BrewDog and Inn Collection Group reveal staff engagement secrets

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Conference speakers: James Watt (left) and Gary Turner will be revealing how they are keeping teams engaged
Conference speakers: James Watt (left) and Gary Turner will be revealing how they are keeping teams engaged

Related tags: Coronavirus

BrewDog co-founder James Watt and The Inn Collection Group commercial and compliance manager Gary Turner will be outlining how they are keeping staff engaged at the digital MA500 conference later this week (Thursday 14 May).

They will highlight how they are keeping in touch with staff amid the pandemic and the reaction this has sparked from teams.

BrewDog’s Watt and Martin Dickie, co-founders of the giant Scottish brewer and pub operator, announced they were sacrificing their salary for 2020 in a bid to protect jobs at the business amid the pandemic. Chief operating officer David McDowall also volunteered to take a 50% pay cut.

Following this, the business revealed its initial approach to reopening its bars, subject to official guidance from the Government.

Looking ahead

The 10-step plan includes contactless ordering via its order to table Hop Drop app, staff wearing face masks and gloves at all times, easily accessible sanitiser stations for all, and clearly visible social distancing signage and guidelines.

It also stated its proposals encompass amended furniture layouts to create appropriate space, staff monitoring capacity continually, cashless payment only via its app or card payment, single-use menus in use, physical table screens available on request and surface cleaning every 15 minutes.

The Inn Collection Group has kept communication open to all members of staff with twice daily conference calls among the senior team and regular updates from managing director Sean Donkin.

The group has also made online training courses available, across three different platforms, which include topics such as mental health and wellbeing, cellar training and food safety.

Conference speakers

The business is sending a weekly newsletter from a member of the senior management team updating them on the business but also on their own experiences, the weather and asking how other staff members are.

It is also keeping in touch with teams via a group social media page, encouraging staff to share their hobbies and keeping spirits up amid the lockdown.

Watt and Turner will be delving more into this at the MA500 online conference on Thursday 14 May, which is taking place from 11am until 12.30pm.

If you’re a multiple operator and would like to attend this event, register now here​.

Full agenda:

  • Introduction – The Morning Advertiser​ editor Ed Bedington
  • Scene setter – UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls provides an update on the current situation, the direction Government support is taking and where the industry is heading
  • Finance – Pubs have started to receive the help announced by the Government and we hear, first-hand, how the process has been and how these funds are being used
  • Peer perspective – Operators reveal what they have been doing amid the crisis, including furloughing staff and safeguarding business for when lockdown restrictions are lifted
  • Corporate responsibility – From forgoing salary to delivering drinks, online community platforms and more, staff welfare has remained at the fore and we find out how teams are being engaged by this
  • Conclusion and wrap-up – Ed Bedington

Live Q&A with all speakers

MA500 is supported by headline sponsor Molson Coors and associate sponsors CPL Learning, Davey Co, Poppleston Allen, UCC Coffee, UKHospitality and Wireless Social.

Related topics: MA Leaders Club

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