Life is getting back to some normality, although so much has changed. What has been most heartbreaking is how all of the contract caterers have lost so many good people as clients decide not to, as yet, have a full team return. It’s without a doubt been the saddest part of running bartlett mitchell. We really do feel like we have lost members of our family.

Contract Caterers Come Together

Whilst it’s been a challenge through these months, as I have written about before, it is extraordinary what comes out of these challenges. The UK Hospitality body, who represents our industry to government (I am an active member) has a food service sector dedicated to representing contract catering needs. Together we have all felt the pain of loss and change.

Food Service Circle

So rather than just accept it, all the contract caterers, who are members of the UK Hospitality food service forum, decided to put competitive thoughts aside and do something about it.

The Food Service Circle is a resource all the contract caterers have got behind in order to offer a one stop shop of support to our teams, especially where our team members are displaced. We know that once let go, team members feel cut adrift of the sector, their friends and colleagues. We want to make sure they stay connected and best armed to get a new job.

The food service circle website was built in a matter of weeks, and with so much support from the industry. It will offer training tips, help with CVs, interviewing skills and most importantly a window into all the contract caterers vacancies, when they return.

Each week, in alphabetical order, with some moving about, a contract caterer will host the site and add new content. The leaders of that company will share their thoughts, tips, views and encouragement. A specialist will talk about the impact of COVID, what the latest news is and what the changes are. There will be lots of other interesting articles too. This means that when going for an interview applicants will be able to listen and get a view of what’s happening now and therefore be in a better position to answer any questions.

Staying Connected

We will have a site where team members will be able to keep in touch and have a better insight into our sector. Meaning anyone who has to leave us temporarily will still know what is happening and will be ready to return when vacancies become available. In a challenging time it is heartening to be able to contribute positively and proactively to a very unhappy situation.

The best insight however to all of this is that as contact caterers, and as fiercely competitive as we are, we can show that when you come together you can create something positive and hopefully make an impact. It’s been a great cross company achievement and we have all tried to give something back.

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My earliest food memories are of my mum’s baking; coconut pyramid cakes were my favourite.

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