hospitality

Peak District & Derbyshire Hospitality Charter launches to promote sector and boost recruitment

A new hospitality charter, designed to raise the profile of the hospitality industry and promote the sector as a career of choice, has been launched by business leaders in the Peak District & Derbyshire with support from the area’s official destination management organisation.

The Peak District & Derbyshire Hospitality Charter has been created to help dispel beliefs that those working in hospitality suffer ‘long hours for little pay’ and instead highlight the benefits of being part of such a vibrant industry.

Over 30 businesses in the Peak District & Derbyshire have already pledged their support for the initiative, with businesses of all sizes across the county urged to sign up and form a collective voice for the sector.

The charter has been founded by two local hospitality leaders – Richard Palmer, Managing Director of the Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group, and Neil Fischer, owner of the Fischer’s Group – to promote best practice in the industry, with pledges to offer employees opportunity, respect, quality training, a good-work life balance and the chance to grow and develop their career.

Inspired by similar industry initiatives such as the People 1st Hospitality Commitment and the 2020 Hoteliers’ Charter, the Peak District & Derbyshire Hospitality Charter forms the basis of a long-term strategy to combat the hospitality recruitment crisis whilst also paving the way for better education and training across the industry.

Signing up to the Peak District & Derbyshire Hospitality Charter means businesses will make a series of commitments to their employees, which include providing a positive work environment, supporting training and development, offering competitive salaries and safeguarding employees’ mental health and wellbeing.

Collaboration is at the heart of the initiative and the charter also aims to improve training and apprenticeship opportunities in the sector by strengthening links between hospitality businesses and education providers.

Signatories will pledge to work with local universities, colleges, schools and careers advisors to create refreshed qualification pathways that better meet the needs of the sector – whilst also lobbying Government to improve and attract more funding to support education and training across the industry.

Businesses can find out more and sign up to the Peak District & Derbyshire Hospitality Charter using the following link: visitpeakdistrict.com/industry/hospitality-charter

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, says: “The Peak District & Derbyshire Hospitality Charter aims to combat the misconceptions surrounding working in hospitality and instead promote this diverse sector as a rewarding career choice.

“By strengthening links between the hospitality industry and education providers, the charter will not only help to build better training and education pathways, but it will also help businesses to reach young adults at the point when they choose their careers, highlighting the many benefits of working within the sector.

“This is by no means a quick fix, but the launch of this charter marks the start of a long-term strategy to support the hospitality industry, to ease recruitment problems and to ensure local businesses can offer fulfilling careers now – and in the future.”

Neil Fischer, owner of the Fischer’s Group, says: “Hospitality is one of those unique sectors where you get to both learn life skills and pull upon your educational background, while continuing to develop. Whether it’s a passion for food and drink, or purely a business and marketing acumen you are looking to develop, the hospitality industry has it all.

“Notably there has been a stigma associated with the UK hospitality sector for many years. What’s frustrating is that this stems from only 20% of the industry. The other 80% of operations are viable, vibrant and successful businesses, where individuals can succeed.

“While hospitality in many respects is about delivering great experiences, this charter is about so much more; from food education in schools, so individuals grow up healthier and fitter, to delivering great opportunities to those that want to learn, whether as a stepping stone to something else or as a long-term career.”

Richard Palmer, Managing Director of Devonshire Hotels & Restaurants Group, says: “There has never been a better time to join the hospitality industry, learn new skills and to seek more fulfilment from our working lives. Roles in hospitality are an invitation to gain invaluable life skills which open up a wealth of opportunities for those who are looking to develop, whether in the hospitality industry or beyond.

“I relate to this with personal experience, having started my own career as a bar attendant at The Devonshire Brasserie, before travelling to learn from other parts of the world. By age 21, I was managing a £1m turnover business and 25 staff, and by my mid 30’s I became the Group’s MD.

“We’re working hard to challenge the perception of the industry as having long hours, low pay and limited career progression. We began with the introduction of a four-day week for chefs, partnering with local colleges and creating our in-house training program, The Devonshire Hospitality Academy. Now, working with our partners at Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire has allowed us to pull together this charter to showcase all of the great opportunities the sector offers, to give others the benefit of our experience and share our passion.”

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Development, Featured, Home, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, Made in Chesterfield, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , , ,

Start an exciting and fulfilling career in Hospitality and Retail

Hospitality and Retail businesses are a significant part of Chesterfield’s employment sector, partially due to the town centre being considered the 7th largest retail destination in the East Midlands. You can find out more about the sector on the My Future careers platform.

Although the sector has taken a devastating blow during the pandemic and has faced much disruption, this has also opened many avenues to new career opportunities. Chris Mapp, the Managing Director of the Tickled Trout explains: “We really need people to join our beloved industry, it can be an excellent career, we need the next generation to Choose Hospitality.” You can read more from Chris here.

Apprenticeships are one example of these up-and-coming avenues into an exciting and fulfilling career in Hospitality and Retail, offering many benefits and opportunities to learn and earn on the job.

Upskill existing employees

Ringwood Hall Hotel & Spa have taken the opportunity to try and get society motivated to enjoy working in the industry. The business realised there are many benefits to the apprenticeship route including supporting current employees to develop skills and knowledge that are directly relevant to their job roles, which can help motivate the workforce and help the business to retain highly skilled personnel.

Ringwood Hall Hotel & Spa has enrolled 3 of its current employees onto the Hospitality Team Member Level 2 course, in conjunction with Chesterfield College. Leo Baxter, employee at Ringwood Hall Hotel & Spa will be studying to enhance his knowledge and skills in the Conference & Events Operations area.

Leo Baxter said: “I didn’t want to carry on with formal education, but I know I have to because of my age. I recently joined the hotel working in events on weddings and I really enjoy it and earning money to spend on me is great, so I was really pleased when I was told I was able to become an apprentice at the hotel and hopefully become an ambassador for future employees”.

Tim Cadman, General Manager at Ringwood Hall, says: “It saddens me that the industry has suffered so much as it is an industry that will always be needed, but it excites me that we have employees who want to enhance their skills and become the best that they can be in their job roles. We have some fantastic support within the hotels management team who will be great mentors for these employees and with the support of our Human Resources function hopefully we will attract new employees to the business who also wish to make a career for themselves with our support”.

Ringwood Hall Hotel & Spa are also on the lookout for an apprentice chef and painter and decorator. Anyone who is interested in these positions should contact the hotel directly to discuss.

Gain on the job experience

Lucy is a Guest Services Assistant at Van Dyk by Wildes, her apprenticeship involves her working in the main department of the hotel dealing with check ins, reservations and enquiries for the bedrooms, restaurant, and events.

She said: “Every day is different, and every day I learn something new. I always wanted to work in hospitality, and was presented with this amazing opportunity with a great company. I enjoy being a smiley, well dressed and presented person and the apprenticeship suited me perfectly. I enjoy working to a high standard as well as being myself when greeting guests – it is a job I take a lot of pride in doing well as well as the presentation of the hotel and its lobby. Its everything I enjoy.”

Lucy undertook an apprenticeship to gain on the job experience to benefit her future career. She said: “I think for a job like this, it’s really good to get the experience. I have learnt the skills I need for the job whilst also getting the experience I need for my CV. If I was to study this job in education, I would be learning the knowledge I would need, but not the skills I need on the job.”

When I first started my apprenticeship, I was not as confident as I am now, I am happy to talk to our guests and can usually deal with any problems, or questions guests have as I now have that experience.”

Lucy has ambitions to pursue a career as a manager. She said: “The main reason I wanted an apprenticeship was because of the career I want; I enjoy it so much that I want to be a Reception Manager or Front Office Manager. I want to use what I have learned to be able to progress to a higher position.”

There is no better way to hear about the benefits of apprenticeships than from current apprentices. Click here to learn more. 

You can learn more about the industry and the opportunities available by accessing the My Future careers platform.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Blog, Made in ChesterfieldTagged in , ,

Surprise marriage proposal takes centre stage at 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards

Love really was in the air at last night’s 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards. Taking centre stage at the sell-out award ceremony was a marriage proposal by Giuseppe Barone, co-owner of Sicily Restaurant which won Best New Hospitality Business.

Walking up on stage to collect the award, Giuseppe dropped to one knee and proposed to his business partner Monica Sardisco in front of a shocked and delighted crowd.

Giuseppe explained: “The proposal was all planned for if we won but if we didn’t win it wasn’t going to happen. I am very happy – for the award and for Monica saying ‘yes’.”

Sicily Restaurant was just one of 16 businesses and individuals celebrated at the Love Chesterfield Awards – the first in-person event held in 19 months by Destination Chesterfield.

Almost 50 businesses, individuals and projects were shortlisted across 16 categories, but it was Adorn Jewellers, Chesters Restaurant & Takeaway and CarMats.co.uk that clinched the three headline awards – Retailer of the Year, Restaurant of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year respectively.

Recent Strictly star and breakfast TV presenter Mike Bushell announced the winners of the awards at a sell-out black tie event held at the Winding Wheel on Wednesday 20 October.

More than 250 people attended the celebration. Dom Stevens, Destination Chesterfield Manager said: “This year the awards were a celebration on so many levels – recognising entrepreneurial and community spirit, achievement, survival and a marriage proposal – the first in our awards history. I am delighted that the business community was once again able to come together in person, connect with each other and share in each other’s success. It was a brilliant event.”

New business CarMats.co.uk, owned by Ash Young, is the first ever recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year award. The Chesterfield-based ecommerce business, which sells car mats, was founded during the first lockdown in 2020 and achieved £1 million in revenue in just nine months. Capitalising on his success, he has since established a second digital business selling car seat covers this year.

Delighted to win the award, Ash said: “During lockdown I wanted to set up a business to support local jobs. Car mats is a bit of a strange business, but everyone uses car mats and they wear out. We are now looking to expand across Europe going into Ireland first and then onto France and all from Chesterfield.

“We’re really proud of what we’ve done with Carmats.co.uk and it’s really nice to get the recognition locally.”

CarMats.co.uk was just one of 761 new businesses registered in Chesterfield during 2020 – an increase of 20% compared to the previous year.

Long established businesses, town centre-based Adorn Jewellers, and Chesters based on Sheffield Road are previous multiple award winners in the Chesterfield High Street and Food and Drink awards.

Chesters is investing £1 million opening a second restaurant at Markham Vale. Chris Ioanides, Owner of Chesters, which next year celebrates its 10th anniversary, said: “It means so much to us to be recognised locally. Even though we’ve been in the top 10 in the UK this award means more to us because it’s Chesterfield people that have got us where we are today. It fills our hearts to know that we are up there with the top restaurants in the town.”

Capitalising on the success of Adorn, which opened in The Shambles in 2010, owners Laura-Jo and Adam Owen opened a second shop, Acorn Jewellers, in Bakewell in 2017. An emotional Laura Jo said: “We’re thrilled to win this award. Our success is our customers – 100%. We have a wonderful community of customers and this award is for them.”

The Love Chesterfield Awards replace and combine the town’s popular Food and Drink and High Street Awards. Three new categories have also been added to the Love Chesterfield awards line-up – Sustainability, Community Contribution and Entrepreneur of the Year.

Organised by Destination Chesterfield and sponsored by EntireFM, categories in the new Love Chesterfield Awards reflect the challenges which local businesses, people and projects have faced over the last 18 months as well as the business landscape post pandemic.

Speaking at the awards, Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council and Vice Chair of Destination Chesterfield said: “The last 19 months have been a turbulent time for all of us. But our local businesses have shown such resilience; adapting and supporting each other to keep moving forward. They have all achieved so much and inspired others to follow in their footsteps. It is an honour to be able to recognise so many at the Love Chesterfield Awards.”

Love Chesterfield Awards

Winners of the 16 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards categories include:

Restaurant of the Year – Sponsored by Entire FM

Chesters

“It means so much to us to be recognised locally. Even though we’ve been in the top 10 in the UK this award means more to us because it’s Chesterfield people that have got us where we are today. It fills our hearts to know that we are up there with the top restaurants in the town.” Chris Ioanides, owner, Chesters

Café of the Year – sponsored by CMP Legal

The Café at Libby’s

“We’re absolutely thrilled to bits to win. We make what people want to eat and our customers keep coming back. It’s a pleasure to come to work and keep serving them.” Ann Truscott and Julie Legdon, The Café at Libbys

Pub/Bar of the Year – sponsored by Addooco IT

The Tickled Trout

“It’s been a really difficult 18 months at The Tickled Trout and the team have been brilliant. Pulling together throughout the pandemic and adapting the business and supporting the community.” Rachel Cutting, The Tickled Trout

Best New Hospitality Business – sponsored by Shorts Chartered Accountants

Sicily Restaurant

“Sicily Restaurant is a family business and when people visit us, we want them to feel welcome and like they are in our home. We are not standing still; there is still room for improvement. We now plan to do fresh pasta to add to all our home made, authentic Sicilian menu.” Giuseppe Barone, Sicily Restaurant

Accessibility Award – sponsored by Spirecross Ltd

Monkey Park Café

“It feels amazing to win the award. It’s important to us to ensure people are connected and that involved delivering new services during the pandemic, like providing take away services from the café and supplying tablets and mobile phones to members of the community to help them get online and develop new skills. It means such a lot to us that Monkey Park and our services are accessible to everybody and this award is recognition of that.” Sarah Clarke, Monkey Park Community Hub

Retailer of the Year – sponsored by East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire)

Adorn Jewellers of Chesterfield

“We’re thrilled to win this award. Our success is our customers – 100%. We have a wonderful community of customers and this award is for them.” – Laura Jo Owen, owner of Adorn Jewellers

Best New High Street Business – sponsored by Chesterfield College Group

Lottie’s Sandwich Bar

“We weren’t expecting to win the award. We came to the Love Chesterfield Awards thinking that it would be an amazing experience so to win is absolutely amazing. Without our customers and community, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We work so hard for them so to get something back is just amazing. We’ll keep listening to our customers and do our best for them.”

Independent High Street Business – sponsored by Evoluted

Fred’s Haberdashery

“It feels fantastic to win the award. Fred’s is an institution in Chesterfield and we feel proud to have developed the business further using technology.  We have really enjoyed being on Twitter during The Great British Sewing Bee. It’s really made a difference to the business as more people are getting into dressmaking and coming into the shop for fabric and patterns.” Emily Lord, Fred’s Haberdashery

Sustainability Award – sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council

Superior Wellness

“We are absolutely delighted to have won this inaugural award. Sustainability is high on the agenda at Superior Wellness and it became even more important when we moved into our new 130,000 square foot warehouse and office in March.

“Within the last few months, we have reviewed our waste strategy, purchased electric forklift trucks, installed solar panels and have electric charging points.

“This is just the start as we seek to become more sustainable as a business.  Our ten-year vision is to become carbon neutral.” Mark Needham, Head of Operations, Superior Wellness

Community Contribution – sponsored by Van Dyk by Wildes

Peak Pharmacy

“It’s really exciting to win the award. It’s been great to help Chesterfield get back to normal by delivering 30,000 vaccinations. It’s been a real team and family effort and we’re all so proud.” Tara Brown, Peak Pharmacy

Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by Banner Jones Solicitors

CarMats.co.uk

“During lockdown I wanted to set up a business to support local jobs. Car mats is a bit of a strange business, but everyone uses car mats and they wear out. We are now looking to expand across Europe going into Ireland first and then onto France, and all from Chesterfield.

“We’re really proud of what we’ve done with Carmats.co.uk and it’s really nice to get the recognition locally.” Ash Young, CarMats.co.uk

Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by DBC Training

Ellie Gibson – Heathcotes Group

“I am so shocked to win the award. I love working at Heathcotes and loved doing my apprenticeship. I would say to anyone who wants to do an apprenticeship just do it. I’ve really enjoyed it.” Ellie Gibson

Food Producer of the Year (within 10 miles) – sponsored by MSE Hiller

Crooked Pickle Co

Excellence in Customer Service – sponsored by Peak Pharmacy

The Therapy Lounge

Market Trader of the Year – sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council

Ibbotson’s Fresh Quality Produce

Regeneration Award – sponsored by BHP Accountants

The Glass Yard

The 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards were supported and made possible by a number of sponsors and partners, including: Addooco IT, Banner Jones Solicitors, BHP Accountants, CMP Legal, Chesterfield Borough CouncilChesterfield Digital High StreetThe Chesterfield College GroupDBC TrainingDerbyshire TimesEast Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire)EntireFM – Complete Facilities Management, Evoluted, Greatest Hits Radio South Yorkshire and North DerbyshireJP Fire Safety SolutionsMSE Hiller, Peak Pharmacy, Shorts Chartered Accountants, Spirecross Ltd and Van Dyk by Wildes.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Featured, Home, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, Love Chesterfield Awards, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , , ,

Chesterfield Businesses encouraged to apply for Peak District & Derbyshire tourism awards

Applications are now open for the 2022 Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards, offering tourism and hospitality businesses the fantastic opportunity to achieve local and national recognition.

Now in their second year, the awards celebrate excellence and outstanding achievement in the area’s tourism sector, shining a spotlight on deserving businesses and individuals across the Peak District and Derbyshire.

There are 15 categories in total covering different aspects of the visitor economy, from B&Bs, hotels and campsites to attractions, experiences and delicious local food and drink.

Applications for the 2022 awards are open until 19th September 2021 and finalists will be named in October. Winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony in early 2022, with Gold winners in the 13 core categories progressing on to the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence for the chance to achieve national glory.

2022 Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Award Categories:

  • B&B and Guest House of the Year
  • Hotel of the Year
  • Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year
  • Self Catering Accommodation of the Year
  • Visitor Attraction of the Year
  • Pub of the Year
  • Experience of the Year
  • New Tourism Business of the Year
  • Taste of the Peak District & Derbyshire Award
  • Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award
  • Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award
  • Unsung Hero Award
  • Resilience and Innovation Award
  • Team of the Year Award (Local Award)
  • Tourism Young Achiever Award (Local Award)

Details of all categories and how to apply are available at: www.visitpeakdistrict.com/tourism-awards

In recognition of the exceptional work undertaken by the sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, two new core categories have been added for the 2022 awards: the Unsung Hero Award and the Resilience and Innovation Award.

Two new local categories – Team of the Year and Tourism Young Achiever – have also been introduced to celebrate the thousands of people employed by the tourism industry in the Peak District and Derbyshire.

The Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards are run by Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire with support from the European Regional Development Fund and C W Sellors Fine Jewellery & Luxury Watches, who will be designing and handcrafting luxury bespoke awards for all Gold winners.

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, said: “After a difficult year for the industry, the Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards offer a timely opportunity to recognise the area’s many innovative and resilient tourism businesses, and the passionate people behind them.

“These awards are a celebration of the tourism sector and the huge contribution it makes to the Peak District & Derbyshire’s economy. They are also a fantastic chance for businesses to recognise the hard work of their teams, and entering these local awards is the only way to qualify for the national VisitEngland awards. We urge everyone to get their applications in as soon as possible!”

The Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards are free to enter for current members of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire. Non-members can enter at a fee of £150 plus VAT per category. Entrants must be based in Derbyshire or within the Peak District National Park boundary, and must be part of the visitor economy.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Development, Featured, Home, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , , , , ,

Chesterfield’s hospitality sector gears up for full reopening

Chesterfield’s hospitality sector is gearing up for the full re-opening of indoor dining and drinking venues under step three of the easing of lockdown.

Thanks to takeaway, delivery and, more recently, outdoor seating, a limited number of pubs, cafés and restaurants have been able to continue operating throughout the pandemic. However, with the lifting of restrictions to allow indoor dining and drinking, businesses in Chesterfield’s hospitality sector are set to completely re-open from Monday 17 May.

Delighted to be finally fully re-opening Douglas Daniels, owner of The Market Pub commented: “We’re greatly looking forward to getting back, as are the whole team. We’ve really missed all of our customers and can’t wait to welcome them back into The Market Pub.

“Independent businesses give towns and cities their unique character and help to offer an alternative to the national chains. They’re also usually the first to reflect new trends and attitudes. We’ve got many new things on the way and we look forward to showcasing them soon.”

Tracey Wallis, Owner of The Pekoe Café at Northern Tea Merchants said: “We are really looking forward to being back, it’s been such a long time and we’ve missed our wonderful customers. We’re already taking plenty of bookings, so it shows that people have missed us too!

“The last 14 months have been a struggle to say the least, but I am positive that Chesterfield’s independent businesses and the hospitality sector will bounce back with a vengeance.

“Roll on 17 May when we can begin serving our much-loved range of Northern Tea Merchants’ teas and coffees again, alongside freshly prepared breakfast favourites, light lunches and a delicious selection of homemade cakes and scones.”

Steve Perez, Chairman of Global Brands and Owner of Casa Hotel added: “Every time we have been closed, we’ve been determined to come back bigger and better and now is no different. Although we have been closed, we have been very busy! We have built the new Oak Room extension to our wedding venue, extended the terrace and built a brand-new kitchen at Peak Edge Hotel.

“At Casa, we are refurbishing the Cocina Restaurant with luxurious new booths and décor. The bar will be extensively refurbished with an amazing new design and concept – it will be the place to be in the town.

“The love everyone has shown us throughout the last year has been keeping us going. We have in fact remained open throughout the entire pandemic by supporting the NHS with free accommodation and food and, more recently, the vaccine centre here at Casa. Let us hope this is us opening for good and for an amazing summer ahead.”

During lockdown, the town’s marketing campaign Destination Chesterfield supported the hospitality sector by dedicated a full page on its website, pointing customers to where they could access both takeaway and delivery services.

The page – https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/visiting/eating-out/dine-at-home/ has details of restaurants, with sub-pages for cafés, pubs, bars and tea rooms in and around Chesterfield that have continued to operate by adapting to meet the needs of the community.

The page will continue to be updated and live until all businesses in the sector are fully operational.

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield commented: “Eating and drinking out, especially in Chesterfield, is all about great customer service and a fantastic product. Takeaway and delivery services have been wonderful throughout the pandemic and we’re all grateful for the hard work it took the businesses to adapt overnight and deliver this.

“But I think the town is now ready to get back into our favourite pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants to enjoy the warm atmosphere and see those familiar, friendly faces once more. We’re encouraging everyone to #LoveChesterfield and support our local businesses in what’s such a crucial time for the hospitality sector.”

To find out more about eating and drinking out in Chesterfield, please visit: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/lovechesterfield/

Love Chesterfield

Love Chesterfield is a campaign from Chesterfield Borough Council in partnership with Destination Chesterfield with support from the reopening the high street safely fund and the welcome back fund provided by HM Government and the European Regional Development Fund.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, Love Chesterfield Awards, Summer, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , , , , , ,

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