We work hard at training. We know it’s one of the reasons why our guests love us: they know they’re going to get great products, served by knowledgeable, friendly staff. It doesn’t just happen though – we put a lot of effort into it.

We run an on-going programme of training for all of the people in our business that are in a leadership role, from supervisors all the way up to Operations Managers. We employ some of the best management-training experts in the country to provide our managers with the tools they need to get the best out of their teams. These sessions include work on coaching, mentoring, leading, interviewing, running appraisals, and a vast array of other areas. It’s proved really successful, and gives our managers a real sense that they are constantly developing and moving forward.

We also use industry-leading experts to run training sessions in each of the key areas in which we operate. For example, Clifton Coffee Roasters in Bristol do our coffee training – they have a team of Baristas who compete in international competitions, so we know they are some of the best in the world, and they pass on their knowledge and passion to our guys. We take the same approach with wine and spirits and cocktails – we have a selection of trainers, each experts in their own field, who run master classes for our teams so they can get the best coaching available.

We also support many of our staff with fully funded college courses – in the last year we have seen some graduate from advanced courses in patisserie, NVQ Level 3, marketing courses, and a great deal more. It’s a win-win for all of us – we get the best people, and our guys get free qualifications.

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