Business Goals - KSB Recruitment

How to Achieve Your Catering Business Goals in 2020

As another year begins it’s time to start thinking about your catering business goals for 2020. 

Whether you’re a catering contract business looking for larger contracts, a restaurant looking to improve your Tripadvisor rating or a hospitality organisation looking to double your turnover, now is time to start planning ahead, so that this time next year your goals will be ticked off, and you can get to work making even bigger plans. 

Whatever your business goals are for this year, here are some of my top strategies that will help you as a business owner achieve growth, streamline your processes and most important of all – add to your bottom line in 2020. 

 

Introducing Technology  

Foodservice businesses have been described as an ‘analogue industry’ with the opinion being that because it is a people-centric sector, that it does not need to adopt technology to survive, but this is not the case. 

The use of technology in the way people research and order their food is growing, and the introduction of delivery apps like Deliveroo, UberEats and Eat has revolutionised the way customers now think about food. 

The introduction of these apps has meant that it is easier than ever for customers to deliver their favourite foods, it has reduced the barrier between customer and kitchen to a minimum – and it has created a sense of impatience in customer’s needs. 

If your organisation plans to introduce, or re-vamp the way it uses technology, now is the time to start planning. 

Upgrading your website is a great place to start, with 81% of respondents in one study stating that they had researched a restaurant or eatery online before visiting. More importantly, 70% of customers said that being able to read a menu from a mobile device quickly was an important factor in helping them decide  – is your website mobile friendly? 

If you are a restaurant or foodservice business that wants to be integrated onto a food delivery app, don’t delay – restaurants who register with foodservice apps see an increase in sales by around 30%. 

Additionally, it is becoming more common for restaurants to build their own apps to showcase their menus, accept payments and even attract nearby customers with the help of app-building tools such as Appypie. 

 

A Focus on Health and Wellness 

This issue is relevant across the board in catering – for both customers and employees. 2019 saw a massive increase in the trend towards ‘conscious’ food  – with consumers demanding more plant-based and ethically sourced dishes. 

If you want to increase your revenue in 2020, catering for ‘alternative’ diners should be on your to-do list. Even bona fide meat-eaters are exploring vegetarian and vegan dishes more, with vegan food the fastest-growing takeaway option in the UK. 

The new year is a great time to reassess your menus, to look at what worked in 2019 and what didn’t, to introduce new and exciting dishes and ingredients. Foodservice market analyst and author of ‘The Future of Foodservice 2025-2030’ Simon Stenning revealed his predictions for the future of UK dining habits at the Foodservice Forum 2019 recently. He predicted- 

  • Less meat 
  • Personalised meals 
  • Sustainable meats (such as chicken) 
  • More authenticity in menus 

Incorporating some of these into your menu will help to attract the increasingly conscious public to your establishment.  

In addition to healthy choices for diners, there will a big push for wellbeing in the workplace in 2020, and employers who focus on this are far more likely to attract and retain the best staff, which will be the decider of your success. 

 

Catering Contracts 

I just want to mention this, as I was recently looking over the list of the fastest-growing UK catering companies, and the 2019 winner, ‘The Proper Food and Drink Company’ (formerly One Event Management) had achieved such considerable growth by outbidding their rivals to win some prestigious contracts such as Formula E and the Ryder Cup. 

The success of your catering business will ultimately come down to the contracts you win, and to do this; you need to have the best possible team underneath you – which brings me onto my last point. 

 

Your Catering Team 

Finally, to be successful in 2020, there is one thing that you cannot ignore – and that’s your catering team.  

With foodservice jobs expanding at a tremendous rate – the worth of the industry is set to hit £100 billion by 2026 and a staggering £160 billion by 2030 – it is no secret that you are going to need staff not just in volume but in skill to stand up against your competitors.  

I have covered in more detail the main points that you need to consider when assembling a contract catering team which you can find in this blog post here. 

Additionally, if you need help locating staff for your team for 2020 and onwards, get in contact with us at KSB Recruitment. We can help identify your catering and hospitality staffing needs and put you in touch with only the very best candidates; use our online contact form or call us on 0121 702 1428. 

Thanks, 

Dawn 

 

About KSB  

We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry with over 28 years in business, placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with obsessive attention to detail.  

KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered. 

We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire. 

Hospitality Worker - KSB Recruitment

Why the New Year is the Perfect Time to Reassess Your Hospitality Career

If you’ve decided that you’re going to start looking for a new job in the new year – you’re not alone. Job application numbers soar in January, with one estimate as high as over 60% more than during any other month. 

If you finally want to get into a hospitality management role, if you’re a sous chef determined to get your first head chef role, or are looking for a new and exciting location to work in – now is the time to start looking (and applying) for jobs. 

There are a few different theories as to why the hospitality job market is so buoyant in January, but the truth is – this is a great time to land a new role.  

In this blog, I want to share with you why the new year is the perfect time to reassess your hospitality career, and how to take advantage of this peak in job opportunities to land a great new role. 

 

Why January? 

 

It is the case across almost all sectors that January brings the best job opportunities – but why? 

The job market generally stalls in November and December, as people are more occupied with preparing for Christmas than they are with looking for a new job, and it picks up again in January. Not only with the uptake of everyone who would have ordinarily applied for a new job in November and December (if Christmas hadn’t been in the way) but the job market is also bolstered by those inspired by the well-known phrase ‘new year, new job’.  

While some people are put off by the thought of competing with a hoard of job seekers in January, it is still the best time to apply, despite being the busiest – because of cause and effect. The large amounts of people leaving their jobs create new opportunities and gaps in the market that weren’t there pre-Christmas. 

The new year is also considered to be a great time to apply for a job as hospitality employers come back to work after their (albeit brief) Christmas break and have their new year targets in mind. 

Many hospitality employees assume that as January is typically the quietest time in the business, then this means that job opportunities are at their lowest – this is not the case.  

While Christmas and high summer are the busiest times in hospitality, employers need great staff all year round, and they are now looking earlier and earlier in the season to employ skilled and talented team to take with them through the year.  

 

Which Role? 

 

Working with hospitality and catering candidates of all skills, abilities, ages and backgrounds, we understand the vastly different roles and opportunities that are available to hospitality employees – we often place candidates in positions that they didn’t know were possible.  

But when deciding on your next role, you must first determine what you are aiming to get out of this job – are you looking for a temporary position to try out a new skill, a new type of restaurant/catering establishment you have heard about and want to try, or a new geographic location you want to work in? 

Restaurant and hotel employees should use the new year to search and apply for management roles if they have been working towards this goal in the previous year. January is a great time to update your CV, and to talk about in your job interview your successes of the peak season you have just made it through – did you have your busiest ever season? Did you lead a team of relatively new-starters throughout the Christmas period successfully?  

Do your research and think carefully about if this role in this company is the one that is going to bring you closer to your ultimate career goal. Many employees start their job search on their own, either Googling jobs in their local area, or speaking to friends about potential new places to work – but there is another way. 

 

Beginning Your New Job Search 

 

Many hospitality candidates that we work with are surprised by the level and depth of service we provide for candidates; in helping them find their perfect role – all free of charge! We are dedicated to making the right hires for our hospitality partners, and this is why we put as much effort and detail as we do into our candidate search and screening process. 

If like many other hospitality employees we work with, you have never worked with a recruiter before to find your next role – now is the time to start. 

With the skills shortage that is currently squeezing the UK catering and hospitality industry, recruiters and employers are upgrading their services and looking even harder for the very best talent (like you). 

We understand that in the busy life of a chef, a hotel manager, bar staff, waiters and the plethora of other staff that keep the UK hospitality sector ticking over, it can seem like you haven’t got the time to begin your new job search. Some candidates we work with tell us that they had been planning on leaving their role for many months, but they hadn’t had the time to get round to it – don’t let this be you!  

A quick phone call with one of our consultants on 0121 702 1428, or sending your CV to us is all you need to do for us to begin your new job search. After listening to what you want from your not only your next role but ultimately your career, we will update you with positions that we think are perfect for you and help you at every step of the process, from the interview to negotiating your wage. 

 

Thanks, 

Dawn 

 

About KSB Recruitment 

We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry with over 28 years in business, placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with obsessive attention to detail.  

KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered. 

We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire. 

5 Strategies to Manage Your Hospitality Team Through the Christmas Period

When you’re a manager in the hospitality industry, peak season means two things – increased customer demand and higher stress levels for staff.

OK, so the second one isn’t a given, but it is unfortunately usually the norm. You can guarantee that just as soon as the restaurant starts to fill up, a demanding party of 10 will walk in. Your best waitress gets caught up accommodating them while the chef starts to receive off-menu requests.

6 Reasons Why Great Chefs Stay in Their Jobs – How Many Are You Providing?

Appointing a new chef is an exciting time for any restaurant or hotel. Your establishment’s reputation is often tightly bound to the head chef; a successful appointment can bring admirers of their previous work into the restaurant and increase your customer base. 

Great chefs are often as selective with where they work as they are with the ingredients they use and their presentation.

How to Take Advantage of Hospitality Temporary Work This (Peak) Season

As we approach the Christmas season, hospitality and catering workers will start to cast their minds to their working schedule over peak season. Are you prepared to dedicate your time to the company you are currently with or are there signs that you would like to spend peak with a different organisation?

Is Your Comfort Zone Getting in The Way of Your Hospitality Management Career?

Hospitality management can be rewarding, exciting, and challenging (sometimes in equal measure) and many of the top-quality employees I help with their careers tell me that the fast-paced nature of the job is what keeps them hooked.

But what happens when things start to go the other way?

Why Now is the Time to Consider a Move Into Contract Catering

Think cheffing; think long, unsociable hours, late nights, early starts and dreaming of weekends off. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

More and more, chefs and catering employees are exploring their options within the contract catering industry – a long-standing type of catering work which is currently enjoying a period of exciting growth.

Is My Chef Job Stressful or Is It Time to Move to a Company with a Better Culture?

Being a chef is more than just a job – it’s a vocation. Qualified chefs do not go into this industry light-heartedly; it often encompasses everything they do – they live, sleep and breathe their work. 

It is this passion which creates the fiery atmosphere in kitchens across the world. Many believe that the high pressure of a kitchen is integral to the profession, and you will hear a lot of chefs stating that they ‘thrive’ off the intense atmosphere.  

But when does the pressure of a kitchen become too much to handle? Some chefs find it impossible to spot the signs, which can lead to burnout and even more significant mental health problems and sadly even suicide 

In this article, I want to share with you my thoughts and experiences of working closely with chefs to help them fulfil their career ambitions – how to spot when a negative company culture is affecting your career, and what to do about it if it is. 

 

Boiling Point in The Industry 

Historically, chefs have gone into the profession fully prepared for it to be fast-paced and high-stress, expecting to deal with it to meet their goals.  

But as the world is slowly shifting towards a more mindful and considered approach to the effects of stress on our mental health, it is thought that people are being discouraged from joining the chef industry due to its negative reputation in this respect. 

It was reported last year in Ireland that the chef shortage has become so pronounced the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has imported talent from Italy, Croatia and France to address a shortfall of 3,000 chefs across the country. 

The industry, in general, is slowly changing – even Gordon Ramsay recently admitted that he has vowed to reduce swearing in the kitchen for one of his television ventures. This is symbolic of a significant change in the cheffing industry – let me explain further. 

 

Changes in the Sector 

 

If you feel overwhelmed by pressure in your job, you’re not alone. It is becoming increasingly common for chefs to say enough is enough when it comes to the difficult working environments they are used to putting up with.  

Celebrity chef Jay Rayner in his Guardian article talks about the effects of cheffing on mental health, and how necessary change is coming, slowly but surely. And he isn’t the only one to do so: industry experts Tom Kneale, Andrew Clarke and Selin Kiazam have all raised issues concerning toxic kitchens. 

Working in a kitchen can be stressful – it comes with the territory, but the stress should not overcome the enjoyment of your job. When this happens, it is time to ask the question ‘am I really happy here?’ 

 

The Profession Vs The Company 

Falling out of love with your job can be disheartening for anybody, and even worse in such an all-encompassing career like that of a chef. 

Dealing with constant stress levels so high that they become overwhelming does not usually end well. Many times, when I speak to chefs who are looking for a new role, they tell me that they felt they couldn’t go on in their previous place of work – staff shortages, increased demand from customers and lack of support from management are among the more common complaints. 

Ask yourself – ‘when did I start feeling like this?’, ‘do I feel supported in my role?’ and ‘do I have a good relationship with my colleagues and my manager?’ 

If your negative feelings towards your job are stemming from problems within your current role – it might be time to consider your options. From the many clients I work with I can assure you that there are great establishments out there who look out for their employees; if you need help finding a new chef job – we can help with this 

If you have realised that your current place of work is causing you unnecessary stress and is making you turn to unhealthy coping mechanismsthen it might be time for a change.  

 

Changing Roles – What Options Are Out There? 

 

Of course, the best way to fix the problem is by changing jobs from a place where you are barely just surviving to one where you can thrive and are supported by your managers, love the work you do and have a better work-life balance. 

If you’re a chef looking to leave your current toxic workplace, what options are available to you? 

Contact us at KSB to discuss what career choices are available to you, or alternatively, consider the following options- 

  • If you are a CDP or are just starting out in the industry, and you love hospitality but constantly feel overwhelmed in the kitchen, why not consider a front of house or management role – is it possible to become trained up in a different skill in your current place of work? 
  • More experienced chefs have the potential to move into training or teaching – this is a great career move for those with at least five years experience in a head or executive chef role. 
  • Increasingly, we are seeing a range of catering and hospitality staff moving from stressful ‘traditional’ restaurants into contract catering. This kind of work is on the rise as chefs seek out more structured working hours and a change from the intense pressure of the Brigade de Cuisine.  

 

Finally 

If you’ve outgrown your current role and are thinking of making a smart career move, get in touch with our consultants today to discuss your cheffing career options and the roles we currently have available.  

 

About KSB  

We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry, with over 28 years in business placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with obsessive attention to detail.  

KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered. 

We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire. 

 

Thanks 

Dawn 

The 4 Step Guide to Building the Best Contract Catering Team

The UK contract catering sector is growing at almost twice the rate of the catering industry as a whole – at 1.9% and 1% respectively. The growth can be attributed to the nation’s increased desire for culinary excellence, whether they are having dinner in a fine-dining restaurant or at a work conference.  

As the demand for excellence in contract catering increases, this has increased the number of job opportunities available to chefs and catering employees looking to get into this sub-sector. Many want to take advantage of the benefits that this type of employment provides – namely the more sociable working hours, and freedom from the ubiquitous stress of the standard restaurant kitchen. 

So, when you’ve got a big contract coming up, and you need the best catering team possible, how do you choose from the range of applicants? What are the skills and personalities that you need to include?  

Drawing on my hospitality recruiting knowledge, I’d like to share with you the secrets behind what kind of chefs and catering staff you need to include in your contract catering team for maximum success (and guaranteed contract renewal). 

 

1. Chefs Who Are Ready for Something ‘Different’ 

Contract catering is different from working in a restaurant or hotel kitchen, and this can be part of the appeal. But, when putting together a team of chefs who are new to this sub-sector, you need to be sure that your chefs are ready for the challenges that come with a new territory. 

Working on a catering contract is different from a busy restaurant – are they likely to be fulfilled? The last thing you want is your chef leaving halfway through the time to work at an exciting new steakhouse because they got ‘bored’. 

Additionally, as chefs love to get their creative juices flowing, they will need to understand that they will have to work to the client brief – to able to come up with new ideas, but also be able to adapt them. This often means less autonomy – you need a head chef who won’t feel ‘stifled’ working to someone else’s brief for a considerable period of time. 

 

2. A Team Who Can Think on Their Feet 

 

Chefs and catering staff are used to pressure – a busy restaurant kitchen is one of the most stressful working environments I can think of!  

But with contract catering comes a different kind of pressure. It’s less about getting 100 covers done before 9.30 pm, and more about being able to make decisions always with the client’s satisfaction in mind. 

The stakes are high – by law, the company can be penalised for not delivering on the brief that was agreed upon, and this will inevitably lead to contracts not being renewed.  

So, when something unavoidable goes wrong on the day – such as a big delivery of fresh produce doesn’t arrive – you need a team of fast-thinkers who can quickly adapt menus and be resourceful with serving techniques.  

 

3. Reliable Representatives 

As contracts can be in place for months and even years, you need to know that your team are in it for the long-haul.  

In a contract catering team, there needs to be even more of an emphasis on teamwork than in other areas of the industry. 

For example, restaurant staff tend to come and go quickly (the hospitality staff retention rate is low at 75% compared to the national average of 80%) but to deliver on big contracts you need staff who are prepared to see the contract through from start to finish and who take pride working with a close-knit team towards an end goal. 

Because contract catering is, to a degree, intangible (the contract is sold before the client has seen the ‘process’ of the contract being carried out), your people are your product – and they need to be the best to represent your business positively.  

 

4. Forward Thinkers 

 

Contract catering is moving forward at the same speed as other gastronomic and fine-dining enterprises – clients are expecting more and more from the caterers they employ. 

Compared to just ten years ago, the choices regularly made available by contract caterers are huge – from vegetarian and vegan options, gluten-free, low-carb and healthier low-calorie options. Wellness isn’t just a buzzword – it is now ingrained in the fabric of food service in the UK. Additionally, a focus on homegrown produce, Red Tractor brands and sustainability is essential.  

To really wow your clients and their customers, you need a chef who is forward-thinking and at the cutting-edge of culinary trends, alongside a supporting team who are equally as aware and informed of the importance of delivering a top-class menu. 

 

Finally 

Finding the best staff for catering contracts can be tricky – but we can help. We recruit specifically hospitality and catering staff, and with over 28 years’ experience, we have the knowledge and the know-how to quickly find the temporary and permanent staff you need when a contract is looming. If you want to know how we can help, get in touch with one of our consultants today, and we will get back to you within the hour.  

 

About KSB  

We are expert recruiters in the catering and hospitality industry, with over 28 years in business, placing the best candidates in their perfect roles with an obsessive attention to detail.  

KSB is proud to be a Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) member, accredited investors in people, and both Data Protection and Home Office Compliance registered. 

We specialise in roles in Birmingham, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Northamptonshire. 

 

Thanks 

Dawn 

How to Help Your Hospitality Staff Achieve Positive Mental Health

Since it was first acknowledged in 1992, Mental Health Awareness Day (10th October) has gained momentum, with many industries now striving to reduce the stigma once attached to this type of illness. UK organisations Barclays, John Lewis and Royal Mail all recently signed the new Mental Health at Work Commitment; but when it comes to the hospitality sector, more still needs to be done.

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