Preparing to Reopen: What Catering and Hospitality Businesses Need to Know Right Now

The moment hungry Brits have been waiting for is here – hospitality businesses are preparing to open to the public once again. 

Our industry has been significantly affected, with changes set to be in place for months to come. 

But as a steely and determined sector, the shared feeling among business owners is that while things have changed, from this will come innovation and success. 

If like many other business owners, you are preparing to reopen in the coming weeks, here are the key things you must consider. 

 

1. Be Legally Compliant 

First things first, you need to make sure your establishment is safe and legally compliant for your staff and customers.  

While the government’s official guidelines state that it’s “very unlikely” that Covid-19 can be transmitted via food, you will still need to increase your hygiene practices and supply all employees with adequate protective equipment. 

This will mean speaking to suppliers about PPE for your staff – face visors and gloves are needed for those greeting customers and preparing food.  

Display prominent signs to remind employees about increased handwashing and social distancing measures. 

Your legal compliance with official guidelines can be spot-checked by health and safety officers. Anything less than full compliance could lead to the closure of your business. 

You can read the full reopening guidelines from food.gov.uk here 

 

2. Display Strong Leadership 

Now more than ever, hospitality teams need unwavering and robust leadership.  

While it is likely that your team are eager to get back to work, there will, of course, be some trepidation.  

Managers will need to adapt to new situations with confidence and clarity – you must make your team feel at ease in what will be a strange (at first) environment. And remember to keep your team motivated by displaying optimism and energy in everything you do; remember to lead by example. 

It might be a while before your team and establishment settle into new procedures and changed roles, so empathy and patience are going to be key management principles to remember in this new climate. 

Additionally, you will need to demonstrate agility in what will likely be a highly changeable environment. The government are relaxing and altering guidelines as and when they can to allow hospitality businesses more freedom – acting quickly to adopt new changes will set your establishment ahead of the pack and attract those all-important customers.  

 

3. Be Market Aware 

When you reopen again to your customers, you must be hyper market-aware during this time.  

Now is not a time for rivalry; it’s a time for hospitality to come together and help each other out – elements of which we have seen plenty of in recent months.  

The recent #NationalTimeOut campaign, spearheaded by Street Feast founder Jonathan Downey has been supported by industry leaders from establishments which are typically rivals.  

This campaign hopes to persuade the U.K. chancellor to put a nine-month freeze on rents for struggling hospitality businesses and has been supported by leading industry figures such as Alisdair Murdoch (CEO of Burger King), Pano Christou (CEO of Pret a Manger), John Torode and Nigella Lawson to name a few.  

Is there anything locally you can get involved in to help other establishments and raise your profile? Stay connected and be visible on local social media platforms to let your customers know that you haven’t dropped off the radar, that you’re still here and acting positively to help your own and other local business get through this tough time.  

 

4. Think to the Future 

Everything you have been doing over the last three months will have been damage limitation to mitigate the impact on your business’ future and the lives of your team. 

But now there needs to be a shift in focus. The hibernation period is over; it’s time to get back to full speed with a new attitude and revived culture. 

It’s been a tough few months, but business can use this time to strengthen what needed to be fixed and to come back even stronger with a positive mindset and a renewed, dynamic team.  

It is those businesses which have, and continue to look after their staff, those who maintain positivity and are sensitive to current issues which will bounce-back quicker.  

  

Next Steps 

Hospitality organisations are nothing without great teams. If your employees have become disconnected due to Covid-19, and you need to rebuild your team – we can help. 

We are helping hospitality and catering organisations right now find the staff they need to open again with a renewed sense of vitality. 

If you’ve got current vacancies in your hospitality business, but have no time to hire and get your business legally compliant for your reopening – get in touch with us today on 0121 702 1428 or contact us here, and we can find you the staff you need. 

 

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 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. 

The Benefits of Using Temporary Staff to Fill Positions in an Uncertain Market

After three months with doors largely closed, hospitality organisations are now raring to go, with pent-up demand for eating out in the UK at an all-time high. 

Of course, with so many uncertainties right now and with new social distancing measures in place, exactly what the new normal in your organisation will look like remains to be seen. 

As a manager, you will have had concerns over the staffing of your team; if you have the right number of employees, if you can afford to pay them, and if you have the right team members in place in line with the future vision of your business. 

We work especially with temporary employees for catering or hospitality businesses and have been providing establishments with these types of contracts for years. Temp staff are indispensable right now, as companies figure out new ways of working – this article is all about the benefits of using temp staff in your organisation right now. 

 

1. Ease Your Payroll Worries 

The last few months have been an incredibly uncertain time for everyone in the hospitality industry. 

The best way to ease long-term staffing worries is to go temporary – for now.  

We have worked with temp hospitality staff for years, and we understand that the flexibility of these roles is a two-way street. The temp staff benefit from not being tied down to a permanent position, but as the employer, you benefit from the flux that you need right now until things settle down and you start to rebuild your permanent team.  

 

2. Meeting an All-Time High Demand  

People have noted that the closure of hospitality businesses was on a scale that we’ve never seen before. What we must remember is that the opening of these establishments will be similar – places are likely to struggle to meet demand. 

With no overseas holidays this year, there will be an unprecedented amount of UK residents looking to enjoy themselves in a limited number of places.  

Of course, with social distancing measure in place, there will be a smaller number of customers in your establishment at one time. Still, places that open on 4th July and later this summer are expecting to see a higher demand overall.  

Temporary workers will help you meet the fluctuating needs of your business as you figure out what the new normal in your establishment looks like.  

 

3. Reinventing Your Team 

So much has changed in the last three months, there is a good chance that going forwards, your hospitality team will look different from the one you left at the beginning of the year. 

If your business plan has changed, does your team need to change to reflect this? 

There may be gaps in your team now, as some hospitality candidates have spent recent months searching for, and taking new employment in the gaps that opened up elsewhere in the economy. At the beginning of lockdown, job boards were linking up newly furloughed or sadly redundant hospitality staff with positions in other sectors. If the full team that you had in place before lockdown is now disjointed, now could be the perfect time to reinvent your team in line with a new direction for your business. 

Again, temporary employees are a great way to do this as you are not tied into longer contracts; you can use this to your advantage as you figure out what works and what doesn’t for your post-lockdown business strategy.  

 

4. Take Advantage of the Range of Candidates 

Finally, the number of candidates that are looking for opportunities is at an all-time high. No hospitality business owner wants to see any employees made redundant. Still, unfortunately, this might be the case for individuals who pre-lockdown were working for establishments that are going to struggle to open up again. 

As a responsible employer, giving talented and hardworking individuals a shot at becoming part of your permanent team is a win-win for both you and the candidates that are currently looking for employment.  

Speak to us today about the vision you have for your team and your establishment going forwards, and we will find you the individuals you are looking for.    

 

Next Steps 

We specialise in providing excellent temporary catering and hospitality staff to organisations and have been supporting businesses through the difficult times over the last few months. 

As the hospitality sectors look to open up again over the coming weeks, we understand that having the best team in place is going to be essential in getting you through to the other side. 

If you need temporary hospitality employees at short notice for the reopening of your business, get in contact with us today to find out how we can help. 

 

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 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. 

Your Catering Recruitment Process: How to Prepare for An Influx of Applicants

In the aftermath of Covid-19, there will be a few things on the minds of busy catering and hospitality managersstaffing levels will be one of them.  

But between managing existing team members, getting your establishment legally compliant with social distancing measures, and reconnecting with suppliers, there will be little time left for lengthy recruitment processes.  

Working in recruitment for over 20 years, I can contest that recruiting during a period of economic downturn is a skill in itself! 

Today, I share my top tips to help catering managers deal with an influx of candidates when you are already short of time. 

 

1. Start With Your Job Description 

 

 

Right now, with a job advert that is going to attract a lot of applicants, you can choose to be more selective with your criteria. 

Excellent customer service is going to be what gets catering businesses through the next few months, as customers tentatively emerge into the food and beverage sector. With such an emphasis right now on health and safety, customers need to feel safe and looked after – experienced, confident and personable is the type of candidate you are looking for.  

To attract these high-quality candidates, in your job description, use words like ‘expert’ ‘interpersonal’, ‘excellent communication skills’, and specify that you are looking for proven in-industry results, such as excellent references and online reviews. Your goal is to attract candidates who have the best social skills, coupled with plenty of experience. 

 

2. Manage Your Inbox 

Right now, every role in your organisation is a business-critical role, and you need to know that you’re on track to select the best candidate from all of the applicants; you don’t want any of them to slip through the net.  

At this time, you must maintain excellent organisational skills in regards to your inbox, or wherever it is that your applications land.  

Some catering managers choose to use recruitment software, and if you do, make sure to check the accuracy and reliability of your results. A.I. is far from perfect, and some clients tell us that great candidates can be missed, so doublechecking if you have an automatic ‘reject’ list set up regularly is a good idea. 

 

3. Use the Traffic-Light System 

Despite being clear with what you are looking for in your job description, it is an unfortunate fact of recruitment that there will be unsuitable candidates who still apply. 

The best way to deal with high volumes of these is to adopt a traffic-light system when manually looking through C.V.s. Sort candidates into those who- 

  • Possess a lot of your ‘must-haves. 
  • Have some ‘must-haves.’  
  • Have no ‘must-haves.’  

Using this threecategory approach, you will be surprised at how quickly you will end up with a manageable list of candidates who are a good or a possible fit after the first sorting.  

Then filter them again, this time looking closer at those with ‘some’ of the criteria you are looking for. For example, you might have stated in the advert that you require someone with at least two years of customer service experience. Still, you have received an application from someone with hospitality qualifications, but only six months experience in the industry. In these instances, use their CV to ascertain if they have desirable soft skills, and think about using a pre-interview phone screening to differentiate candidates further 

Finally, let’s look at your timings. 

 

4. Keep Track of Your Time to Hire 

 

An influx of candidates can lead to managers feeling overwhelmed, and thus, taking longer over their recruitment decisions. 

But even in times when you have plenty of candidates, the fastest way to turn great candidates away is to take too long with your hiring decisions.  

Candidates applying for roles right now will likely have their fears and concerns over the future of their careers, and having to wait days or even weeks to hear back from a prospective employer will only sour the relationship from the start.  

Before you even post your job description, you should ensure that you have a hiring timeline that you can adhere to. This should include  

  • an opening and a closing date for applications 
  • a strict timetable of contacting suitable applicants (aim to contact suitable candidates as soon as possible) 
  • the date(s) on which you will be interviewing 
  • the date you want to contact and confirm the chosen candidate(s)  
  • the new employee’s start date 

Having a clear-cut timeline before you begin will help you to process your candidates and should stop you from becoming overwhelmed with the sheer amount of work involved.  

Clearly, this is not a quick or easy task. If you need highly qualified catering employees at short notice and haven’t got the time to hire yourself, why not work with an experienced catering recruiter instead? 

 

Next Steps 

The job market is buoyant with catering and hospitality candidates right now – now is the perfect time to spend a little extra time and consideration on finding the perfect new addition to your team. 

Of course, the contradiction is that despite there being more available candidates right now than ever, managers who need them are too busy themselves to dedicate enough time on finding them.  

We help by putting you in contact with the expert catering staff you need to fulfil your organisation’s needs in this critical time.  

If you need the highest-quality catering staff, get in touch with us on 0121 702 1428 or contact us here. 

 

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. 

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