Inn Collection Group hires new operations director
Northeast-based pubs with rooms operator the Inn Collection Group has announced the appointment of David Campbell as its new operations director.
Campbell, who was previously operations director at The Coaching Inn Group, joins the 23-site group as the company begins a new phase of business expansion through acquisitions and organic growth.
“David is a phenomenal hospitality professional and an outstanding operations director,” The Inn Collection Group managing director Sean Donkin said of the appointment. “Not only is he passionate about the sector and its people, he brings a wealth of experience and expertise into the group at a fundamental time of growth for us.
“We have an active pipeline of new sites coming on the horizon and David’s appointment is a statement of intent as we enter what is a dynamic new growth phase,” he continued. “We are looking forward to working together with him as we continue our expansion strategy which is to grow in sites and operations where we can add value, while continuing to build and nurture our exceptional team of people at all levels."
Campbell brings more than 25 years’ experience in the trade to his new role having worked on senior teams at Greene King and Mitchells & Butlers.
“It’s exciting and very rare in these times to see a company with such a story of growth as The Inn Collection Group has," he added. "It’s a tremendous time to be joining the company and supporting with an operational platform that will facilitate the further success of what is a fantastic business, while being humble enough to understand we have work to be done in what is a challenging environment.
“It’s a pleasure for me to be part of that journey and bringing The Inn Collection Group’s vision to life and setting us up for further success.”
More than half of hospitality workers still on furlough
Some 55% of pub and bar staff are currently on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS, known as furlough) according to official data.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found the peak of the number of hospitality workers on the scheme was hit in November 2020 when 91% were on it. This has now dropped by almost half to 55% at 2 May 2021.
When compared to the levels of furlough being used overall, this is at 8% to 15% in all other businesses using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme during the same period.
Since pubs were permitted to trade outside (Monday 12 April), hospitality workers were taken off furlough and placed back into work at the latest data shows this is at just under 60% (54.9% as of 25 April 2021) compared to 8.2% in all other businesses.
ETM Group appoints marketing director
According to reports by The Morning Advertiser’s sister title MCA Insight, the London-based operator of 14 sites including Aviary, Greenwood and Redwood, ETM Group, has appointed Marcia Genjelian as its new marketing director.
Genjelian has previously held senior positions within hospitality businesses, for example serving as director of marketing at Casual Dining Group, now known as The Big Table.
“I am delighted to welcome Marcia, and her wealth of marketing expertise, to the team,” Ed Martin, CEO of ETM, said of the appointment. “This year is already shaping up to be a year like no other with new opportunities in the pipeline and strengthened pre-booked sales across the group, highlighting the pent-up demand in the market.
“I have no doubt Marcia’s appointment will drive and complement our guest centric vision as we finally get back to doing what we do best, creating memorable experiences for our guests.
Genjelian, added: “In what is truly a pivotal time for our industry, I am thrilled to be joining ETM Group and working with the team to build on such a strong foundation of premium bars and restaurants.
“Ensuring value is at the forefront of our offer and understanding our guests changing needs is vital to our next chapter of growth. I look forward to developing our guest strategy to meet, and surpass, these needs.”
Is the hospitality sector suffering from its reluctance to invest in staff?
It’s no secret that that most hospitality businesses are suffering from a staff shortage – yes, even you Mr Martin – but while we look at Brexit and Covid-19 as the perpetrators of the problem, should we be looking closer to home for answers?
As for Covid-19 (or do I need a letter from the Greek alphabet for it now), that has also had an impact. Staff have had the best part of a year off and simply don’t want to go back to pulling double shifts while their mates are out having fun.
Additionally, there’s a big crisis under the surface that is about to become reality – people currently working in our industry that have come from other professions will soon be going back to their first jobs and careers and this staff crisis will become a lot worse in my opinion.
Stepping back from throwing mud at politicians and snowflakes, the trade also has to ask itself some direct questions - have we done enough to recruit and train the people we had to keep them and nurture their careers?
60% of hospitality staff say their workplace doesn’t offer mental health training
A new study by online training provider High Speed Training has found that almost three quarters (73%) of hospitality staff say they have struggled with their mental health during the pandemic – with more than a third (35%) of those citing work as a cause.
Almost three quarters (72%) of staff also said they remain concerned about their fellow employees’ mental health with a further 44% claiming that they don’t have anyone to talk to in confidence about their mental health at work.
“I have worked 100 hours in one week,” Josh Molloy, co-owner at Paradise Tap and Co in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, commented. “We struggle to remove our minds from ‘work mode’ and so we often see only work situations in our dreams or nightmares. Wake up, go to work (14 to 16 hours), go home, go to sleep, dream about work, wake up.
“We can’t and shouldn’t have to work in this way, soon we will have to draw a line and place the mental health of the team ahead of the success of the company and perhaps decide to open less hours or days.”
More than half (51%) of those surveyed stated that fellow employees at their place of work don’t hold any mental health awareness training or qualifications, while a further 59% claim their workplace does not offer mental health training.
Sarah Taylor, hospitality industry expert at High Speed Training commented: “It’s vital that businesses and industry bodies do everything they can to provide, and cover the cost of training around mental health awareness, so there are dedicated team members for employees to turn to.
“The first step is providing employees with someone to talk to, who can then provide support and guidance, and escalate issues when required.”
Furlough 'still a cost to businesses'
UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls has defended pub bosses who have had to lay off staff since the start of the pandemic despite job support schemes.
Unite the union described staffing shortages faced by London venues as “largely a self-inflicted crisis” and blamed “endemic low pay” and zero hours contracts.
More than 270,000 hospitality employees were made redundant despite Government support such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS), the union said.
Unite national officer with responsibility for hospitality Dave Turnbull said: “Many furloughed workers went back to their country of origin and have decided not to come back to a sector which previously treated them so badly.
“Equally, large numbers, who found temporary work in other sectors, have decided there are better options available to them.”
The union called on the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to “address the endemic low pay and zero hours culture which blights the industry and makes it such an unattractive option for UK- born workers.”
However, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls defended bosses by pointing out they had to pay employer contributions to furlough staff while enduring months of closure.
While the Government can cover 80% of an employee’s wages if they cannot work at all or some hours amid the coronavirus pandemic, employers must contribute some costs.
CPL Learning launches new learning and development platform, Campus
CPL Learning, an Access company, has launched its brand-new learning and development platform, Campus, in a bid to offer a more intuitive and personalised experience to team members while still delivering a raft of accompanying tools and data analysis.
"The launch of Campus signifies the next evolution of learning and development within the hospitality sector,” Jamie Campbell, director of learning – hospitality, commented. “As we enter the post-pandemic era and with staffing shortages becoming more apparent, it has never been more critical to provide effective learning and development opportunities to attract and retain talent.
“We have developed Campus to deliver a personalised learning experience that empowers learners and puts them in control of their professional development,” he added. “Campus utilises a variety of learning methods, discoverable content curation and practical tools to motivate, inspire and engage learners.
“From the research we have undertaken over the past year with hospitality professionals, having access to a wider range of learning & development tools and resources is a significant factor in employee satisfaction".
Government 'open minded' about furlough extension
The Government is “open minded” over extending furlough beyond September, a minister has said.
Cabinet Office minister Micheal Gove made the comments on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland in response to SNP calls to extend the scheme.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she would like to see the e Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) extended "for as long as it is needed".
The scheme covers up to 80% of an employee's salary for the hours they cannot work, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the leaders of the three devolved administrations met virtually to discuss the UK’s recovery from the pandemic yesterday.