In light of the COVID-19 outbreak please see some topical information that may be useful to you and your employees. Whilst many hospitality businesses may not be able to work from home some of your teams will be able to in order to keep the back of house functions ticking over.
Keeping our heads whilst all around are losing theirs will be a huge challenge for everyone, but keeping in touch with our teams and those who support us as well will be what carries us through.
Be enterprising with the new opportunities placed in front of us, think outside the boundaries of what your business currently does, what could you still do?
You have supplies, you have some manpower and you definitely still have a client base, you just have to get your products to them. Home delivery, outside dining, picnic hampers, produce, pickles, preserves, cakes and other baked goods, afternoon teas etc. Have a food theme of the week, bring in comfort food for the masses, this is a time for not worrying about diets, be healthy but be comforted with good, well cooked food at affordable prices. Your Front of House Team could be used for deliveries, with extra safety measures to protect both themselves and your customers.
Remember that there will be some difficult decisions ahead. You might want to think about those now so that you make a much more informed choice when they come.
If I can be of any help, some one-to-one mentoring with you or a team chat then please let me know, we have the technology so no one should feel isolated even if they are home alone.
The main thing is hang on in there! As an industry we have to almost reinvent ourselves. But we’ve got this! We do this because we care, and we care because we do this……together.
Here is some advice from the HSE that will help you to plan for their wellbeing whilst not based in the office and allow you to know that you have considered and acted on the best advice. For other team members and ourselves, consideration as to how to help with stress and mental health will be applicable in the coming weeks.
As an employer, you have the same health and safety responsibilities for home workers as for any other workers.
When someone is working from home temporarily, as an employer you should consider:
· How will you keep in touch with them?
· What work activity will they be doing?
· Can it be done safely?
· Do you need to put control measures in place to protect them?
There will always be greater risks for lone workers with no direct supervision or anyone to help them if things go wrong.
Keep in touch with lone workers, including those working from home, and ensure regular contact to make sure they are healthy and safe.
If contact is poor, workers may feel disconnected, isolated or abandoned. This can affect stress levels and mental health.
· Find out more on lone working
There is no increased risk from display screen equipment (DSE) for those working at home temporarily. So employers do not need to do home workstation assessments.
You could provide workers with advice on completing their own basic assessment at home. A practical workstation checklist (PDF) - Portable Document Format will help but employers do not have to provide this for those working temporarily at home.
Other simple steps you can take to reduce the risks from display screen work:
· breaking up long spells of DSE work with rest breaks (at least 5 minutes every hour) or changes in activity
· avoiding awkward, static postures by regularly changing position
· getting up and moving or doing stretching exercises
· avoiding eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time
Employers should try to meet those needs where possible.
For some equipment (eg keyboards, mouse, riser) this could mean allowing workers to take this equipment home.
For other larger items (eg ergonomic chairs, height-adjustable desks) encourage workers to try other ways of creating a comfortable working environment (eg supporting cushions).
This brief guide has more information.
Home working can cause work-related stress and affect people’s mental health.
Being away from managers and colleagues could make it difficult to get proper support.
Put procedures in place so you can keep in direct contact with home workers so you can recognise signs of stress as early as possible.
It is also important to have an emergency point of contact and to share this so people know how to get help if they need it.
I have over 30 years of industry experience in teaching and training I am able to relate to employees at all levels offering business solutions, hands on training and advice to get the best out of people in the work place.
For more about me click on About.
I also write an occassional Blog when the mood takes. You can click on the menu above for details or see the latest one titled "What's the Rush" which is about why our ambitions fail to materialise if you click here.
In May 2017 I was contacted by Channel 5 to be the industry expert for series 13, episode 4.
Below is a section of the programme with me helping Alex Polizzi AKA The Hotel Inspector with her work at Churston Court in Devon. I was retained to do the training needed to get the staff up to speed.
I've chopped the original programme about a bit so it focuses on my contribution.
This as since stired up a lot of positive interest in me training other businesses following the broadcast. Please let me know if you would like me to help you.
Over a three hour session we looked at how people learn, are our current methods of training effective? We explored different ways of training people using the theory and science behind learning to change traditional methods of training and delivery to small groups of learners. It was a fast paced interactive session which allowed the less experienced trainers to discuss their difficulties and frustrations with training, with ideas coming from the floor to support them with ideas of differing approaches, as well as a Q & A session with myself and senior trainers from EBS as to what could be achieved.
I look forward to continuing to work with EBS across the world at all their schools in the future.
I'm currently working on an exciting new qualification for bartenders. Watch this space for something amazing – coming very soon!!
I've recently been working with the Princes Trust Hospitality Intervention Project. Vicky Yorke, the Trusts Get Hired Manager, said “Suzanne has a wealth of expertise, energy and passion and easily connects with people to get the tasks done. Suzanne was instrumental for us at The Prince’s Trust when we were designing our new short, high impact employability programme. Suzanne helped us with access to other Industry experts, the design and advice when it came to implementation. Whenever anyone mentions hospitality and training I always think of Suzanne.”
Please let me know if you would like to hear more about it.
So much has been going on that I've decided to have an 'Old News' page where you can see what I've been up to, not necessarily recently! You can have a look if you click here.
I am very proud to be able to show the cover for the 10th edition of Food & Beverage Service which is due for publication this summer. We begin work on up-dating the on-line Dynamic Learning tutor resources and student study materials in the spring which should all be ready for the autumn term.
September 2018 saw the publication of a new Food & Beverage Service text book for City & Guilds that I have been working on with John Cousins. The text book follows the new C&G Food & Beverage Service Level 2 Technical Certificate and will be widely used by apprentices in industry. It will be available here.
Alongside this textbook we have created another E-Learning site, Dynamic Learning, to assist Tutors and students as they work through their qualifications. Here is a Link if you would like to have a look.
The Theory of Hospitality and Catering 12th Edition (Hodder Education Publication). Hard copies available if you click here.
Essential Food and Beverage Service for Levels 1 and 2 (editing consultant). Hard copies available if you click here.
Or all are available on the Hodder Learning Platform if you click here.