. Twothirds
of British workers are in the ‘long tail’ of
underperforming businesses with productivity
below the industry average, and The Secretary
of State for Business Innovation and Skills said
that if Britain matched America, GDP would
increase by a staggering 31%.
The cause of Britain’s “productivity puzzle”
is clear, except to many policymakers and
influencers. There is much talk about better
infrastructure, including the Northern
Powerhouse, investing in technology,
and improving skills, human capital, and
leadership. The skills shortage is a consistent
theme; the UK ranks 16th out of 20 in the
‘Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development’ (OECD) countries for the
proportion of people with technical skills, and
nearly three-quarters of organisations report
a deficit of management and leadership.
Pinpointing mediocre management Hamid
Mughal, director of global manufacturing at
Rolls Royce said, “UK managers need to be
more ambitious for their companies. Too few
are interested in becoming best in their field.”
The answer to the productivity puzzle
was provided in 1974 by Peter Drucker,
management guru, who said that the only
valid goal for a business is to “create and keep
a customer” so it is astounding how rarely, 40
years on, policymakers talk about customers.
Andy Haldane’s recent speech focuses entirely
on how efficiently labour and capital inputs
are used, but at no point mentions customers.
Efficiency is important, but the government’s
industrial strategy is particularly revealing
because it refers to productivity 88 times in
132 pages, but never analyses the effectiveness
of firms at creating value for their customers.
Britain has world leading sectors, including
aerospace, automotive, the life sciences, the
creative industries, digital, financial services
and professional and business services, but
world beating firms on average are much
less likely to develop in the UK. According to
the OECD, the UK ranks third for start-ups,
but 13th for the number of businesses that
successfully scale-up, so British managers
appear to be much less effective than their
Technology is multiplying the interactions that define the
brand experience, making customers ever more demanding
and requiring companies to become increasingly complex.
10 | Insights & Action | July 2017
INSIGHTS CHRIS HUMPHREY AND MALCOLM ROSS
international peers at nurturing businesses
that customers truly value.
The Walt Disney Company stands out
because it has a highly intentional framework
for operationalising customer value across
a complex organisation. We spent more
than 30 years at Disney, and now other
organisations can learn how to achieve
consistent and sustained growth by using
proven principles for building customer
value into the entire business ecosystem.
This includes a rigorous methodology for
understanding customer expectations at a
functional, social and emotional level.
Technology is multiplying the interactions
that define the brand experience, making
customers ever more demanding and requiring
companies to become increasingly complex. In
a fragmented multi-channel world commercial
success never comes from cross-functional
improvisation, so businesses must be crystal
clear what their customer’s value, and crucially
avoid any tendency for inefficient and
demoralising micromanagement. A framework
acts like a magnetic field, pointing everyone
consistently in the same direction and human
resources is then deployed strategically to
sustain it throughout the entire business.
© UDRA | 123RF.COM
The framework includes observable,
coachable and, importantly, prioritised
standards and behaviours that help boost
productivity by connecting all employees to
what customers really value, and creating the
operational precision that many organisations
lack. Disney for example has four standards
– safety, courtesy, show and efficiency – that
are internalised by each and every employee
irrespective of job title or seniority, and
prioritised into a non-negotiable hierarchy.
They act as a tiebreaker when decisions
conflict, so at Disney, safety trumps courtesy,
and both are prioritised over efficiency.
All productivity decisions must be taken
through the filter of the customer value
framework, avoid negatively impacting
the employee experience, and be properly
integrated and resourced through the annual
planning process of individual business
units. Intentionally planning to improve
productivity by say 3% every year helps
instill a habit of continuous improvement by
encouraging everyone to lookout constantly
for both marginal gains and game changers.
It also alleviates the morale-sapping
fondness of cost preoccupied management
for turning to productivity only for a shortterm,
knee-jerk reaction to the slightest
business downturn. Improvements should
target a customer value driver directly,
or indirectly by removing hassle from the
employee experience. Process improvements
that, for example, make it quicker for staff
to collect costumes at Disney or clock-on at
a national sports stadium, leaves them less
frustrated at the start of the working day, so
much more likely to be courteous to both
colleagues and customers.
Policymakers and commentators in the
UK unwittingly appear to have a severe blind
spot when it comes to productivity. Profits
are the sum of revenues minus costs, where
revenue is the numerator and costs the
denominator, but whenever they talk about
productivity it’s all about the denominator;
they are obsessed with cutting costs. Costs
are important and need to be managed, but
the growth of the numerator is even more
important, and is achieved by creating
sustainable customer value.
A silver lining is that productivity levels
are so low relative to Britain’s international
competitors that the potential for
improvement is huge, and the government at
last is building a strategy that should make
a difference. However, it is worrying that,
according to Kate Barker of the Industrial
Strategy Commission, “years of simply
exhorting businesses to buck-up has made no
difference”, but that current thinking does not
do enough to improve individual firms.
Government can and must set the scene,
but individual firms must take much more
responsibility for designing a delivery system
that focuses resolutely on creating value for
customers. Firms that blame the government,
or concentrate only on denominator
productivity, are not just missing a huge
opportunity, but are also risking the insidious
failure that Brexit will lay bare.
Creating customer value focuses the benefits
of improved productivity much more directly
into commercial and competitive advantage,
and is self-reinforcing. Employees are in a
connected loop, working more productively
in a cohesive team, taking satisfaction from
an organisation that is successful, because it
creates real value for its customers.
epmagazine.co.uk | 11
Auditions not interviews
With the Apprenticeship Levy recently coming in, Kevin Watson, Managing
Director at Amadeus explains how they look to recruit, train and retain the best.
“One of the greatest challenges I face as MD is people: recruiting the best, keeping the best and
getting the best from the team.”
Working in the catering industry
is both extremely rewarding
and extremely challenging. It
can offer a career for life – if
you’re happy to roll up your sleeves and ride
the rough with the smooth. It is an everchanging,
but indispensable industry.
It’s no secret that hospitality leaders have
struggled to recruit the talent the sector
needs in the past – that’s why figures indicate
over 900,000 workers need to be recruited
in the next five years to sustain the growing
industry. Amadeus – like all other large scale
caterers – is in constant need of new blood,
with the correct work-ready skills, in order to
help the company thrive.
Apprenticeships have long been seen
as one way of creating that future pipeline
of talent so urgently needed. That’s why
industry has widely welcomed news of
the government’s apprenticeship levy and
the new measures of support surrounding
the administration of apprenticeships. At
Amadeus, we see apprenticeships as a way
to nurture the hospitality stars of the future,
so anything that encourages people to
seriously consider catering as a career and
provides them with good quality training and
a qualification has got to be a good thing.
We have been attracting talent through our
apprenticeship scheme run in partnership
with Solihull College since 2013. Designed to
help aspiring chefs over the age of 18 develop
their culinary skills to move into a career in
hospitality, it is a challenging scheme that
requires dedication and commitment from
those taking part. Our apprentices learn
how to deliver outstanding retail, exhibition,
conference and event catering at the NEC
Group’s world class venues – the NEC, ICC,
Vox, Barclaycard and Genting Arenas, all
based in Birmingham. They spend one day a
week at College and then four days a week in
the kitchen where students are assessed in
a real environment.
The Amadeus Catering Apprenticeship
is a fantastic opportunity that doesn’t just
pay lip service to the idea of training –
12 | Insights & Action | July 2017
OPERATING CONCEPTS AMADEUS
apprentices receive one on one guidance
from our world-class chefs and get exposed
to exciting and demanding high profile
events as part of the package. Our Executive
Chefs coach trainees the whole way through
the process and inspire them to aim for the
very highest standards.
For those who come through our
apprenticeship programme, we want them
to stay and build careers with us – rising
through the ranks of the company over the
next five, 10, 15 years and beyond. And here
in lies the second part of the problem – how
to ensure apprentices go on to succeed in
the hospitality industry and enjoy long,
rewarding careers. One of the greatest
challenges I face as an MD is people:
recruiting the best and keeping the best.
More than ever, businesses need to take
proactive steps to keep trainees within the
business after achieving their qualifications.
They need to outline clear progression
strategies for individuals in order to retain
talent and make them feel valued.
All our staff, of every position, are
extensively trained following recruitment
and encouraged to become immersed in
the Amadeus way of life. Every employee is
fully inducted into the business and we have
a robust performance management process
that captures all personal development
requirements. We provide development
opportunities both bottom up, so culinary
for our chefs, and top down such as coaching
and sales training to enable us to meet our
All our staff, of every
position, are extensively
encouraged to become
immersed in the
Amadeus way of life.
For those looking to move up the ladder we
run our Amadeus masterclass series which
aims to enhance the skills of our workforce
with six key modules covering retail and
customer service, bars and hospitality and
conference and banqueting. Staff get paid
for this voluntary training which provides
them with one on one sessions with industry
experts – both in live environments and
in the ‘classroom’ – helping them to gain
in confidence and enhance progression
opportunities. We also nurture talent across
the business with a selection of rising stars
benefiting from the Amadeus Academy
each year – this teaches the art and skill of
foodservice at the highest level.
Finally, our ‘Service that Sells’ training
programme incentivises staff to live and
breathe the values of Amadeus with a
‘recognise and reward’ gift scheme in
place to acknowledge staff on the spot who
demonstrate our core values in their work.
We are looking for people that deliver passion
and creativity in all aspects of their work
and possess a real drive to succeed. As a
company, we are not afraid to fail or take risks
which is important as it allows us to keep on
innovating, and we encourage our staff to
adopt this same approach in their roles.
One should never underestimate the
importance of culture in an organisation
– ask anyone why they work for Amadeus
and the resounding answer is “the people”.
Anyone who works with us is instantly
struck by the team’s comradery and ability to
still have fun while working in a fast paced,
demanding environment. I pride myself as
being an approachable leader and take time
to get to know individuals, conducting ‘back
to the floor’ shifts in each venue and hosting
team building sessions.
Last year the team delivered the
company’s strongest trading results in its
40-year history – we drove exponential
growth in our external venues business over
the last year securing a record amount of new
contracts totalling over £30m, including the
East of England Arena and Event Centre,
Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust and
Compton Verney art gallery. We also took on
two major contracts in Northern Ireland to
provide catering and hospitality services for
Belfast Waterfront and sister venue Ulster
Hall and a further four visitor attractions
including Belfast Zoo, Belfast Castle, Malone
House and the Stables coffee shop in Sir
Thomas and Lady Dixon Park.
The secret? We love what we do – our
passion underpins everything we do, whether
winning new clients or inspiring apprentices
on their first steps on the catering ladder.
Getting young people excited about catering
and the fantastic opportunities it can bring
is surely the best way to ensure a future
pipeline of talent – a responsibility that lies
with the whole catering industry to make
epmagazine.co.uk | 13
Lessons in consumption
Mike Day explores recent changes in foodservice consumption
and how technology can help support operators tackle these changes,
and influence customer behaviour.
The new ‘food savvy’ generation are progressively demanding and
knowledge and companies must act now to match their habits.
IndiCater has been thinking a great deal
about food and beverage consumption
recently. In March we hosted a fascinating
workshop entitled ‘The Changing Habits
of Food Consumption’; and more recently
we were in the audience for a magnificent
lecture delivered by Professor Charles
Spence entitled ‘Gastrophysics: The Science
of Dining from Restaurant Music to Sonic
Crisps’. Both events, one focused on eating
trends, the other on what influences what we
eat, were outstanding and informative – with
lots of ideas and actions to take away and
translate into useful practical actions for our
The workshop raised a significant number
of new challenges – and opportunities –
for those looking to run a successful and
profitable foodservice business. One of the
overriding messages taken away from the
event was the challenge for chefs in creating
menus that meet ever changing dietary
demands such as dairy, sugar and gluten free;
and with the added pressure of providing
menus that include healthy eating options
(although, ironically, it seems that these
are not always selected by the customer
from the menu selection!). The workshop
also highlighted the need for foodservice
providers to demonstrate their commitment
within other areas such as food provenance,
authenticity, nutrition and sustainability,
thereby consistently demonstrating
to the customer how they work within
these increasingly important areas.
Simply put, the workshop highlighted that
foodservice providers are feeding a new
‘food savvy’ generation who are progressively
demanding and knowledgeable, bringing
about a continual shift in customer eating
habits which puts new pressures on
In his Gastrophysics lecture, Professor
Spence looked at consumption from a
different perspective, focusing on how food
on the plate can be served in different ways
to influence a customer’s buying behaviour
and enjoyment of a dish. Spence approaches
the subject of consumption from a
psychological, neuroscience and design
perspective: his findings contradict much of
the folklore and culinary lessons that chefs
might have been taught throughout their
careers. For example, research has showed
that serving food to vulnerable hospital
patients on high colour-contrast plates
improves their meal consumption; customers
would prefer the harmonious and balanced
presentation of a dish on the plate rather
than the recent trend towards asymmetrical
plating with food positioned on the side;
customers are not driven by the number
of elements that make up a dish, caring far
more about how much food is offered. His
work is driving the manner in which chefs
like Heston Blumenthal serve their food,
successfully influencing customers in their
IndiCater have looked at the various
ways that, specifically, Menu and Recipe
Management software can support the
increasing and changing demands placed
on food operators; and how it can capitalise
on the behavioural findings of experts such
as Professor Spence. For example:
n Identify and track the provenance of
n Identify nutritional and allergen
information; track waste
n Define dish weights, measures and visual
n Communicate consistent construction
Menu and Recipe Management software
offers just one technical solution: but what
is clear is that operators will need to engage
with tools that help them to keep pace with
their customers, as well as help them to
influence behaviour. Those that don’t will
get left behind.
14 | Insights & Action | July 2017
INSIGHTS THE INSIGHTS RUSSELL ALEKSA PARTNERSHIP STUDIO
Towards a digital multisensory
What role can architecture play in the balance between technologies
and dining asks Aleksandrina Rizova, Architect/Director at ALEKSA studio.
For an interactive relationship with the customer, the dining space of the
future may need to embrace visually dynamic forms of technology.
As an architect I am fascinated
with the way innovation and
technology is constantly changing
our perception of space. In
hospitality, restaurants are embracing new
types of digital dining experience and this is
having an impact on the environment and
the customer. For example, gone are the
days when customers complain in person
to the manager about the quality of service
or general dining experience. New forms of
communication have now allowed them to
send messages following a meal. Restaurants
have also integrated iPads into tables for
ordering food and drinks and others project
the menu directly onto the table. It does
seem we are getting close to a technology
I’m intrigued by the changes taking place
but also puzzled by whether some of these
trends are actually of benefit and a good
thing. Can the personal interaction between
staff and customers be replaced fully by such
innovation? Surely, it is an economic way of
increasing customer numbers and profit and
reducing waste, but at what price?
Unarguably technology can bring great
multi-sensory experience to our dining.
Innovative restaurants in Shanghai, UK,
Spain and Australia are working towards
enhancing our five senses. In recent
years some of the new techniques we
have witnessed are 3D projections, light
effects and sound and scent diffusers.
Neurogastronomy is the novel science
in 2006 that
looks at how
can affect the
way the human
food and makes
people think that
than it is.
There is extensive research on new design
interfaces that allow the simulation of
unexplored sensory inputs (digital smell)
and interfaces that looks at the integration
of taste and smell into flavour. There are
also digital methods for simulating taste
sensations; immediate environment
humidity and even temperature. The
experimental results indicate that sourness
and saltiness are the main sensations that
could be evoked while the sweet and bitter
sensations are more difficult.
Matching music with food or drinks or
combining virtual reality with a specific
cuisine for instance are some of the ways to
enhance a dining experience. The question
is – how much is too much?
I believe architecture may play a more vital
role in creating a balance between these new
types of technology and simple old-fashioned
food. It is possible to conceal technology
with the architecture of a space and so the
integration takes place within the interior.
This is more effective than adding on some
forms of technology once the space has
been completed. By seamlessly combining
it should allow for a greater customer
experience and therefore add further value.
The role that architecture can play is
showcased in a recent project ALEKSA
studio completed at the Natural History
Museum, London in collaboration with
EP and Artisan Collective. We worked
closely with the Museum to create a new
vibrant dinosaur-themed restaurant
environment with playful graphics and
3D props. Due to the Grade I listing it
was important to be sensitive to the fabric
heritage of the building but also to bring in
new forms of technology to add value.
One’s first encounter in the restaurant is
with two animatronic dinosaurs followed
by being immersed into a narrative forestlike
environment created by an array of
large trees and dynamic mirror graphics.
This digital fabrication technique creates
an interaction between the audience and
space and the T-Rex dinosaurs appear to
be coming out of the walls. Alongside with
sound and abstract imagery it creates a
lively and dynamic spatial experience.
This is just one example of how
architecture can seamlessly enhance an
experience and embrace new technology
within its design. In the future many
restaurants will rely on multi-sensory
experiences to the point where it may
become common practice.
epmagazine.co.uk | 15
A sense of community
Stephanie Hamilton, Director of People and Culture UK and Ireland -
ISS UK explains how a strong workplace culture can make all the difference.
A diverse, exciting community is difficult to achieve in a virtual world.
These days of IT-led communicating,
shopping, interacting, sharing
memories and creating virtual
families all seem so impersonal
to me. I cannot grasp the idea that I live in a
‘virtual’ community, I like to chat things over
a coffee, not read or speak to it on my screen.
The trouble with this type of virtual reality
is it takes a few moments to even speak to
a ‘real person’. Take the voice activated
telephone management systems, so broadly
used now and I am sure for most, a very
efficient system. For those who don’t know
me, I have a Northern accent. Talking to an
automated system, in my experience, with
any type of accent is both annoying and also
hilarious, it is often the most ridiculous one
sided conversation to have!
I live in a Close, with the name Brook in
it – now, I pronounce ‘Brooooook’ rather
than ‘Brock’ and for the life of me, I don’t
understand how I can say Close any other
way than the way that I do, but, the computer
most definitely says NO! I often quickly get to
the point of being cut off on many automated
telephone calls – I am the disaffected
community, by the fact that I am actively
pushing back on the virtual community –
‘they’ don’t understand me, my northern
accent and I prefer the personal touch!
A strong sense of real community or
culture is a feature in the work place that
we should not overlook. I don’t feel that a
virtual community is something that people
can have a strong sense of belonging to, not
when we all have to have the same accent and
inflection of voice. In my opinion, a feeling of
belonging and sense of being oneself at work
is critical to success and an ability to really
achieve great things in our workspace. This is
a sense of true community.
Driving culture can come from key
points in the employee journey. At ISS we
call them Touchpoints, the key moments
in an employee’s day that really makes the
difference to them and their productivity as
well as providing a sense of belonging and
wellbeing. Just identifying and managing
these moments says a lot about our culture.
After all, if we spend time, money and
resources on making these Touchpoints
positive employee experiences, this in its self
lets people know how critical we see the team
and how they feel about working for us.
We have recently published a whitepaper
on the direct link between employee
engagement and positive service experiences,
the premise of which is that better engaged
employees provide better service – that
sounds easy when written in a sentence! The
implementation of employee engagement
strategies, on a workforce that spans cultures,
16 | Insights & Action | July 2017
© ANDREY POPOV | 123RF.COM
industries and regional boundaries requires
strong leadership and development, but
it also requires community. A sense of
belonging, of a shared goal, something that
is private and meaningful to an individual,
an enabler that within this community you
are allowed to be yourself, that you will be
celebrated and supported, enabled to do your
job well and to achieve your aspiration.
A sense of community in these challenging
times, is crucial and it is something that we
are intentional about building at ISS. This
creates the foundation for a workforce that
is engaged and enabled, but also supported
and respected as individuals, nothing virtual
here, concrete solid foundations that lead the
business in our pursuit to become the world’s
greatest service organisation.
I speak about many things in induction, but
my main area of conversation is reminding
people on connecting their feelings to their
work. When I feel welcome at work, I become
a better employee, when I feel accepted by my
peers, co-workers, neighbours and colleagues,
I am better in all aspects of being me.
At ISS we call them
Touchpoints, the key
moments in an employee’s
day that really makes the
difference to them and
We encourage everyone to contribute to
the sense of community we create. If you are
looking for the positive role model, person
or situation, stop trying to find it and instead
live it – be it, that’s when the diverse, exciting
The recent tragedy in Manchester
saw the very worst of times for all those
involved and the best of community spirit,
of people helping and supporting each
other, both emotionally and physically.
People who took to the streets with cups of
tea and water, of taxi drivers taking people
home, of strangers opening their home.
These people demonstrated a sense of
community spirit, when the hardest times
were upon them. My article this month is
dedicated to them, to say ‘thank you’ for
those moments of selfless behaviour and
for giving my daughter the role models,
found in that community at a time when
it would be so easy to retreat and view
the tragedy online, in a virtual capacity.
To the good people, that went out and
demonstrated the sense of what the
community stands for, to those people that
far outweigh anything else.
epmagazine.co.uk | 17
Research in the
health care profession
can answer questions
Behavioural techniques can benefit businesses argues
Giles Gordon-Smith, Founder and Consultant at Penshee.
US medical malpractice litigation provides surprising insight
into what drives guests to take their gripes online.
Love it, loathe it or simply live with
it; you know as well as I do that
TripAdvisor is here to stay. I would
imagine many of you even have a
strategy to use the platform to your advantage.
Today the question is how businesses avoid
those damning and damaging reviews which
inflict such heartache, anxiety and even anger.
The business impact can be considerable;
a ‘TrustYou’ study reveals that if the share
of 5-bubble reviews increases by 10%, the
number of bookings increases by 10.2% in
Europe and 7.8% in Asia-Pacific. A Cornell
study found that a one-point increase in
reputation (based on a five-point scale) can
result in a hotel’s ability to raise room rates
up to 11.2%.
The power is now firmly in the hands of the
consumer, and with more than 300 million
using TripAdvisor every month, unregulated
and often unwarranted reviews can damage
a brand. The internet is awash with hoteliers
directing anger, protestation, blame, and
even law suits towards TripAdvisor, who
show consideration of the problem via their
‘moderation and fraud detection’ unit. But
stone throwing is not what I’m here to do, as
prevention will eradicate the need to blame.
I’m here to promote the former.
18 | Insights & Action | July 2017
But can we really prevent negative
The answer to this bold question comes from
striking studies in the seemingly unrelated
health care profession.
Two great authors of our time; Malcolm
Gladwell and Daniel Goleman have both
drawn on the same research in their
influential books ‘Blink’ and ‘Working with
Emotional Intelligence’. To drastically
distill the expansive work of the world’s
foremost researcher on patient-physician
communication, Dr. Wendy Levinson –
doctors who communicate more effectively,
get sued dramatically less than their less
emotionally intelligent counterparts (and
often have never been sued at all).
Let’s transfer this observation to hospitality.
What makes hotel guests complain? Guests’
gripes are not with stuff – they are with
employees not caring about stuff. Slow Wi-Fi,
missing side orders and unavailable early
check ins don’t compel people to the poisoned
pen (okay, keyboard). Guests go online to
complain because they feel as though nobody
cares about the slow Wi-Fi, missing side order
and unavailable early check in, and nobody
adequately cares about the impact that this
might have on them. We’ve all been on the
receiving end of things that have gone wrong
in hotels or restaurants, but think – was it the
thing itself that got your blood boiling, or the
way it was handled?
Unfortunately over the years, I’ve had
dozens of instances of being made to feel
that my feedback was not important. There’s
no simpler example than an experience in a
hotel in the UAE last year. A porter escorted
me to my room on arrival and on opening the
door, the stench of stale cigarette smoke was
immediately apparent. The porter concurred
but when calling down to reception,
explained to his colleague; “I’m in room 24
and the guest says it smells.” I hope I don’t
need to elaborate on what’s wrong with his
chosen communication (beyond referring to
me as ‘the guest’ when my name was known
to him). It was the start of a highly frustrating
experience and, had I not been there on a
professional basis, I can assure you I would
have been more than tempted to vent online.
So let’s return to the research and see what
made the difference between those physicians
who were sued, and those that weren’t.
Levinson recorded hundreds of
conversations between a group of physicians
and their patients. Roughly half of the doctors
had never been sued. The other half had been
sued at least twice, and Levinson found that just
on the basis of those conversations, she could
find clear differences between the two groups.
What were the differentiators?
A. Listening – In the sued group, only 23%
of time was the patient given the opportunity
to complete their opening statement;
resulting in a significant loss of connection
and feeling of understanding between patient
and physician, as well as the inevitable
receiving of incomplete information. Those
few that allowed the patient to finish their
statement gained a far greater level of trust.
B. Time – The surgeons who had never
been sued spent on average three minutes
longer with each patient than those who had
been sued did.
Guests’ gripes are
not with stuff – they
are with employees not
caring about stuff.
C. Tone of voice – When reviewing tape
recordings of the interactions, psychologist
Nalini Ambady filtered them to remove highfrequency
sounds and leave a kind of garble
where only pitch, intonation and rhythm
remained. Using qualities such as warmth,
hostility, dominance and anxiousness, she
was able to predict which surgeons got sued
and which didn’t. Ambady was stunned by
“If the surgeon’s voice was judged to
sound dominant, the surgeon tended to be
in the sued group. If the voice sounded less
dominant and more concerned, the surgeon
tended to be in the non-sued group.”
D. Rapport – The level of training
and credentials of the physician bore no
correlation to the amount of litigation faced.
Many patients simply refused to pursue legal
action against practitioners that they liked:
E. Missing Clues – Physicians in the
sued camp frequently missed information
from patients, who offered verbal cues as
to their emotional state or social concerns.
These clues represented clear chances to
demonstrate empathy and understanding
and thus deepen the emotional alliance
between the two parties. These clues were
referred back to in only 38% of instances.
So how can your teams benefit from this
research in their handling of feedback?
1. Listen – When a guest wants to complain,
always allow them to finish what they are
saying. Not only will you receive complete
information, your guest will immediately feel
that someone is listening.
2. Time – I get it, you’re busy, but would
you be willing to go back in time and find just
three minutes of your time when faced with a
‘terrible’ rating on TripAdvisor?
3. Tone – Once you’ve listened to your
guest, think about your tone, and whether
it reflects the gravity of the situation.
Being warm, humble and empathetic can
4. Rapport – This doesn’t mean to strive
to become the guest’s best friend, but rather
to create an emotional connection. Handling
feedback in an understanding and positive
manner will make them recall the incident in
a different light.
5. Tune in– Look for additional clues and
show that you’ve understood them.
6. Accept negative feedback – looking
to justify issues or change a guest’s opinion
of one will only exacerbate the situation and
frustrate the guest. ‘Difficult’ guests so often
become so as a result of aversive employee
7. Be grateful – when a guest brings an
issue to you, be grateful to them and thank
your lucky stars that you have the chance
to put things right, before they log in to
Empower your teams with these steps and
look forward to the positive results.
epmagazine.co.uk | 19
Is there more to
Professor David Russell, Chairman of
The Russell Partnership Collection explains
the importance of health and nutrition.
What do nutritional developments mean for the food and
Nutrition is defined as “the process
of providing or obtaining the food
necessary for health and growth”.
Google trends show us that internet
searches related to nutrition drop significantly
around Christmas, and reach peak popularity
in January – as you might expect, however
what is unprecedented, is the surge in health
and nutrition interest throughout the year
from a range of demographics within the
general public. In order of interest, the top 5
cities ‘googling’ their way through nutrition
related questions are Cardiff, Plymouth,
Guildford, Oxford and Thames Ditton.
The rise in health and nutrition is largely
driven by the transfer of knowledge enabled
by platforms such as social media, food blogs
and video sites such as YouTube. Millennials
are the key driving force behind this surge
in nutritional interest in a bid to live better,
for longer and optimise their minds and
bodies to look lean, feel energised and excel
in their professional lives. But, is there more
to nutrition that just sustenance, satiation
and longevity? Research is continually
showing that food is much more than just
fuel – food is information, food is instruction
and sometimes food is medicine. These
fascinating developments were well known
to our ancestors, and modem-day-man is
“playing catch-up” on this ancient wisdom,
because as Hippocrates once said, “let food be
thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
So, what do these nutritional developments
mean for the food and beverage sector? How
can we utilise this information to catalyse
positive change in the industry? The first
step is to understand the power of balanced
food and beverage provisions that are
centered around vegetables, fruits, healthy
20 | Insights & Action | July 2017
INSIGHTS THE RUSSELL PARTNERSHIP
“Research shows that
a well-balanced diet that
is rich in wholefoods
such as vegetables, fruits,
healthy fats, nuts, seeds,
fermented food, fatty
fish and lean meat can
mitigate or positively
mental health outcomes.”
© VICUSHKA | 123RF.COM
fats, nuts, seeds, fermented food, fatty fish
and lean meat. In the following paragraph
we will explore one instance of seemingly
disassociated phenomena in the human
body that demonstrates the power of food
provisions. The second step is to apply the
relevant nutrition research to the applicable
sectors and catalyse change based on the
desired positive outcome. This requires
continuous trend analysis, market research
and scientific literature reviews to ensure
cutting edge research is acquired and utilised
efficiently and effectively.
Research shows that a well-balanced diet
that is rich in wholefoods such as vegetables,
fruits, healthy fats, nuts, seeds, fermented
food, fatty fish and lean meat can mitigate
or positively support challenging mental
health outcomes such as anxiety, depression,
ADHD, schizophrenia and autism. This
is because a well-balanced diet delivers
numerous benefits such as micronutrient
optimisation, macronutrient balance,
prebiotic (fibre) provision and microbiome
support. The human microbiome is defined
as the collective genomes of the microbes
(composed of bacteria, bacteriophage, fungi,
protozoa and viruses) that live inside and on
the human body – we have about 10 times as
many microbial cells as human cells, and as
such must do all we can to live in harmony
with the microbiota we retain. Interestingly,
a well-balanced microbiome is perhaps
the single most fundamental physiological
element that delivers positive mental health
outcomes in children and adults alike.
This is a phenomena called the ‘braingut
connection’ or GAPS which stands for
‘gut and psychology syndrome’ – this has
been explained in detail by nutritionist and
neurology expert Dr. Natasha Campbell-
McBride. The phenomena theorises that
the state of our microbiome has a profound
effect on our mental health, which in the case
of an overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria in the gut
this will induces a state called “dysbiosis”.
The gastrointestinal imbalance effects
individuals uniquely, however the guidelines
for revival remain the same for all – probiotic
rich fermented foods, fresh vegetables, ripe
fruit and lean proteins.
In sectors such as Higher Education, the
provision of a balanced offer is essential
given the importance of nutrition for mental
health optimisation. As many as 1 in 4
students in the UK have challenging mental
health outcomes – most notably anxiety and
depression. Whilst social and environmental
factors are crucially important factors that
influence mental health such as depression,
post-traumatic stress syndrome and anxiety
– there is profound value in delivering a
balanced, wholefoods diet that will deliver
energy and perhaps light relief, to those who
are seeking integrative treatment.
In practical terms, this means delivering
simple support solutions by the incorporation
of foods such as broccoli, kale, brussel
sprouts, blueberries, wild fish, organic meats,
wholegrains, sauerkraut, kefir and chia seeds.
Providing optimal nutritional potential to
customers has never been more important.
epmagazine.co.uk | 21
act like entrepreneurs
EP speaks to John Dixey about how he introduced an intrapreneur
approach whilst European Chief Executive of Sara Lee.
Now founder and MD of Zoot Foods Ltd, John has experience of both worlds.
John Dixey was the driving force
behind the regeneration at Playtex
and Wonderbra; brands under the
umbrella of American giant, Sara
Lee Corporation. The Wonderbra was an
amazing success across Europe and the
USA. It captured attention through clever
advertising campaigns with a sexy and
slightly cheeky tone. The iconic strapline
‘Hello Boys’ placed the lingerie on a near
legendary level. However, John explains that
this success didn’t mean it was all working
perfectly behind the scenes.
“I was with Sara Lee for 23 years working
in Australasia and in Europe eventually as
European Chief Executive. I had returned
from Australia to the UK to run the Playtex/
Wonderbra arm of the business and I was
aware of the problems ahead. There was a
‘fear and blame culture’ and clearly there was
a motivation problem. The business needed
transforming very quickly for it to survive.
The job of changing a company where the
people are risk-averse with un-cooperative
departments is not an easy one. John hoped
there would be some good people in place
but a prolonged historical managerial style
of instructions – implementation – reporting
had created an organisation of followers.
If the top person left the rest may as well go
home! How to find the hidden talent? How
to encourage them to express themselves
without the fear of ridicule that they had
previously experienced? Sometimes
opportunities just present themselves.
At this time, the company was approached
to provide £5000 for a group of 25 women
who would wear Wonderbras whilst walking
the New York Marathon to raise money for
Breast Cancer Research. With the fundraisers
dream of creating a charity, John saw
an opportunity to boost the confidence of his
teams and get everyone working together in
a fundraising capacity. He therefore allowed
the new charity, Walk the Walk, to operate
22 | Insights & Action | July 2017
COMMENT JOHN DIXEY
from within Sara Lee and access the full
range of resources the company had to offer.
John kindly helped the charity set-up and
also got his teams involved in supporting the
creation. By using internal capabilities and reenergising
the workforce John saw attitudes
positively change within the company and
outside too. Many customers and suppliers
became involved in the project and they
formed a different and more positive view of
The charity, Walk the Walk, became
well known for their Playtex MoonWalk
Marathons with over 15,000 people taking
part in the fund raising activities each year.
© XIMAGINATION | 123RF.COM
My company mantra
was “if this was my
company and my own
money, is this the decision
I would make?”
Over £100 million has been raised since the
charity’s inception and The Prince of Wales
has been the Patron throughout.
The involvement and success of this project
demonstrated to the teams that things had
changed. They had been empowered and
could sometimes stray over boundaries,
initiate change, use lateral thinking and take
ownership of their decisions.
The Company management in particular
had been challenged to become involved in
areas in which they were not comfortable.
Many of them rose to this challenge,
becoming very innovative and creative.
Perhaps this was because there was no
fear, as it was not perceived as their regular
job? Importantly they adopted this can-do
attitude in their everyday management
thinking. John had also very quickly
discovered who in the team were the creative,
action-oriented individuals. Encouraging
them would prove to bring big rewards.
“Giving your own people an opportunity
to develop their potential by taking known
and calculated risks is a certain way of
drawing out the budding entrepreneurs
within the company. Why are they not
running their own businesses now if they
have the potential? For whatever reason is
it confidence or circumstances perhaps they
feel unable to strike out on their own – they
could still be intrapreneurs! Regardless all
your employees should be looking forward
to potential changes that could improve
their worklife, adding satisfaction and
excitement to their jobs. This cannot happen
if they are not encouraged to behave like
an entrepreneur and instead, live in fear
of making a mistake or being ridiculed for
making suggestions and recommendations.
With this increased freedom comes
increased responsibility and accountability
on the individual. However my company
mantra was “if this was my company and
my own money, is this the decision I would
make?” If the answer was yes then normally
it was the right decision!”
Not everyone can be an intrapreneur and
many do not want it. Some want a simpler
life doing their own job but hopefully a bit
of excitement and reward on the way.
Some though, have that entrepreneurial
streak and you need to find them and bring
out their potential. John admits that it may
make those people more difficult if they can
become possessive but managed correctly
and confidently these are the people who
can contribute massively to the success of
Having the opportunity to work together
with the support of a main business is a
strong approach for those with open minds.
By using the resources of the overarching
company, they can fast track into something
profitable with speed.
John encouraged his team to come to him
with new ideas that were not necessarily
associated with the company’s current
objectives. Several of them were company
funded and driven by the initiators into very
valuable business growth. The initiators were
always given the credit for that success!
John has taken many of these experiences
and learning and used them to support
his own business, Zootfoods Ltd, an
entrepreneurial company with 16 product
lines after only two years. “The focus is an
off-the-shelf snack, sold at a fair price without
the fear of buying something loaded with
fats, salt or sugar. Our main emphasis is on
No-Added Sugar snackfoods and we are now
involved with Brakes and Bidfoods plus we are
stocked in WHSmith, Enterprise Pharmacies
and many more. We’ve accelerated quickly
and have taken risks, but that is part of the
entrepreneurial approach we needed.”
He admits that being an entrepreneur is far
more stressful than being an intrapreneur as
he does not have the resources and support of
a large organisation but says that building his
own is a little easier with his knowledge and
experience behind him. He insists that as his
company grows it will always on the lookout
for potential intrapreneurs!
epmagazine.co.uk | 23
Innovation in people
Time to find the balance and reignite old skills.
The Digital Revolution should have led to greater knowledge
but arguably has led to less reflection and thought.
There is no doubt that the digital
revolution has changed the way
the world behaves. Everyone is
interconnected, with knowledge at
their fingertips, constantly accessible. It has
opened the doors to a greater transparency,
openness and sense of globalization.
However, it has also created changes in
behaviours – especially in work – that need
to be redressed and balanced.
In 1997, the average executive received 25
letters per day. Today, the average executive
receives over 150 emails. The human mind is
only “created” to take on the detail of around
35 per day which means that every day,
executives are pushing their limits. Hardly any
lunch or meeting is not disturbed by the mobile
phone – whether to check an email or text.
Almost everyone today is fully accessible
via the digital – whether email, text, LinkedIn,
Twitter or Facebook. Communication is free
and easy and yet it is arguably harder than ever
for leaders and business to communicate their
message as there is so much noise.
It is estimated that the average middle
manager is 25% less knowledgeable today
about political leaders and issues. Ask
a random group at work who the Home
Secretary is and see if they know the answer?
In the 70s and 80s, most of the cabinet were
It is true that there is more knowledge
shared today but not always relevant
knowledge. Knowledge today is diluted
through the waves of “random” data through
Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Is this important?
It is also estimated that average middle
manager knows 20% less today about their
competition and the market. In 1997, the
average middle executive could name an
average of 10 Industry leaders from their
sector. Today it is less than 4. Again why
not ask a random group if they can name
the CEOs of their competitor set.
It is also argued that there is less
problem solving taking place within the
business environment and that informal
communication has fallen.
Maybe more importantly:
It is estimated that 1:4 Executives
suffer from mental illness – whether that’s
stress, fatigue or worse. Executives are
understandably tired of reading the written
word – hence there is a dramatic fall in
newspaper circulation – and a desire for
70% of emails are often dealing with
internal rather than external issues. Is it
therefore logical that many do not have
a greater understanding of the external
markets and competition? Many boards
ask why new talent is not breaking through.
Is it all interconnected?
A key question to ask at this point is
what do people want? We have spent a
considerable amount of time asking this
question to executives and the answers are
aligned to a world from a previous time:
n More personal interaction and trust
n More time to just reflect
n A desire for more social informality and
n To see greater accessibility to leaders and
to understand the business vision
n To enjoy sessions where the mobile is
banned from use.
n To see people’s behaviours be more
focused on individuals
n To see increased investment in individuals
and knowledge share. It is believed that
investment in training has fallen quite
n To show leadership in the community.
Many believe that leaders are too focused
on shareholder value and not enough
on other core issues such as people, the
teams and the community in which the
24 | Insights & Action | July 2017
Ask a random group at work who
the Home Secretary is and see if
they know the answer? In the 70s
and 80s, most of the cabinet were
© YARRUTA | 123RF.COM
There is a greater social consciousness
beginning to arise but people do understand
there needs to be a balance. It is all about
balance and businesses are beginning to
work on frameworks that:
n Create social hubs for informal discussion
n Ensure that leaders are once again
accessible and developing an emotional
connection with their teams. (The British are
tribal and do desire personal leadership not
n Develop a framework for greater reflection
n Look at techniques to manage the flow of
emails and communication
n Create a greater framework for knowledge
share and connecting
n Develop strong communications
n Invest in training – often on individual
The change is less about any dramatic
investment in cost and more about
behaviours, values, communications and
knowledge share. This is where the work
does need to take place.
Companies will need to re-think HR. There
is genuine change happening – whether that
is coming from the exit from Europe, the rise
of the gig economy, changes in models or just
with the need to retain talent. Strategies do
need to think about their team’s development,
their welfare but also how they engage both
internally and externally.
It is a challenge but one with solutions that
do exist and have been proven in the past.
It is renewing many old methods combined
with the new.
epmagazine.co.uk | 25
INSIGHTS PEOPLE 1ST
Have we entered
the performance and
Martin-Christian Kent, Executive Director at People 1st explains how their
research shows that many are having a rethink on how to maximise staff value.
It’s a challenging time to be dealing with HR issues in the hospitality industry, but with those
challenges come opportunities.
Research we’ve conducted with 40
leading hospitality companies shows
that many are rethinking the way
they maximise value from their staff.
Central to this are interventions to increase
retention and performance.
Many businesses describe themselves as
being “on a journey”, and that journey signals a
break from the ways things have been done in
the past. For many, the focus on staff retention
and performance is a logical response to
rising staff costs, recruitment difficulties and
changing employee attitudes. In essence, the
old ways are no longer working effectively.
Most hospitality businesses would argue that
they have always focused on retaining talent,
but our research clearly highlights that they are
now doing so on an unprecedented scale. While
businesses’ retention strategies differ, they are
increasingly broad and far-reaching, including
rethinking how to have a genuine, two-way
dialogue with staff and tailor contracts, hours
and benefits to suit different needs.
Businesses are harnessing technology to
facilitate this engagement, allowing staff
and employers to communicate with one
another in ways that were unimaginable a
decade ago. At the same time, businesses
continue to invest heavily in effective people
management skills to ensure staff are fully
engaged and motivated.
Businesses are also looking to make their
progression opportunities more transparent
by promoting both vertical and horizontal
opportunities. Through interactive maps, staff
can also access appropriate training and pay
increases are often linked to the successful
completion of appropriate training. This is
something we have seen our clients value
In addition, the apprenticeship levy and
reforms have led many large businesses
to rethink how they can maximise
apprenticeships. We’re seeing a clear shift to
higher-level apprenticeships that are used
to support retention and progression, rather
than simply being used as an entry route.
For many years, People 1st has highlighted
the strong link between high labour
turnover and skill gaps, and how they are
undermining productivity levels within the
industry. Businesses are now much more
likely to focus on staff retention, training and
development to increase performance than
they have been in the past, but some are also
looking taking a much wider view.
A number of businesses are looking afresh
at their HR strategies as part of a wider reengineering
of their customer journey and
experience. Technology is changing the way
a business interacts with its clients and, as
part of this, some are looking at ergonomics,
job design and their processes to increase
customer satisfaction, spend and return
business. Whilst doing so, they are also placing
more emphasis on increasing productivity.
As many employers acknowledge, this
rethinking of HR approaches is a journey.
Some are further along than others and it
may take a while before the industry reaches
its destination. However, not only will these
changes deliver real benefits to a business,
they should have a positive impact on the
Hospitality is likely to reduce its demand
for labour as a result of better retention, as
well as becoming a more attractive career
destination. Both will be critically important
as unemployment continues to fall and we
prepare to leave the EU, making the labour
market even more competitive.
This break from the past is likely to
continue to have positive repercussions for
the effectiveness of HR approaches in the
industry. There has probably never been a
more challenging time to work in hospitality
HR – and it has certainly has never been under
so much scrutiny and measurement – but,
equally, its impact on business effectiveness
has never been as fully appreciated as it is
today. In other cases, businesses are beginning
to ask questions about whether they need to
start thinking differently.
26 | Insights & Action | July 2017
NUTRITION & WELL-BEING KATE TAYLOR
The risk of
Nutritionist Kate Taylor explains why the need for regulation of
professional in the world of nutrition has never been more important.
Who should we trust, where is the protection for consumers?
Nutrition has been on the agenda for
a while now, it’s not new. However
personally I’m still constantly
contacted by those who aren’t
sure who to gain advice from, which health
professional is the right one and who to
believe. As the importance of good nutrition
and therefore good advice is paramount
for performance I wanted to use this as an
opportunity to clear a few things up.
While at the Natural & Organic Food
Show last month, at seminar hosted by the
founder of a certain organic chocolate brand,
the importance of nutrition, really came
to light. Said host proceeded through their
presentation, which was interesting up until
the quote “we shouldn’t eat breakfast because
it interrupts the fast”. Now there is some
truth here, because that’s the point of having
breakfast, in fact that’s the meaning of the
word. So, in a room full of people, some of
which are health professionals who will take
the science view, as I did, some whom are the
general public who will be leaving thinking
about trying this, I was concerned. I raised my
hand and asked the question – what evidence
this was based on? This was answered,
however the studies referenced weren’t
quoted and therefore I was left unsatisfied and
slightly annoyed. This example quite clearly
highlights the importance of qualified advice.
But in case it’s not enough, here’s a few others:
n Australian Belle Gibson who faked her
cancer diagnosis and got an Instagram
following of 200,000 claiming she was
curing it consuming whole foods. Her lies
were exposed in 2015.
n A popular UK newspaper article last
month headlining “The very surprising foods
top nutritionists say they’d never touch” –
when in fact none of these were qualified or
had any evidence supporting them.
n Dr Robert Young, in the USA, claiming by
visiting his ranch and adopting the alkaline
diet you will be healed of disease. He’s
recently been arrested.
Food isn’t a medicine, they are two different
things. It can and will certainly have an impact
on our way of being, there is no denying that.
However medicine, the treatment of disease,
cannot be solely achieved by the diet we
consume from food and beverages.
So, what’s the difference between a dietitian,
a nutritionist and a nutritional therapist and
how are those who practice regulated?
Dietitians generally work in a clinical
setting and with individuals who have
diagnosed medical conditions, a lot of the
time in hospitals or clinical settings. Many
dietitians are also qualified registered
nutritionists too and in addition they may
work in education, media, research and
industry. A university degree is needed
to practice as a dietitian and the title is
protected by law. This is regulated by the
Health Care Professions Council (HCPP)
and the British Dietetic Association (BDA).
Nutritionists provide information based
on scientific research about how food
and nutrition impacts human health and
wellbeing. Nutritionist is not a protected
title by law however is voluntarily regulated
by the Association for Nutrition (AfN).
Nutritionists commonly work in industry,
education, community and also freelance
with clients but rarely work in clinical
settings. A university degree is needed for
both human and animal nutritionists.
Nutritional Therapists work more
holistically with their patients and will use
many different tools to assess one’s health.
They follow the Functional Medicine Model
and they are also not legally protected. They
are voluntarily regulated by the British
Association for Applied Nutrition and
Nutritional Therapy (BANT).
Currently, due to lack of lawful regulation,
anyone can set up and practice as a nutritionist,
meaning there is no real protection for
consumers. Parliament have responded to the
recent government petition to say it will be
debated once it reaches 100,000.
epmagazine.co.uk | 27
Insights are great but
then what do you do?
Sodexo’s recently-appointed food transformation director, Adrian
Evans, explains the importance of taking action following research.
Having discovered what customers feel about their workplace and the impact it has
on their productivity, what needs changing in the way workplace dining is delivered?
We all rely on insight to ensure
our offers are providing what
the customer wants, not just
what we think they want.
We invest heavily in gathering insights and
shouting about what we have learnt but what
Using the results of our research amongst
knowledge workers we are looking at how we
can support our clients by delivering a bestin-class
foodservice offer which not only
positively impacts the productivity of their
employees but their overall wellbeing too.
One area which we cannot ignore is the
impact technology is having on how we work.
Longer working hours and larger amounts
of information being processed mean the
mental and physical health of employees and
creating social spaces for them to interact
has never been more important.
As we all know food is brain fuel and
without it we simply cannot function at our
best. With 10 out of 21 meals eaten at work,
foodservice providers have a key role and
responsibility in ensuring people have access
to healthy, nutritious meals which they want
to eat. With such a large proportion of meals
eaten at work, we do have an influence on the
food choices people make at home too.
It is not simply about ensuring we provide
healthy choices, we need to strive to create
the right food experience by providing the
healthiest choice as the best and favoured
choice. Today’s consumer wants more
than what is put on their plate – they are
looking for a whole experience. To satisfy
this need we need to look at the whole
customer journey, from ambience,
environment and choice through to
availability and frequency – work is
changing, so is the workplace and therefore
workplace dining has to change too.
We are working closely with our clients
to help ensure the foodservice offering is
aligned to the workplace strategy of their
organisation. Some are more advanced
than others but the common theme is
collaboration and understanding the
Our research revealed we are moving
away from just breakfast and lunch
service. The restaurant space can become
an expensive space if it is not utilised
throughout the day. We are all more
mobile, we work in a less structured way,
the restaurant offers the opportunity for
colleagues to collaborate more, restaurants
need to be designed to help encourage those
all-important casual collisions, enabling
teams to collaborate, which in turn helps the
organisation succeed as its people are more
engaged and productive.
For the last nine years, before joining
Sodexo, I led the operations for Google’s food
programme across its offices in Europe, the
Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific region.
Although it was a free issue programme I
truly believe we as foodservice providers
have to look at this model and make it work
in a commercial operation as it really is the
way forward for organisations which rely on
their people to make their business a success.
By making food important again,
restaurants and dining spaces can become
active social hubs that improve productivity
and communication. By opening restaurants
for longer hours, extending food offers,
28 | Insights & Action | July 2017
this reason we take their development very
seriously. We want to provide them with
the experience and knowledge to develop
their skills which in turn benefits us and
At the end of last year we welcomed
critically-acclaimed chef, Adam Handling
as a consultant and in May he welcomed
a group of our chefs to his restaurant,
The Frog, in Spitalfields for a masterclass
session. Adam presented a range of dishes
from his current menu to our chefs with the
inspiration to develop the dishes for their
own menus, reinvigorating our offer in the
corporate services market, particularly
Craft development is of great importance
at Sodexo with David Mulcahy our food
development and innovation director
co-ordinating a wide range of experiences
for chefs from masterclasses such as this one
to food tours, supplier trips and competitive
cooking to name just a few.
It is an exciting time, the workplace and
how we all work is changing rapidly and
at Sodexo we are embracing this change.
We are using valuable insights combined
with the expertise from the likes of Adam
Handling and taking these to our clients to
work in partnership with them to maximise
their work space and create the right
environment for their employees to thrive
and their business to succeed.
considering the needs and patterns of
employees will not only improve wellbeing
but also have a positive commercial impact
This is not new information and is a
regular topic of discussion. It was the theme
of the recent lunch we co-hosted with EP.
The lunch discussion centred around the
fact many organisations find it challenging
to improve their foodservice offer, yet with
change happening in society and the way
we work, companies do need to think about
how to improve the wellbeing of today’s
employees and those of tomorrow.
What about the food?
In an age where we are awash with fantastic
chefs innovating and creating different and
new dining experiences out on the high
street, we have to ensure that we are not
behind the times – to get people eating in
our restaurants we need to mirror what is
on offer on the high street and that ranges
from the grab and go options and cooked
meals through to the hospitality menus for
meetings and executive lunches.
We have a brigade of exceptionally
talented chefs, they are central to our success
in the delivery of our food services. It is for
epmagazine.co.uk | 29
Does a catering
Problems are cropping up in the current catering tender
process and small organisations are potentially missing out.
MD & Principal Consultant of Catering Consultancy Bureau,
Peter Pitham, explores the current process.
When a client needs or wants
to review their catering
arrangements there are
normally a number of catering
organisations to assist in the process which
is often managed by a catering consultancy
organisation. They manage the client’s
required brief to those catering organisations
that meet the brief and the client’s
requirements. This often leads to some
disappointment with the organisations not
invited to tender but it saves time and money.
The tender process ensures a level playing
field for all caterers and asks for specific
information in order to evaluate their ideas
and approach. Investment is often not a
requirement at this stage and so it is not
included as clients are open to just what
will be proposed. It’s important to encourage
the caterer and client to speak with each
other to ensure that both parties have
a clear understanding of each other’s
expectations. This approach isn’t adopted
by all consultants but it ensures that any
emotional influences are highlighted at the
commencement of the project.
The tender progresses until it reaches a
short list of two or three catering organisations
and a series of presentations and site visits are
undertaken. A final shortlist is identified and
the final arrangements on the mechanics of
the catering contract are negotiated. This may
involve refurbishment, investment, or other
arrangements that need to be agreed prior to
the final contract being awarded.
This is often where the problems start.
©RADIANTSKIES | WWW.123RF.COM
30 | Insights & Action | July 2017
INSIGHTS CATERING CONSULTANCY BUREAU
Clients are normally tasked each year to
make a financial saving on areas under their
control, and this could include catering.
Using an example, a client may have
two catering organisations in a tender – a
larger major player and a small company,
competing. They offer similar proposals,
presented designs and ideas for the catering
operation and have made offers of investment.
The tender has been structured and
controlled throughout the process, so it’s
unusual for there to be a great difference on
the financial side. The level playing field and
clarification questions all assist in this matter.
The smaller of the two companies offers a
loan to the client which is interest free over
the period of the contract, normally three
years, with it payable through the trading
account. This pleases the client, but may not
be as great as they think.
The larger company, whose finances are
very similar, propose a similar refurbishment
programme and investment. They offer a
greater amount of investment to cover all
aspects of the refurbishment, provide it
interest free over the life of the contract,
and also provide it as a gift with no payback
This leaves the client in a dilemma.
Often, smaller companies have the
approach – “I own the company and it
is me that you deal with”, together with,
“we can address any problems that you
have immediately as we don’t have the big
company red tape to deal with.” Larger
companies however have a slightly different
approach and bring their operations director
into the tender process. At the conclusion
of this process they announce, “this is your
operations director who you know”.
At this stage I suspect that clients
need a pretty good reason to go up their
management chain to say, “both caterers
are broadly offering the same but I am going
to appoint the smaller company to whom
we have to pay back the loan, as opposed to
the larger company who are giving us the
investment as a gift”. This can often run into
hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The result is often that the smaller
company finds it difficult to compete and so
the award goes to the larger company. During
these processes consultants are asked for
their advice. They provided a response based
on the tender submissions, infrastructure,
most appropriate fit and make no reference
to investment. However, despite this input,
the smaller company is normally still
disappointed and may have spent around
£10,000 on the project. Going back to square
one can be very difficult.
In a recent conversation with a smaller
organisation they raise the question that
this process could be one of the reasons why
there has been a downturn in new companies
entering the market? It is an interesting point
and for those who do enter, they often struggle
for a while and then present themselves as a
potential “buy” for a large player.
Several caterers have mentioned that
they normally decline a tender which
requires investment. It’s a shame and at
the same time, smaller caterers are now
actively looking for other markets outside of
Business and Industry. Thankfully the initial
requirement for a caterer to invest heavily in
a facility is declining and is often something
that is offered in an effort to secure a contract
without any prompting.
The catering tender still offers opportunity
but it can be a difficult process. I’m not sure if
it still work as effectively and it is something
more are beginning to raise. This is very
much the case of ‘watch this space’.
©RADIANTSKIES | WWW.123RF.COM
...clients need a pretty
good reason to go up
their management chain
to say, “both caterers
are broadly offering the
same but I am going
to appoint the smaller
company to whom we
have to pay back the loan.
epmagazine.co.uk | 31
Innovating in business
It’s no secret that businesses must innovate to grow.
It takes strength to admit that something that worked
in the past, no longer works today.
For those who are less agile, this is easier said than done,
so choosing the right process for innovation is key.
For many businesses it is difficult
to innovate from within either
because of the lack of time, process,
opportunity or simply because many
businesses are consumed with doing what
they do best, running their businesses. It
can take courage to find the latest ideas and
thinking and to source entrepreneurs who
are leading the generation of innovation.
There are some excellent young businesses
evolving and there is also no doubt that
innovation is becoming increasingly
important to have access to.
The best framework for a company
depends on its sector, size and needs.
Developing a process for a very specific
purpose is often quite hard to achieve so
being open to a range of innovation is worth
the pursuit. The process itself is not the best
place to start, it is easier to have a clear end
goal and the framework can be built around
this. An organisation may be seeking to
protect its existing market, moving into a new
one of create a new offering and all of these
can often include new labels and jargon.
Once a company has the willingness
to find new ideas and test these within
an experiment-style process, they must
look to where they can source innovation.
This is where EP is of value because of the
long supported Entrepreneurs Club. This
includes over 130 exciting entrepreneurs of
various sizes – from start-ups to the more
established and growing; from £0 turnover
to £25m turnover level. They operate across
all markets including digital technology,
original food and drink products, fashion
and clothing, hotel concepts, restaurants and
food service. They bring new and essential
innovation into the sector which can create
change, improve services and create value for
the customer journey.
It can be said that the future of the industry
is being shaped by those taking on the new
ideas, not those reacting to what is being
thrust upon them. EP will continue to harness
the potential of creativity by matching the new
innovating companies with larger players, so
value can be found on both sides.
A survey by the Confederation of British
Industry (CBI) has shown that UK firms are
concerned about lagging behind the global
business community following the Brexit vote.
The survey of 800 businesses found that
70% plan to increase or maintain their
spending levels on innovation following
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
It is true that new solutions can increase
productivity, the customer experience and
allow for more effective competition in the
market. Whether customer service or product
development, innovating may drive growth and
gain those vital edges over the competition.
© FAZON | 123RF.COM
32 | Insights & Action | July 2017
COMMENT INNOVATION IN THE WORKPLACE
© FAZON | 123RF.COM
EP therefore creates bespoke innovation
centres on behalf of companies. These can
introduce between five and ten new cutting
edge ideas, concepts and technologies over
a year. In addition to adding to the offer and
potentially improving the customer journey,
there is the opportunity for businesses to
communicate their support of SME and
entrepreneurial businesses and create change
within the Hospitality industry through their
own and also EP’s communication channels.
By actively supporting entrepreneurial
businesses, companies can support and
enable real value and real change within their
practices and within the industry as a whole.
It is ideal for those who do not know where to
start with innovation.
Companies involved in this process receive
access to innovation and are also given
recognition for their interest in it. There
should be no limit as to where innovation
comes from, but it is hard to find, so those
who work with EP also receive access to:
n Monthly Innovation Forums and Dragon’s
Dens events which include priority access to
n Opportunities to trade with, invest in or
acquire relevant entrepreneurial companies.
n Introductory meetings of entrepreneurial
businesses which corporates have expressed
As the industry grows, more companies are
moving away from heavy, complex processes
because this slows innovation down. There
will always be an argument that ideas can
come from within a business but ideation
shouldn’t be mistaken as innovation. It
can be a long journey to create potential
value from an idea. Therefore accessing
innovation, from market sources, can solve
problems or create solutions in a much
quicker, easier format.
It is also important to note that putting
everything into an idea and never getting
actual innovation can be a troublesome road
to travel. Exploring all the possible routes
for innovation can improve the focus and
process at the same time.
Some organisations will look to lead the
market and adopt the latest ideas, others will
listen to the market and take on board the
companies as they begin to make an impact
and a few will get left behind. It doesn’t have
to be this way but since the 1960s innovation
has been monitored and many now know
it is needed for adding value. It is a wellknown
example but worth referencing again
– Airbnb doesn’t own a single hotel, but is
the world’s largest accommodation provider
– its business model is based on a platform
enabling people to share their own spaces.
Their identity isn’t as a supplier but a creator
of a specific service.
epmagazine.co.uk | 33
PROVIDING A PLATFORM TO SHOWCASE CUTTING EDGE INNOVATION
Amadeus and EP are proud to announce a new Innovation
Hub which is designed to recognise exceptional innovation
The Hub is a platform for entrepreneurs and SMEs with exciting
companies and concepts they are keen to bring into the highly
competitive hospitality sector.
The Hub is designed to identify the best products, concepts
and solutions in the sector and all types of companies can apply.
This is the chance to present to Amadeus, a leading foodservice
company. They place innovation on the highest priority as they
believe it’s what keeps the industry moving forward.
Finalists will have the chance to present their proposal or
company to Amadeus with the potential to work with the
organisation and receive mentoring and an opportunity to
knowledge share with our senior operators. This a unique
opportunity and the experience gained will be of huge benefit.
Entries have until 30th September 2017 to apply for the award.
Those entering must summit:
l Description of their company – 500 words max
l Their business plan
l How they deliver their concept or product – 500 words max
l Reasons why they would work well in Amadeus –
1000 words max
l What makes them unique – 500 words max
An independent panel will select the shortlist who will then
be invited to ‘pitch’ their concept or company to a select
group of judges. Pitches will take place in late October with
the results announced in early November. This is an incredible
opportunity to put a new concept or company in front of an
experience innovative leading company. It is a great way to
connect with Amadeus and share ideas and challenges within
the hospitality industry.
SUBMIT ENTRIES VIA EMAIL TO BEN.BUTLER@EPMAGAZINE.CO.UK
COMMENT MENTAL HEALTH
The tipping point
In an increasing fast paced world, the risk of
workplace behavioural health issues intensifies.
Are we now realising the impact mental health plays on workplace performance, health and safety?
Many now know that one in four
adults will suffer from a mental
health issue at some point in their
life. Professionals in all positions
may struggle with stress, dependency and
various other issues in the workplace. As the
world quickens and automation begins to
take away some positions, there is a realisation
that human traits are essential for business.
People are simply the greatest assist of any
company and for long-term growth and
success, investing in them is a necessity
to ensure their wellbeing.
In the industry, chefs are often mentioned
as one of the roles where health is being
‘punished’ by long hours. The concern is
an accident may occur because of fatigue
and depression is widely accepted as being
caused by overworking. Some are calling
for the end of the ‘work till you drop’ culture
which exists in many busy kitchens. There
is a fear in the hospitality sector that talent
will either not enter the industry or leave,
due to the working conditions. Changing
the situation and profiling the industry as a
positive place to work will help change this
attitude and opinion.
Research by the Centre of Economic
and Business Research commissioned by
workplace absence management specialist,
FirstCare, says workplace absence costs UK
businesses £18bn a year. This lost productivity
is an increasing trend with a number of
absences related to stress and anxiety.
A fascinating part of this research also
demonstrates that workplace absence
has increased year-on-year since 2011 –
having previously been on a downward
trend since 1993. It seems right to question
what has happened since 2011 to have
caused this increase.
The research shows that mental health
issues hit 30–40 year olds the hardest which
may be as a result of increased financial
pressures and a difficulty of balancing the
demands of work and family. It also argued
that an ageing workforce has had a significant
impact with musculoskeletal issues
continuing to affect mostly 50–60 year
olds, and time off to recover from surgery
resulting in a rise of 0.63 to 0.84 days lost
per employee – the equivalent of over two
years of lost productivity for an organisation
employing 1000 people.
absence has increased
year-on-year since 2011 –
having previously been
on a downward trend
However younger generations are also
adding to the rise of absence. The Millenial
age group values independence and
flexibility sometimes over and above salary
and job security. As a result of all of these
factors, the research predicts that the cost of
absence will increase to £21bn in 2020, and
increase to £26bn in 2030.
There are some corners arguing for
technology to tackle workplace mental
health issues. Companies could monitor
employee absence patterns and feedback
from return to work interviews to produce
detailed reports and analysis which show the
true picture of health and mental wellbeing
of their workforce.
These insights would provide an accurate
picture of the current situation and allow
companies to ensure their critical wellness
spending is not wasted. It may also help
HR departments proactively identify
employees with possible mental health
challenges at an earlier stage and enable
better workplace support.
Some companies are also looking to
change the perception of mental health
and recovery in the workplace and are
introducing workplace behavioural
health sessions. The training is to provide
their workers with the steps to take and
participates receive a certificate.
Is there a need for a tailored approach?
Based on what role a person has, what
tasks they complete and what struggles
they may have. Appropriate treatment for
an employee’s situation could range from
intervention, detox, one-to-one coaching –
all aimed to support the individual towards
healthy living and successful sobriety.
Greater openness is now being seen across
the industry and the hope is that those who
are suffering do not feel isolated, stigmatized
or scared they will lose their responsibilities
or job. A culture which tries to prevent
mental health issues is the best way forward
and many must now look to encourage this.
Admitting a problem is often the first step
and companies must have the structure
available to support those who go through
this. Looking after the workforce is a key
priority, without them this industry simply
epmagazine.co.uk | 35
INSIGHTS RAMSAY TODD
The move of sustainability to
become an increasing core issue
Wendy Sutherland, Managing Director at Ramsay Todd argues it’s been
a long time in the making but the conversation has now truly started.
Whilst the definition is debated, organisations have no
choice but to demonstrate their credentials and compliance.
We think of sustainability as
being relatively new but it was
on the agenda of the Stockholm
Conference in 1972. It has
however taken over 45 years to become
something that is being actively addressed
by both individuals and the corporate world.
The definition of sustainability has been
debated for decades but, we are now in an era
where discussing what it means and why it’s
important has moved to actually changing
behaviours. We have learnt to consider how
our actions impact on the environment and
others but the biggest step change has been
the infrastructure provided to enable us to
contribute to the sustainability agenda.
So what’s changed? In 1987 the
Brundtland Report defined sustainability
using the concept of three pillars.
Initially the focus was on social aspects
with priority being given to how we could
support poor communities. Charities were
adopted by organisations to demonstrate
to shareholders in their annual reports that
CSR was on their agenda along with CSR
Polices and employing CSR specialists.
Although social and economic aspects are
important, the critical element is now seen as
the environment, which directly impacts on
the other two pillars.
The Brundtland sustainability model was
seen as flawed by many because the pillars
indicated separate and equal entities, which
didn’t acknowledge the interdependencies.
John Elkington’s concept of Triple Bottom
Line Focus then appeared in 1994 outlining a
1. The Financial Result,
2. Care for People (broader society)
3. The Planet – the environment.
The value society now places on
sustainability is moving it towards being a
core issue. Academics and scientists have
done their work by getting governments to
take notice. Public awareness has never been
higher, which drives the behavioural changes
needed to provide a sustainable lifestyle.
Whether we like it or not, we are all part of
the problem as well as part of the solution
hence the reason for local Councils enforcing
recycling to reduce waste going to landfill.
The introduction of legislation and
the growth of global and government
frameworks to address sustainable issues is
ensuring that this subject is not going to go
away. How many of the following are you
aware of ?
n The UN Global Compact
n The Earth Charter
n BS 8900
n The Kyoto Protocol
n ISO 14001
n EMAS (European Eco-Management
and Audit Scheme)
n BSI PAS (Publicly Available
Sustainability is now linked to; environment,
development, education, procurement, fashion
(apparently there is a sustainable style!), to
name just a few. Qualifications are available
at degree and masters levels for sustainable
development and in 2016/7 the Corporate
Ethics Mark awarded by CIPS (Chartered
Institute for Procurement and Supply)
included a section on sustainability.
Sustainability is now part of everyday
life and consumer expectations are such
that organisations have no choice but
to demonstrate their credentials and
compliance. This will hopefully deliver further
improvements and developments to support
the objective of preserving resources for future
generations and making a better world for
everyone. There’s a long way to go and it’s a big
task but the conversation is at least underway.
36 | Insights & Action | July 2017
INSIGHTS THE LITMUS PARTNERSHIP
Doing best what
Nigel Forbes, Managing Partner at The Litmus Partnership explains how
consumer insight allows companies to focus on the most important areas.
Understanding the needs of key stakeholders provides a clear indication of where to focus an
n today’s complex world of ever-changing
trends and consumer needs, and nowhere
is this more evident than in the world
of foodservice and hospitality, it’s really
important to track the opinions of key
stakeholders and ensure that efforts are
focused on the areas that are most important
to both the organisation and the people who
work in it.
Consumer research is clearly very
important but too much data can also be
mind-boggling. Even a short questionnaire
can leave you baffled about where to focus
your efforts to improve the services:
n Do you need to extend the range of healthy
n Should you introduce a pre-order system
to alleviate queuing?
n Do you need to increase the number of
plant based menu items?
You will not necessarily find the answers
by concentrating on the areas where
satisfaction is lowest. Measuring satisfaction
alone is one dimensional.
In order to make sure that you are ‘Doing
Best What Matters Most’ you should analyse
the gap between importance and satisfaction
or ‘the satisfaction gap’. This gives you
quantifiable data highlighting areas of your
service that are the furthest away from
meeting consumer expectation.
It is therefore essential to use a research
system that identifies not only customer
satisfaction levels but also the importance
levels of different elements of the service. This
allows completion of a gap analysis exercise.
By using a gap analysis approach you will
be able to:
n Identify the priorities for improvement
– those areas where developments in
performance will produce the greatest gain
in consumer satisfaction
n Set goals for service improvement and
monitor progress against a consumer
n Improve financial performance through
improved consumer loyalty and retention
By implementing an action plan that
concentrates on the top four or five satisfaction
gaps (the priorities for improvement) you will
automatically increase customer satisfaction
levels. This can be demonstrated by running a
follow up survey a year after the initial one.
A detailed Consumer Insight programme
should includes fully customisable surveys,
onsite support, focus group forums, and
detailed reporting and analysis, leading to the
completion of a prioritised action plan.
Consumer Insights can deliver much
more than an ordinary survey. A tried and
tested methodology will provide an accurate
and robust measure of how satisfied your
customers feel and a clear indication of
where you need to focus your efforts to
Organisations should now be looking
to close the gap between importance and
satisfaction by ‘doing best what matters most’
and therefore increasing the customer’s
epmagazine.co.uk | 37
war on waste
RAWPIXEL | 123RF.COM
EP explores the successful partnership between Compass Group, the UK’s
largest food and support services firm and award winning start-up Winnow.
Saving customers $8m every year in reduced food waste.
In an industry where customers drive demand
and buy-in is required from one’s clients, many
companies struggle to undertake serious
commitments to rethink their business
culture and how it reflects in the market.
However, with customers paying more
attention to the social agenda of businesses,
there is a need to break down barriers and
undertake real actions to drive positive
change. This change can happen within the
company but it often needs the support of
innovation that comes from the outside in
order to meet their targets.
Earlier this year Compass Group UK &
Ireland published its Corporate Responsibility
report, outlining future commitments to
tackle food waste and set itself a target to
reduce waste by 10% against its 2016 level by
2020. This may seem a bold stretch target,
but for those businesses that have signed up
to Courtauld 2025 the case for action clearly
highlights the need for such ambitious targets:
n Meeting global food demand for 2050,
using today’s methods, could increase
global temperatures by 2 degrees, changing
n Eight of the top 10 countries we import
food from are drought prone
n For every three tonnes we eat in the UK,
another tonne goes to waste. We currently
waste around £17 billion of food per year.
Waste is naturally produced in kitchens –
research by WRAP found that 18% of all food
purchased is wasted. In order to meet their
10% target, Compass Group partnered with
Winnow to help them optimise the whole
supply chain and produce more with less.
Using Winnow’s digital scale and smart
meter the team were able to quickly identify
38 | Insights & Action | July 2017
SUSTAINABILITY WINNOW SOLUTIONS
RAWPIXEL | 123RF.COM
where waste was occurring within their
operations and make adjustments to reduce
waste while still delivering a high quality
service to the customer. The daily reporting
which details where food waste had occurred,
gives the Senior Chefs and Managers the
insight needed to make better production
decisions, produce the correct amount of
food, and reduce waste. The system provides
an estimated cost of the waste too.
Compass originally installed Winnow at
The Wellcome Trust – a global charitable
foundation supporting scientists and
researchers – in October 2014 to help the
team measure, understand and reduce food
waste. The latter appointed Restaurant
Associates (part of Compass Group UK
& Ireland) as its caterer for their central
London head office in an effort to help the
team reduce food waste and Winnow became
a central part of that process.
Since its introduction at The Wellcome
Trust, food waste by value has been reduced
by 70%. Service quality has remained at
high standards but with a lower level of
food wastage – 4.4 tonnes to be precise.
The kitchen is also saving an estimated
19 tonnes of CO 2
emissions every year, not
taking into account the energy saving in
cooking less food nor the reduction in water
usage in growing, transporting and preparing
the food. For the two businesses working
together this has resulted in a much lower
impact on the environment.
Over the next year, Compass will
be introducing this technology into an
additional 500 staff restaurants, universities,
schools and defence sites across the UK.
The caterer is also applying the technology
internationally across Europe and Asia
where results have also been encouraging.
Today the Winnow system is saving its
customers $8m every year in reduced food waste
costs and is live or contracted in over 1,000
sites. Kitchens find on average the Winnow
system helps reduce food costs by 3%–8%.
It might sound obvious but one of the
key indicators of success lies upon the fact
that for the first time large scale operations
could be measured. Better information
collected in a more efficient way enables
Since its introduction at the Wellcome Trust,
food waste by value has been reduced by 70%. Service
quality has remained at high standards but with a
lower level of food wastage – 4.4 tonnes to be precise.
kitchen and facilities teams to meet waste
reduction goals, recording waste in a fraction
of the time with assurance that all sources
of waste are captured daily. The heightened
employee awareness of food waste means
that everyone gets involved in identifying
opportunities for waste reduction and can
deliver quick results, with teams able to
focus efforts on production and service of a
high quality dining experience. To achieve
this there needs to be constant engagement
and communication, educating businesses
on sustainable impacts, managers on the
commercial benefits of embedding such
practices in the culture and day to day work
of teams. Perhaps more important is the need
for Head/Senior chefs to become advocates
for the system, educating their wider teams
and ensuring all are aware of the role they
play in achieving sustainability targets and
the operational efficiency this in turn creates.
Chefs across the industry are incredibly
busy and one of the key challenges that the
foodservice and hospitality sector face is
accurately recording the real value of what
is being thrown away. Recording waste has
previously also been a time consuming
process but by utilizing technology in this
way teams are able to cut this to just 10
minutes per day. Giving chefs more time
while helping cut food waste significantly.
Yet, this does not mean it is an easy
challenge. As much as caterers would like
to undertake serious steps and tackle food
waste, they are often challenged by fierce
competition. This is why change should
not be just about the process but rather
about culture and the openness to welcome
new innovative ideas that can change
For instance, changing how the food
is displayed on any given day is a way to
present an attractive choice to customers
while also keeping waste to a minimum.
The identification of specific areas of waste
can enable presentation to be tailored
accordingly and waste reduced.
What this demonstrates is that large
companies with the help of the smaller
innovators have the power to promote
positive change and drive a sustainable
agenda not only in business but also in
society. It is important to engage customers
and educate them on the impact they can
have through the choices they make and the
reason behind certain menu choices. If it’s
If it’s perfectly acceptable to re-use our leftovers
at home, is it time that ‘Re-worked’ becomes a word
associated with a quality sustainable menu choice.
perfectly acceptable to re-use our leftovers
at home, is it time that ‘Re-worked’ becomes
a word associated with a quality sustainable
menu choice, rather than with a perceived
Small and disruptive businesses can play a
leading role in changing the culture of large
and established businesses. It is only a matter
of driving the agenda forward and the two
working in collaboration.
epmagazine.co.uk | 39
Which hat should
procurement really wear?
Julian Fris, Director at Neller Davies explores the
very varied world of the procurement process.
More for less – sound familiar?
ecent market changes have
contributed to smaller margins
and, in turn, more pressure on
the profitability of outsourcing
contracts. In the past ten years catering
and FM margins have roughly halved;
many we see are now less than 5%.
Where do companies turn to? There
are few people who can argue that
procurement is the ‘go to’ place when
looking at ‘smarter’ operations, and the
more efficient purchase of goods and
services from suppliers.
Most progressive organisations will see
procurement as one of their core strategic
functions, however, the process itself
wears many hats and the approach varies,
particularly when it comes down to the old
private vs public debate.
Whilst there are variants, the public
sector essentially operates four models
for FM and catering; restricted, negotiated,
dialogue and ‘light-touch’. If we take
restricted and dialogue models (light-touch
only concentrates on contracts up to
the value of 186k euros and where there
are significant levels of income), we can see
some real advantages and some significant
The restricted model basically involves
a client putting a contract notice on OJEU
(Official Journal of the European Union)
or some other channels, identifying what
type of service it requires. Suppliers can then
“Whilst there are variants, the public sector
essentially operates four models for FM and catering;
restricted, negotiated, dialogue and ‘light-touch’.”
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40 | Insights & Action | July 2017
INSIGHTS NELLER DAVIES
© XIMAGINATION | 123RF.COM
Restricted – best and final
The tender they initially submitted is their
best and final offer and that its. Bids are
assessed on a ‘price and quality’ basis and
the company which scores highest wins
This sounds pretty straightforward and
fair, if you know exactly what you want.
However, what if, during the tender
process, you identify some gaps or changes
you’d like to make in the brief ? You are not
able to change without starting the process
again. Furthermore, what if you realise that,
during the tender process, the company
which scored the highest isn’t the right
cultural fit for the organisation it is about to
As we know, engagement and relationship
are the backbone of a successful servicebased
The dialogue based approach is quite
different. A so-called descriptive document
is distributed through OJEU, organisations
will go through a period of discussion and
engagement with all stakeholders. This is
likely to result in a brief that all parties are
engaged with, however, it could take up to
around 18 months to finalise – about double
that if restricted.
Restricted is great if you know exactly what
you want and have all the back-up data and
policies. Dialogue is best for developing
strategy but there is a danger that it can be
open-ended. The negotiated procedure does
give an opportunity for a best and final offer
and works quite well with catering subsidies
but you have to ensure that the process is
fair and transparent.
On many public contracts, smaller
businesses are at a disadvantage at the
pre-qualification stage because they have
insufficient collateral. This means the
bigger players will win every time. SMEs
are then relegated to second-tier suppliers.
This can’t be good for the market.
The benefits, however, are clear –
avoidance of fraud or corruption and
strict procedures means that everything
The public sector is
strong on process,
and compliance – it
has to be. The public
demands to know how
its money is being spent
and rightly so.
In the private sector, the major difference
here is that organisations can invite
companies they already know of and ask
them to bid. The first impression is to say
that they immediately rule out competition,
but the onus is really on suppliers to engage
with companies whose cultures match
In a private sector tender process,
suppliers or contractors go through a similar
pre-qualification phase and we will shortlist
those who get through to the next round. The
difference here is that we can all be flexible.
This can also mean that SMEs are able to
be in with a shout of competing as the client
may be less risk averse.
More importantly, the companies
shortlisted will also be measured on cultural
fit throughout the process.
Any cleaning, reception, catering,
grounds maintenance business can offer
the right algorithm on paper but, as
ambassadors for the end client, they will
need to share similar values and blend
into their environment. The wrong service
provider can alienate customers and
this naturally has a real impact on the
The public sector is strong on process,
discipline, governance, and compliance –
it has to be. The public demands to know
how its money is being spent and rightly so.
Many like to buy into the phrase that
the ‘private sector is service driven and the
public sector is process and cost driven’
– neither are bad and both can improve
So if the question is ‘which’ is better?
The answer probably lies somewhere in the
middle, or, it really depends on the appetite
of the client. The private sector can learn a
lot from the discipline of the public sector,
however, the public sector can do more
to ensure that it opens itself up to more
opportunity for competition.
epmagazine.co.uk | 41
What can we do to help
tackle the obesity crisis?
Should consultants put pressure on caterers for the sake of the next generation
asks Andrew Etherington, Director at Andrew Etherington Associates.
With rising obesity levels, how should the industry react and is it partly to blame?
t is a sad, but well-known fact that rates
of obesity in the UK are continuing to
rise. At a school meals conference last
week we were told that 1 in 10 children
starting infants school are overweight or
obese, and this rises to a staggering 1 in 4
when they move to secondary schools some 6
years later. It was also noted that 70 per cent
of the adults in the UK are predicted to be
overweight or obese by 2034.
Yet it is rare these days to find a school
meals catering contractor who does not
proudly boast that “we are a fresh food
company”. Something must be going wrong,
somewhere. To be fair to these caterers,
eating at school accounts for only 190 out of
the 1,100 meals children consume each year.
So they can’t really take the blame, and the
government’s School Food Plan does mean
that caterers are strictly limited to what they
So is it on the high street that the blame
lies? We all know of well-known bakery
chains that sell bags of doughnuts to children
on the way to school, and stop at any
motorway service station and you will see the
longest queues at the likes of McDonalds and
KFC. Supermarket shelves are overflowing
with ready meals containing excessive
amounts of fat and salt, let alone BOGOFs,
supersized multi-packs and massive bottles
of sugary fizzy drinks.
I was amazed this weekend to see a newly
opened kiosk in my local shopping centre
that will “blend” soft ice cream with any kind
of chocolate bar you wish. As this was in
affluent Royal Tunbridge Wells, you might
think that it’s to be expected that I should be
“disgusted”, but we know that rates of obesity
are directly linked to levels of deprivation.
As I travel around the country with my work
I see that in much poorer areas such as the
Midlands and Northern England, it is the
norm to see a multitude of takeaways selling
cheap fast food. It seems that it is cheaper to
live off that kind of diet rather than buying
fresh food and cooking it at home.
Surely we must be on safer and healthier
ground in our hospitals? As a patient on
the wards you almost certainly are fed a
balanced and healthy diet, but take a look
at the heavily commercialised visitor areas
and you will definitely find the complete
opposite. How can it be, that when the NHS
is burdened with a £16 billion annual bill
for addressing the results of obesity such as
treating diabetes and heart disease (more
than the £13.6 billion the cost of the police
and fire service combined), NHS managers
are seeking to maximise their income from
well-known high street franchisees who sell a
vast range of profitable yet unhealthy sweets,
sandwiches, snacks and fizzy drinks.
As consultants who presumably have
a key role in influencing the eating habits
of the customer, do we have a moral duty
to espouse a healthy lifestyle and improve
the well-being of our nation? Are we really
thought leaders, or do we simply shrug and
reflect what we see happening around us?
How can it be, that when the NHS is burdened with a
£16 billion annual bill for addressing the results
of obesity, NHS managers are seeking to maximise their
income from well-known high street franchisees who
sell a vast range of profitable yet unhealthy sweets.
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42 | Insights & Action | July 2017
INSIGHTS ANDREW ETHERINGTON ASSOCIATES
© ROBYNMAC | 123RF.COM
Despite this seemingly disastrous
prospect, I am pleased to say that we are
now seeing some good signs that things are
Schools are increasingly growing herbs,
vegetables and fruit on site. Cookery lessons
are being included on the curriculum
and children are once again starting
to understand the link between fresh
ingredients and a healthy diet.
It was recently reported that younger
people are drinking significantly less than
older generations – especially the over 60s
like me! New students arriving at University
are being offered free courses in “Ten key
dishes you can cook yourself from scratch”
and college and university caterers report
that the healthier options are becoming
much more popular at their sites.
arriving at university
are being offered free
courses in “Ten key
dishes you can cook
yourself from scratch”
Whilst the government is, for some
reason, reluctant to impose seemingly
common sense measures such a sugar tax,
limits on pack sizes and multi-buys or a ban
on fast food advertising on the television,
manufacturers are at last bowing to pressure.
Products clearly showing reduced levels of
fat, salt and sugar are selling well, and the
ever-popular meal deals now all include
healthy options such as cut fruit and
flavoured waters in place of a bag of crisps
and unhealthy soft drinks.
As caterers we are all witnessing the
massive increase in home deliveries.
Hopefully this must mean that customers are
eating the same freshly prepared dishes at
home as they would eat in a restaurant. We
are also seeing the acceptance of mis-shapen
or knobbly fruit and vegetables, and all chefs
should be buying these, rather than insisting
on supermarket “quality” ingredients.
If manufacturers are altering the recipes
of many of their products to reduce fat, sugar
and salt content, for the sake of the next
generation should we, as consultants, also
put pressure on caterers to do the same?
epmagazine.co.uk | 43
Sweating your assets
Running a café, restaurant or bar is an expensive business.
Niall McCann, Partner at Joelson explains why not using the regulatory
regime to its full extent can be wasteful in the extreme.
Rent reviews can bite, rates have recently risen and salaries are on the up.
All premises which sell alcohol by
retail on a permanent basis will
have a premises licence.
It is important to regularly
conduct a ‘health check’ to ensure that
the hours and conditions on the premises
licence are fit for purpose. For example, do
the permitted hours reflect those of rival
premises? If not, seeking to extend permitted
hours is not necessarily a daunting task,
especially if the premises enjoys support
from local residents, has a good relationship
with statutory authorities (such as the
police and environmental health) and the
hours sought comply with the local council’s
Conditions should also not be ignored.
Many premises simply live with onerous
conditions which are completely unnecessary
to uphold the four licensing objectives,
namely: the prevention of crime and disorder,
public safety, the prevention of public
nuisance and the protection of children from
harm. Examples include requirements to
have door supervisors or noise limiters when
the style of operation should not require
them. You might even find that some councils
are happy for such changes to be made by way
of the minor variation process which attracts
a fee of only £89.
Many operators of licensed premises
simply forget that, in addition to the benefits
of a premises licence, they can still use a
full allowance of Temporary Event Notices
(“TEN”) which currently stands at 15 notices
a year over a total of 21 days. With a TEN
“It is all too easy
when faced with an
everyday ‘battle for
survival’ to overlook
the bigger picture.”
lasting up to 7 days clever use of them can
have a significant impact on the bottom line,
even if just utilised over the busy Christmas
period. Also, commanding a fee of only £21
they are particularly cost effective. One word
of warning though: if you have a pre-arranged
event be careful to apply in time (10 working
days in advance for a standard TEN and 5
working days for a late TEN). One should
also note that a TEN from 11.00 p.m. to
01.00 a.m. the following morning, whilst
only two hours, counts as two days so the
allowance of 21 days can quickly be ‘used up’
if care is not taken.
The potential to use outside areas is also
often overlooked by operators of cafes, bars
and restaurants. Even if there is no outside
area within a premises’ demise tables and
chairs could still potentially be placed on
the public pavement. Whilst a (potentially
costly) tables and chairs licence will be
required, provided that the pavement is wide
enough and free from obstructions, most
councils will grant permission. Even if the
weather is not favourable, the presence of
outside tables and chairs can prove a useful
visual clue to potential customers as the
existence of a food and drink operation.
The same could also be said of an awning
which, whilst requiring planning permission,
does not require an annual fee to be paid to
the local council.
It is all too easy when faced with an
everyday ‘battle for survival’ to overlook
the bigger picture. Sometimes some
relatively simple and cost effective changes
to the licensing and regulatory permissions
affecting a business can have just as big an
impact on driving revenue as increasing
staffing or significant capital expense.
44 | Insights & Action | July 2017
A journey of
Olubunmi Okolosi, founder of Kajola
explains the process that has led to the
launch of a new consultancy.
Building a company from a love of the industry.
If someone asked was it your aim or dream
to start your own business I would have
always answered NO. My ambition wasn’t
ever to own my own business, I just wanted
to be respected by my peers. It was about
eight years ago when the penny began to drop
and I began to understand my value and how
I felt undervalued.
There is nothing wrong with taking home
a salary and working what your contracted to
do, I however never worked in that way. Since
the age of fifteen when I knew I wanted to
be a chef I was always the kid that put in that
little bit more – I’d come in early, often just
for the thrill of it, I would stay an extra hour
no worries. As I made my way up the career
ladder, I put in more with the thirst to learn
and understand more about the key driving
forces of hospitality.
Hospitality is my love and as I began
as this skinny black kid down in rural
Hampshire my boundless energy and
enthusiasm drove that desire to grow. Along
my path to where I sit today (Amsterdam at
the desk with my daughter playing next to
me) I’ve had some incredible role models
– from Whitbread pub operators, Hilton
hotel restaurant managers, to leading Chefs
like Ashley Palmer-Watts, Virgilio Martinez
and Brad McDonald to energetic founders
of businesses like James Walters and Peter
Prescott and legendary college faculty heads
like Gerry Shurman.
All have taught me lessons along this
incredible journey but what I’ve realised now
is I’m tasked to take the next step and at first
I couldn’t figure out how. I’ve now come to a
stage where I’ve completed a very corporate
European group director role which made
me realise that to take the next steps I must
transform myself. The biggest answer I had
to find whilst pondering this was how do I
do that? This role made me move from UK
Since the age of fifteen
when I knew I wanted
to be a chef I was always
the kid that put in that
little bit more.
to mainland Europe at the time when the
UK started to ask the question of BREXIT.
Doing this role made me understand the
battle of mind-set – corporate governance
vs entrepreneurship, tradition vs innovation
and being a conformist vs a disruptor.
In the end, I set about ferociously reading
about philosophy’s, management styles,
leadership and entrepreneurship. I contacted
the CMI, IC and countless other institutes
to understand what I could learn and they’re
offering. I took in brilliant articles like
‘The Busier you are the more you need
quiet time’ by Justin Talbot-Zorn and Leigh
Marz, hbr.org and ‘Creating a Latticework
of Mental Models: An Introduction’ by
farnamstreetblog.com. The article that
really hit home was ‘The Talent Curse’ by
Jennifer Petriglieri and Gianpiero Petriglieri
published in The Harvard Business Review
– The Curse of being labelled a Star. After
that a reoccurring thing came back and
that was at the top you become more and
more isolated and so I set myself a target
to complete a personal development plan
with the aim of not being old school and
isolationist but new school and connecting.
I completed a personal analysis, outlined
some clear goals and added some personal
objectives. Muted goes the volume of an
operator and I increase the innovative to
bring balance to my perspective. I’m now
at the final stage of bringing together a
ten-point philosophy that I’ve already
spent five months chewing over and it’s
underpinned by all the experiences I’ve
had but is modernity personified, as that is
me. What I’ve realised on this journey to
transformation is that my thinking is not
a conformist but more disruptor. I’m part
of a new school of thinking and I’m about
to launch my international hospitality and
restaurant consultancy called Kajola.
epmagazine.co.uk | 45
What is the approach?
It is not an easy process to go through outside
one’s comfort zone
It can bring a focus and a sense of purpose
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46 | Insights & Action | July 2017
SPECIAL FEATURE REINVENTION
Reinvention is about creating
change in one’s career and life –
engaging new social networks,
new challenges, and new skills,
seeing a different perspective. One could
argue that is about developing a bespoke
individualised marketing campaign but
this would be too simplistic.
One group of friends decided to create
change in their lives by doing new things and
meeting new people. They went to ballroom
dance classes, joined a jazz society, embraced
to new business networks and within
months, found new opportunities.
It may sound easy but two core points
need to be raised:
1. Many struggle to go outside their natural
comfort zones and need support to do so
2. At the heart, there needs to be a desire
to learn – new skills, new culture and new
knowledge. Without this, it is impossible
Many want to change their careers; change
their lives but struggle to think differently
about their careers and networks. Our
approach is about creating bespoke plans that
focus on change.
The pace of change
in the last decade
has been challenging
but has also opened
up the opportunities
There are many senior professionals that do
want to change as they feel stale and lacking
in motivation. They want to have interesting,
fulfilling work and face new challenges – just
different ones. For some, they no longer want
the frenetic pace of top corporate jobs, or
there are those that want to contribute more
to the wider community. For others, they feel
a lack of self-confidence/self-esteem and
want to find a new sense of purpose. Some
may have retired early – from sport, from
business – but still want to add value and have
a focus in their lives. Everyone has a different
base point but it is probably why so many are
lured towards consultancy work – there are a
reputed 500,000 business consultants in the
UK – and often with it the promise of flexible
hours, higher rates, location independence.
However, there are greater options as
business and charities are calling out for
talent to help them as well as whole range
of other crafts that one can learn and find a
renewed energy and purpose.
So how does one reinvent themselves?
In fairness it is not an easy process and
that is why it is important to work with
an independent source. It is can be partly
by gaining an objective perspective but
it is more about thinking differently –
creating new ideas and options, finding
new knowledge, seeing the external market
through different eyes and working with
someone to go outside your comfort zone.
Reinvention will mean that one has to
explore new territory and that can be difficult.
So what does a coach do?
n Create a bespoke plan that explores
n Create a marketing and social plan for
n Skill analysis and evaluation
n Support new learning
n Be social. This part can be both fun and
engaging – but it is hard to break into new
networks without help
n Create change at an organised pace.
It won’t just happen. It takes time, thought
n Support the change process. Leaving one
career to start another will raise its own issues
The process does require an investment but
will create a journey of change in knowledge,
perspective and challenge. It takes courage to
change but today this has become a constant
truth. The pace of change in the last decade
has been challenging but has also opened
up the opportunities for reinvention – this
process would have been far less likely and
possible without the changes brought about
by the social and business change created by
the digital revolution.
Could it be time for your own bespoke
epmagazine.co.uk | 47
How will we cater for the
rise of tall office towers?
Paul Greenwood, Business Development Manager at Tricon looks at the
potential effect on future catering service delivery.
With stringent constraints and space implications, how will contractors deliver innovation
solutions for the tower buildings?
The majority of the 455 tall
buildings (described as 20 storeys
or more) planned for London’s
skyline will be residential, though
despite Brexit fears, the requirement for new
office space also shows no slowing. The last
ten years has seen a boom in the construction
of tall buildings, fuelled by the demand for
modern office space and high house prices.
Planning permission granted for tall office
buildings, in some cases, continues to be
controversial and this has led to a number
of conditions that could affect directly any
future kitchens or restaurants within the
offices. One example of the conditions being
imposed by planners is restrictions on the
permitted weekly number of deliveries/
pickups and the size and type of vehicles that
will be used. If the building is to be multitenanted,
the typical number of deliveries for
the food and beverage operations alone will
far exceed the permitted allowance. These
factors, along with the ever increasing cost
of space within buildings, are challenging
the strategy and design for future catering
operations and require innovative solutions.
In the very early stages, one of the
developer’s key considerations is to maximise
the letting potential of their building. One
area where a foodservice consultant can
add real value is to identify what hospitality
facilities and services could or should be
provided within the tower and develop the
potential demand model. The design team
can then consider the impact on space,
If the building is to
the typical number of
deliveries for the food
and beverage operations
alone will far exceed the
distribution logistics and MEP provision at
base build stage, taking into consideration
the potential for tenants to provide their own
hospitality and catering facilities against the
landlord providing centralised amenities.
This strategy would consider the implications
of either a single operator providing all
services, a multi-operator model or a hybrid
solution with a master caterer ‘curating’ a
range of niche or specialist providers.
Traditionally a single firm of 1,000
employees might have to relinquish 500m 2
to support catering at a cost of circa £600k
per annum in rent, energy and operating
costs. In a tower, with the potential for
10,000+ employees across a single or
multiple tenants, this has significant bottom
line cost implications.
So how can the contractors deliver
innovative solutions for these towers?
With the stringent delivery constraints and
space/cost implications one solution is for
contractors to build and operate a central
production kitchen (CPK) outside of the
City. Such a facility could then operate as
an off-site commissary for a number of F&B
operations, receiving and decanting bulk
deliveries direct from suppliers prior to
consolidation and transportation to meet
individual client site requirements. Fresh
food (anything from salads and sandwiches
to full main meals) can be prepared in bulk,
providing economies of scale and meaning
that the onsite kitchens, at individual units,
will require only holding, service and, if
© KRISZTIAN MIKLOSY | 123RF.COM
48 | Insights & Action | July 2017
© KRISZTIAN MIKLOSY | 123RF.COM
“One solution is for contractors to build and
operate a central production kitchen outside of the
City. Such a facility could then operate as an off-site
commissary for a number of F&B operations.”
required, reheat facilities. The impact for the
individual client is reduced space, energy and
This will of course have a significant
impact on the way catering contracts are
delivered in the future. A contractor investing
in a major CPK will have a significant off-site
capital and operational cost that will need
to be factored into future contract models.
Client property and FM teams will need to
understand the ‘real’ cost of their catering
operations which will include space, rent,
capital and utilities as well as standard
operating costs. This will facilitate a true
like for like comparison either when going
to market for potential operators or when
planning new facilities.
Sounds like a win-win situation. However,
contractors will be looking for guaranteed
business volumes over extended tenures to
recover their investment in a CPK. Clients,
meanwhile need to have confidence that
there is sufficient resilience and capacity
in a full off-site production model before
committing to not providing their own full
service kitchens on site.
This raises the question of the contractors’
appetites to make such an investment in what
historically has been considered a risk adverse
sector; who’s going to take the plunge?
epmagazine.co.uk | 49
Is this the
Greater empowerment ticks all the right boxes but isn’t
the default management style in many companies.
Michèle Moore, Director at engagemoore, argues that adopting this model can lead to success.
In my last article I explored how to return
time and space to middle managers
to focus on relationship building and
suggested the first step is to “Invest in,
educate and truly empower the front line”
It sounds expensive and potentially nerve
wracking but it doesn’t have to be a huge leap
into the dark. I see so many organisations
missing a simple step that requires relatively
little (or no) investment and offers big
returns in terms of employee engagement,
productivity and customer satisfaction.
What is this seemingly magic solution?
Involving the people who deal directly
with the (internal or external) customer in
discussing as a team how the job should get
done, how to meet or exceed expectations
and how to resolve issues.
Whilst it’s hardly a new idea – it was
one of the principles expounded by
Dr. W. Edwards Deming back in the 1950s
and is a cornerstone within customer centric
companies such as Waitrose – it is still
surprisingly rare to find it forming part of
a deliberate strategy or management style.
Deming is considered by many to be the
master of continual quality improvement.
He is held is high regarded for significantly
contributed to the dramatic turnaround of
post-war Japanese industry, and their rise to
a world economic power.
In his book, Drive, Dan Pink draws
together extensive research on what
motivates people at work and identifies three
key drivers: purpose, mastery and autonomy.
Involving people in problem solving goes a
very long way towards meeting all three and
providing employees with a fulfilling and
By regularly involving front line teams
in problem solving and continuous
n They gain confidence in their own
skills and abilities
n They develop essential problem
n They share best practice and learn from
each other. (We know that learning through
discovery and peers is faster and more
effective than any top down effort to dictate
n They feel valued by their line manager
and the organisation
n They develop their sense of ownership
of the customer experience and their own
This in turn prepares individuals and
teams for greater empowerment as, in order
to feel empowered, people typically need
In his book, Drive, Dan Pink
draws together extensive research on
what motivates people at work and
identifies three key drivers: purpose,
mastery and autonomy.
n and the right attitude (i.e. they have to
want to be empowered)
Great empowerment is a win-win-win:
better service for the customer, greater
employee engagement and more time for the
manager to focus on the future instead of the
day to day.
So why is this still not the default
management style in more companies?
It requires an understanding that the
power of the leader or manager doesn’t
reside in holding all the cards (information,
resources, decision making…). On the
contrary, true power comes from sharing
those cards with the team at every
opportunity whilst maintaining ultimate
accountability (hence the pay differential).
The “command and control” era is over
but middle managers or supervisors often
lack a clear model of what the alternative
50 | Insights & Action | July 2017
The theory of
equality of respect
Aren’t you bored hearing that Hospitality is not a profession?
Over the last few weeks we have seen a new momentum to the old discussion piece that says that
the Industry is not viewed as a profession and as result loses out. This is an argument of the past.
number have approached us
arguing that they are frustrated
that the Industry is not viewed
as a profession as with other
disciplines. Over the last year we have
spent a lot of time with investors, corporate
finance, lawyers and accountants and there
is one truth we have learnt – they respect
hospitality greatly and really enjoy the
dynamics of the sector. The one group
that needs to understand that the industry
is respected is the industry itself. We are
fortunate enough to work in one of the most
exciting of industries where professionalism
is displayed by the great chefs, waiting staff
and managers across the country.
Moreover, we would argue that Hospitality
leaders are as honourable a group as one will
find. It really is time to put away this argument.
The whole debate does remind one of the
perspective put forward by Viscount Thurso
many years ago about the theory of equality
of respect which says that it is important
that people are judged by the quality of their
work, not the money that they earn – and
he is absolutely right. It is the bedrock of
Hospitality as there are many great employees
that can make the Industry excellent.
The Industry does not need to look over
and envy at any other sector. It just needs to
believe in itself and its people.
Industries are judged today by performance,
innovation, service and people and Hospitality
scores highly in all these areas.
There are other sectors that face greater
crisis but just don’t lack in self-confidence.
The irony is that Hospitality will often
The Industry is one of the leading employers
in this country. It contributes significantly to
both the economy and back to shareholders. It
has become central to daily life and to society.
“It is important that
people are judged by
the quality of their work,
not the money that
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However we do need, it can be argued,
to earn the ear of government better but
Government wants to find solutions to
problems and the industry has always worked
to solve its own issues.
Our challenge is to ensure the ground is
laid for the next generations and we do really
support young talent. We also do need to tell
our story better. For whatever reason we have
struggled to sell our story but we do need to.
epmagazine.co.uk | 51
The thoughts and views of leading consultants
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