Members’ News

November 2021

Increase Staff Retention and Gain Greater Loyalty #

Hospitality is an amazing industry to work in - but we're still seeing issues with staffing. Even with 'apprenticeships', research shows that within 8 weeks an apprentice may leave - generally because they don't feel part of the business culture or don't have the support they need to stay. Umbrella Insight support businesses with employee engagement and have launched their recruit and retain program.

Ensuring you support your new-hires through their first 3-6 months so you gain a higher rate of retention, more loyal employees - and, when they're passionate about working for you, they will promote your brand and you'll gain more friends and family referrals. Find out more:

Best-One gains lions share of occasions #

Bestway has announced that its largest symbol brand, Best-One has seen the strongest growth of tracked convenience brands across the twelve-week period to 17/10/21 with its share of occasions increasing by +1.2ppts.

The information, highlighted in Lumina Intelligence’s Convenience Tracking Programme, shows that not only does Best-One top the leader charts on growth when it comes to its share of occasions, but that Tesco Express and SPAR have lost their own share of occasions by -1.4ppts and -0.9ppts respectively.

Lumina’s Convenience Tracking Programme takes key metrics around basket size, frequency, and how spend has changed when compared with the previous 12 weeks.  It also looks at the method of purchase and whether On Demand Convenience (ODC) is growing alongside evaluating how shopper demographics may be shifting. 

According to Mike Hollis, Bestway’s Director of Retail, the growth evidenced by Best-One may have been fuelled by a recent recovery in the News mission:

The Central Tracking Programme shows us that newsagent missions increased by +2ppts during this 12-week period as older consumers become less risk-averse due to the rollout of booster vaccines. 

“Furthermore, shopping trips in Convenience are becoming more planned with top-up (planned) seeing a +1ppt increase

It’s good news for Best-One at a time when the business is heavily investing in fresh innovation alongside digital platforms, and trials around hybrid offering of its stores.    Hollis concludes:

We can see that frequency of shopping increased by +4%, indicative of smaller shops more often, as summer holidays and good weather meant increased spending for more people.

“And top up – both planned and distress – saw share of mission increases of +1ppts and +2ppts respectively, aligning with the increase in basket size.

“The coming 12 weeks will also give us further fascinating insights into how consumer behaviours may be shifting and with the festive season about to shift up a gear – it will be highly competitive period as the sector competes for share of market

The Springboard Awards for Excellence are now open for Entries! #

Springboard and headline sponsor, Smart Group, are excited to announce that the Springboard Awards for Excellence are now open for entries.

Nominate yourself or another deserving business or individual for the Springboard Awards for Excellence!  We want to recognise and celebrate the hospitality superstars, who have shown amazing resilience and innovation, managing to shine over the past year as the industry rebuilds.
The 16 award categories include ‘Best recruitment initiative’, ‘Best Talent Onboarding’, ‘Employee Health & Wellbeing‘ and ‘Business Innovation‘, alongside some new awards for 2022, including ‘Disability Confidence’ and ‘Best Kickstart Employer’.  

The ceremony will take place in Spring 2022 at Smart Group’s exquisite and award-winning ‘Illuminate’ venue, with a panoramic window offering stunning views of the city.

The Springboard Awards for Excellence are FREE to enter and easy to do on our online form. 
The Springboard Awards for Excellence entries are now open! - The Springboard Charity & Springboard UK

TWC celebrates partnership with C J Lang & Son Ltd. and success of Spar Scotland sales track portal #

Leading digital and data company, TWC, has been celebrating the close working partnership with CJ Lang & Son Ltd with its SPAR Scotland Sales Track - the new wholesale and retail data reporting service – which is proving highly successful, hosted through TWC’s SmartView technology with its market leading dashboards.  SmartView | TWC (
CJ Lang & Son wanted a data solution that could combine its wholesale shipments data with EPOS sales data from company owned stores - a first in UK wholesale - in order to make fast and accurate decisions. It was imperative that the platform was easy to use across the CJ Lang & Son business and its suppliers, recognising that data skills varied amongst users.
In just three months, the resulting SPAR Scotland Sales Track was developed and launched, on time and on budget!  The cloud-based platform reports wholesale shipments data as well as retail sales from Spar Scotland’s company owned stores.  Spar Scotland Sales Track is fully supported by TWC in terms of demos, user guides, ‘how to’ videos and 1-2-1 training sessions.
According to CJ Lang & Son, TWC’s SmartView has helped the business commercialise its data with the two businesses working in close collaboration. Furthermore, the team at TWC has gone above and beyond in successfully converting 70% of the priority prospects identified by CJ Lang & Son into data contracts. 
Colin McLean CEO for CJ Lang & Son Ltd said: 
Incredibly, the implementation of the platform has had very little impact on our operational time, whilst generating a new revenue stream for the business.
“We are now able, for the first time, to share shipments data to all SPAR Scotland retailers, enabling our partner suppliers to monitor their performance through CJ Lang & Son at a total category, sub-category, brand and SKU level, including competitor data.

“In the three months since the platform went live, we have had over 40 suppliers sign up to the service. They’ve mainly accessed ‘NAM Dash’, however many suppliers are taking the time to dig deeper from here into the retail basket analysis
Sandy MacEwen, Head of Sales at TWC, who has worked alongside CJ Lang & Son’s team for nearly 18 months setting up and embedding the new tool, presented a demonstration of the platform at last month’s Spar Scotland Trade Show.
Sandy explains the unique aspects of the platform:
For the first time, stakeholders can view wholesale and retail sales performance on one, easy to use platform.  Our platform has been built to give suppliers quick key facts ‘on the go’ via our NAM Dash tool, where you can view category performance right the way down to SKU level information, within a couple of clicks.
“We also have a wholesale analysis tool to help suppliers understand how their products are being bought by retailers within a category, alongside a suite of EPOS analysis tools to help suppliers understand how their customers are buying their products within the company owned stores
Sandy, concluded:
The Retail Basket Analysis shows the importance of how data can be used to drive growth opportunities as it’s very easy to find trends that are specific to a category within the platform.

“Suppliers are already in conversations with the CJ Lang & Son’ trading team around cross-category promotions, through the insights they've found using the Retail Basket Analysis - watch this space!
To find out more about TWC SmartView, please contact Sandy on or visit:  SmartView | TWC ( for further information.

Bestway Wholesale Bestpets named PIF 'Wholesaler of the Year' for the third time #

Up against tough competition, Bestpets has been named as ‘Wholesaler of the Year’ at the Pet Industry Federation awards, for the third time.

The prestigious Pet Industry Federation awards were this year held on Thursday 21 Octoberat Whittlebury Hall Hotel, Towcester, and are the UK's premier event for the pet industry,recognising businesses in categories such as ‘Retailer of the Year’, ‘Manufacturer of theYear’ and ‘Supplier of the Year’.

This year has been one of growth and innovation for Bestpets and being voted the highlysought-after PIF ‘Wholesaler of the Year’ - hot on the heels of receiving the Pet ProductMarketing Award for ‘Wholesaler of the Year’ - is a real testament to the continued hard workby the whole team.

Adam Moore, Category Controller – Pet, said:

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be selected to win this award and we would like to thank allthose who nominated Bestpets. This is a fantastic achievement for the whole BestpetsTeam.

“We seek to offer customers the very best prices, service and availability and this accoladeis testament to the hard work of the team which has resulted in us achieving nationalrecognition for our efforts.

“Thank you to all of our customers for shopping with Bestpets and for honouring us with this award.”

For further information on Best-pets, please visit or download the Bestpets app.

Gather & Gather opens the first brew bar at a London university #

Gather & Gather has brought the craft of specialty coffee to University College London (UCL) in the form of a new Brew Bar – the first at a university in London.

The unique space at UCL’s faculty of the built environment, The Bartlett offers UCL students, employees and visitors a choice of ‘pour over’ brew methods.

It also supports jobs into hospitality for the local community. Camden residents have been recruited into the UCL Brew Bar team and trained by local social enterprise Well Grounded, that provides SCA accredited coffee training programmes, work placements and ongoing support to Londoners facing barriers to employment.

The Brew Bar was officially opened at a special launch event on Thursday 21 October 2021.

Using mainly ‘pour over’ methods, the Brew Bar offers a unique coffee experience. With a longer brew time than extraction on an espresso machine, the flavour notes are more distinctive, allowing the coffee to be enjoyed in almost its purest form. The additional brewing time also gives customers the opportunity to engage with the expert baristas and learn about the coffee they are about to enjoy – from its origin to coffee sensory and specific flavours.

The Brew Bar’s coffee is sourced from UK-based specialty coffee roasters, focusing on London-based roasters, rotating on a monthly basis to keep the offer fresh and exciting and to continue to grow customers’ coffee knowledge and repertoire. The Brew Bar will also stock coffee and equipment for brewing at home.

The opening of the Brew Bar epitomises Gather & Gather’s partnership with Well Grounded. Well Grounded runs a series of specialty coffee training academies for people facing social and economic barriers to employment, linking them to work in an industry looking for talent. Gather & Gather is proud to have supported dozens of Well Grounded trainees into employment, many of whom are still a key part of its family, including its UCL Brew Bar team.

Gather & Gather has also committed that ten pence from every coffee sold will go back to Well Grounded to help fund its training programmes.

Sustainability is high on the agenda at the Brew Bar, including initiatives to minimise the use of single-use cups, metal reusable coffee filters instead of paper, loose leaf tea instead of enveloped, coffee beans sold for home use by weight via a dispenser system with ‘bring your own’ packaging, coffee grounds used for fuel via Bio Bean and local suppliers providing cakes and oat milk.

Rob Fredrickson, Managing Director, Gather & Gather, said: “The Brew Bar is an incredible space that allows the university community to fully appreciate and enjoy the craft and optimum flavours of specialty coffee. Where else in London can you engage with enthusiastic and knowledgeable baristas over coffee in its geekiest form?

“We’re also delighted to continue our partnership with Well Grounded. This fantastic enterprise has already trained and introduced incredible talent to our teams and it’s great that we’re able to support entry to employment for the Camden community. At a time when hospitality has a recruitment crisis, this forward-thinking enterprise provides a tangible solution and together we will create opportunities for the next generation of baristas

Mike Rogers, Interim CEO, Well Grounded, said: “As Well Grounded celebrates five years of social impact in London’s specialty coffee industry, the time and trusted partnership with Gather & Gather to launch Brew Bar feel absolutely right.

“Working together we can empower the next generation of baristas into sustainable careers in an industry for which they display a real passion and commitment. Brew Bar represents a levelling up of how we provide support and services to transform lives through coffee in the capital – especially in our new home the Borough of Camden

Elior introduces mentoring scheme supporting females to flourish #

Leading UK contract caterer, Elior, today launched a mentoring programme aimed at helping female staff to fulfil their potential. Inspiring growth and progression, Womentoring is a 12-month programme being led by Elior UK’s CFO, Leni Savva and is designed to boost female representation in senior roles across the business. Creating impact through connection, it will provide opportunities for talented employees to be supported and empowered by established Elior colleagues.

The first cohort of 10 female mentees have met with their mentors to discuss their development plans for the year. With a strong understanding of Elior’s structure and opportunities, mentors will help mentees work towards their career goals through establishing connections across the business. And because they have worked in senior positions at Elior, they will have the track record and experience to inspire mentees to succeed.

Alongside one-to-one mentoring, programme mentors and mentees will promote and champion gender diversity across the business. And through this, programme members will be able to identify further development opportunities that support internal mobility.  

Leni Savva, CFO at Elior said: “We have an inclusive culture at Elior that celebrates equality. However, although we have a higher proportion of women than men working here, we noticed that there is still work to be done in reflecting this in leadership and management roles across the business.

“Earlier this year, we set targets to increase the number of women in our leadership team, middle and senior management, and the number of female chefs. This mentoring scheme was one of the initiatives designed to help us achieve these.

“We have an incredible pool of talent right here in the business – female and male. And as well as giving mentees opportunities for growth, we’re excited about the potential for mentors to gain experience and enjoyment from the experience.
“It's important to note, however, that this isn’t just about making the numbers: it's about inspiring confidence and helping employees to achieve their potential

Seven finalists for Sodexo at 2021 Ex-Forces in Business awards #

A team of seven Sodexo employees have reached the final stages of the prestigious British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, the world’s largest celebration of former military personnel who have transitioned and are excelling in their second careers as part of the wider UK workforce. 

Sodexo was an early signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant and part of its commitment is the continual support in the employment of ex-armed forces personnel including employees which are members of the Reserves.  

As a partner to the military for over 30 years Sodexo continually looks to support and provide employment opportunities at every level to those leaving the military and it delighted that the following have been recognised at these awards: 

Military Values in Business Award finalist: Robert Parry, general manager, Army Headquarters
New Service Leaver of the Year Award finalist: Samantha Prime, logistics service manager, Merville Barracks, Colchester

Outstanding Achiever of the Year Award finalist: Craig Hill-Lyons, account director (MOJ contract)

Reservist of the Year Award finalist: Nick Mackey, RAF reservist chef and head chef for the Officers’ Mess at Army headquarters

Role Model of the Year Award finalist: Mark Fryer, service manager, St Omer Barracks in Aldershot

Service Leaver of the Year Award finalist: Richard Horsman, soft services operations manager, Colchester Garrison

Young Leader of the Year finalist: Mike Mercer, catering manager, Ward barracks, Bulford 

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner taking place at the London Intercontinental, The O2 on 2 December 2021.

Paul Anstey, CEO, Government, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: 

As a leading employer of choice for veterans, reservists and forces families, we understand the value and skills people with a military connection can bring to a business.  We are extremely proud and delighted to have seven finalists at this year’s British Ex-Forces in Business Awards and we wish them luck for the 2 December.  

“This is a phenomenal achievement and fabulous recognition for the talented individuals we have within Sodexo who have made a successful transition from the military into civilian life and help deliver excellence to our clients, customers and colleagues every day

Sodexo has a number of initiatives in place to support ex-forces employees and also works closely with SSAFA in its efforts from providing financial support for its homelessness fund to a number of Sodexo employees participating in SSAFA’s mentoring scheme to help individuals transitioning from the military into civilian life. 

In 2017 Sodexo was awarded the Gold Employer Recognition Award by the Ministry of Defence in recognition of the company’s commitment and efforts to support the entire Armed Force community through its strong policies which include: 

*  the positive recruitment of ex-military personnel
*  the provision of employment opportunities for the spouses of service personnel posted into areas where Sodexo holds a contract
*  a flexible approach to granting leave for employees which are members of the Reserves
*  a partnership approach to supporting service charities such as SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. Sodexo has been a partner to SSAFA for 14 years and provides valuable sponsorship, enables volunteering, fundraises as well as providing financial support for the charity’s homelessness fund.


Big names join HRC ahead of registration launch #

Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) has announced a number of key exhibitors and show partners ahead of the launch of visitor registration in mid-November.   

The event, which takes place on 21-23 March 2022 at ExCeL London, will be welcoming Michel Roux Jr as Chef Ambassador. Michel will be taking part in a keynote session on the Vision Stage in addition to supporting historic chef competition International Salon Culinaire.    

Iain Sampson, Executive Chef at The Bear Hotel, commented: “Whatever sector of the trade you are in, HRC covers it. There are new and innovative ideas on show and Salon Culinaire is a great window to showcase the creative talent we have in this country.” 

The 2022 edition of the show has confirmed key brands such food & drink businesses Barista Cup, Henley Bridge Ingredients and Kepak, professional catering equipment suppliers such as Falcon and UNOX, leading design & décor studios Elia, AEL Furniture, Accanto and Harp Design, and innovative hospitality tech providers including Tevalis, The Goodtill, Digitally and Get Tasty. 

HRC takes place on 21-23 March at ExCeL London alongside IFE, IFE Manufacturing, London Produce Show, and The Pub Show. Keep up to date with the latest news from Hotel, Restaurant & Catering, including the launch of visitor registration, at