Day one of HTA Catering Conference has got off to a great start today with some fantastic speakers giving delegates some real food for thought!

Dave Denny, HTA Marketing and Insights Manager, discussed how you should ensure you are part of your customer's self-image - what do they want to say and feel about themselves? Ensure you cater to all egos as well as your customer's stomach.

Martin Christian Kent, People1st, showed ways to try and combat the current chef shortage, and how you need to focus on first line management. Ensure your managers have a broader skills base so that they have the right people skills as well culinary skills.

This morning’s Keynote Speaker Peter Avis, UK Restaurant Manager of the Year, shared his inspirational story of how he went from a dishwasher to Restaurant Manager at the prestigious Babylon Rooftop Gardens. Through being encouraged by his managers at the beginning of his career, he was able to see how that company culture helps to empower staff and make them feel like they can achieve, and this is something that he has ensured he has continued with his staff today. “Be open to feedback, don’t just give it. Don’t just be the boss, be the leader.“

We’ve also heard some great case studies from Chief Executive David Yardley and Keren Feeney, Group Catering Manager from Klondyke Group, and also Salim Sajid, Rosebourne Garden Centre, about how they have developed their Garden Centres and catering offerings into the success that they are today.

Russell Scanlon, Director of Business Development at headline partner Compass Group UK & Ireland gave an overview of Compass Group and aimed to combat some of the myths of working with an outsourced catering provider. He also highlighted the benefits such a partnership can bring to your business. 

Watch this space for more updates throughout the day!


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