A training course designed by Classic Lodges to develop the all-round skillset of a selection of its most promising employees, and provide them with a more rounded knowledge of the hospitality sector, is about to enter its second year following the success of this year.
The first-year of eight students are due to finish the training course following a presentation on a subject of their choosing to Managing Director, Richard Grime and Chairman, Craig Hemmings. Three of those students have chosen: ‘open all hours’ – ensuring all enquiries are treated like a potential booking; how to turn Christmas sales calls into revenue; and how to calculate food costs.
As part of the selection process, Paul Twomey, General Manager of Grovefield House Hotel, Richard Ibbott, General Manager of Grinkle Park, joined Head of HR Martin Reeves, Richard Smith, Director of Marketing and Partnerships, and Carren Todd of ACT Training for presentations from the 16 applications for the eight postions on next year’s course.
Chloe Rogerson, Receptionist and Trainee Duty Manager at Farington has been with the hotel for seven years and started working behind the bar and front of house. She hopes that the course will help her progress through the company to become Duty Manager and beyond.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I left school, and almost fell into the job at the hotel. The progress I have made so far, and going on this course has really cemented it in my mind that I am on the right career path.
“It has really improved my confidence. It’s been great to see the procedures at other hotels, how they differ from ours and the benefits of a different approach.”
Kellie Mason, Conference, Wedding and Events Co-ordinator at The Hickstead Hotel has been with the company for two years. She found the health and safety and food safety certification the most rewarding:
“To gain this wider knowledge of the entire running of a hotel has been fascinating. Spending three days at Bagden Hall, Solberge Hall and the Old Swan has been incredibly useful. I hope to progress through the ranks right up to General Manager.
“It’s great to feel wanted and encouraged as so much time and effort has been invested in this course. I’d encourage anyone within the business to take the course.”
Simon Bryant, Head Chef at Grovefield House Hotel found the people management element the most beneficial: “I went on to the course hoping to become a better manager. I’ve learned how to improve my interaction with my team, and how to identify their individual skills and make the best use of them.
“Through the course I’ve taught my Sous Chef and Chef du Partie how to calculate food costs – from the cost of each dish to working out weekly and monthly budgets. It’s a vital skill to ensure we are as profitable as possible and not one they had been exposed to before.”