At the forefront of change, service excellence and innovation

I can't believe we are half way through the year already. The sun has only just started shining and we are already planning our Christmas promotions!

In my last piece I mentioned that the FWD was carrying out extensive research into added value services, to understand what customers want from their suppliers.

Now complete, this survey, which went to operators from schools and care homes, to fast food outlets and pubs, uncovers the key challenges that they face in today’s market, revealing how operators and wholesalers can work together more effectively. Whilst only a first step, this piece of research has been fundamental in terms of helping to fuse wholesale and foodservice and in identifying the challenges we face as an industry.

I mentioned challenges back in March and in particular the introduction of government standards, the ongoing debate about sugar and the need to keep business costs down. The best way to face these challenges and turn them into opportunities is to do so collaboratively and one of the biggest focuses that we now face as an industry is finding and nurturing talent; something that’ll be a hot topic at the British Hospitality Association (BHA) Summit this month.Andrew Selley, FWD Vice Chairman

As the UK’s fourth largest employer, accounting for 4.49 million people, or 10% of the UK’S workforce [BHA gures], the hospitality industry has a huge collective responsibility for the creation of jobs and training.

This is simply something we can’t afford to be complacent about if we want to deliver sustainable growth and achieve the BHA’s target of 100,000 new jobs by 2020.

Job seekers’ perceptions of an employer brand are absolutely vital to this and with the rise of social media it has never been more important to protect your reputation and stand to be counted; a brand should be known and respected for its culture and values and this needs to be reflected outwardly and internally too.

Therefore whether that involves investing signicantly in new training initiatives or offering professional qualifications such as NVQs and leadership courses, business projects, on the job training and volunteering, we all need to be flexible and take training and development seriously.

Also important is celebrating business success; and this will take centre stage as we enter “awards season”. Awards are vital to the hospitality trade, as not only do they celebrate individual business’ successes, they also set a gold standard for others to strive towards. In this market where employer brand is paramount and recruiting the best talent is vital, this simply cannot be underestimated.

For wholesalers working within foodservice, this is a great time of year to listen up, to celebrate one another’s achievements, including those of our suppliers, competitors and customers and to use these learnings to work more effectively together.

By working collaboratively, we can make our industry stronger and we can share, learn and grow our voice – a voice that deserves to be heard.

This industry is dynamic and progressive and is at the forefront of change, service excellence and innovation. 


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