Built on their diversity, The Restaurant Group Leisure & Concessions (TRG Leisure & Concessions) is one of the UK’s biggest hospitality businesses, employing over 5,000 team members at over 350 locations. Since 1987, their organisation has expanded from just restaurants to include bars and casual dining across leisure parks, airports and high streets. TRG are experts in providing variety, fantastic guest experience and challenging the industry status quo to create something special.
One of their most rewarding collaborations has been with the UK’s leading apprenticeship provider, HIT Training. TRG, Leisure and Concessions division, are determined to take their guest experience to the next level, giving their employees the knowledge, skills and behaviours to thrive in their job roles, impact their lives and future careers.
TRG Leisure & Concessions Learning & Development Manager, Jo Letty, said: “Our partnership with HIT Training empowers our employees with the knowledge needed to be effective in their roles. Most importantly, HIT Training’s large number of hospitality industry experts allows us to offer apprenticeships to employees at almost all of our sites across the country.”
TRG Leisure & Concessions have a diverse portfolio of successful and popular brands such as Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito, offering something for everyone. They’ve been striving to implement a consistent level of outstanding service within every brand, building on their already superior reputation.
TRG Leisure & Concessions are determined to improve their team members’ retention by training their team members in new skills and behaviours, aiming to impact their personal lives and future careers. By offering no formal training as part of employment at their brands, they acknowledged the widening of skills gaps and high turnover within their organisation.
Jo said: “Although most roles within our brands require team members to train through practical experience, we recognised that there was little reward following the training. We had great internal progression but working with HIT allowed this to happen in a more structured way.”
With the help of HIT Training, TRG Leisure & Concessions, are stabilising their workforce through the introduction of apprenticeships and short courses to their employment offer. Upskilling their team members, offering them a structure and providing career paths improving their reputation as an employer.
Jo said: “Offering formal qualifications to new and existing team members has established us as an attractive employer! The apprenticeships and short courses from HIT Training have changed the workplace at TRG Leisure & Concessions, for the better. Our collaboration has cultivated an atmosphere where we nurture our employees by investing in them, offering opportunities for a career, not just a job.”
Due to their wide variety of their brands covering the entirety of the UK, TRG Leisure & Concessions, considered the challenge of offering the same training opportunities to all of their sites. Fortunately, HIT Training offers a large number of hospitality courses and their delivery model is designed to fit in around the needs of businesses they work with.
Jo stated: “As a business with hundreds of locations, giving everyone the chance to gain a formal qualification was complicated to initiate. But HIT Training have experts in every corner of the country, allowing us to solidify apprenticeships as a part of our culture, giving every single employee the opportunity to improve their confidence and skills to take their career forward.”
Jo said: “The implementation of hospitality apprenticeship has helped us create an atmosphere where employees want to learn valuable skills and start exciting careers. Most importantly, since enrolling over 100 employees onto hospitality qualifications 3 years ago – we’ve seen a 15% increase in retention in hospitality positions across all of our brands.”
Despite the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, TRG has continued to encourage employees to take up apprenticeships and participate in short courses. Supporting the development of both active and furloughed employees whilst preparing to return to work.
Jo stated: “We’ve stayed in consistent contact with our employees, inspiring them to use their time to learn whilst on furlough. Our team members have enjoyed completing work towards their apprenticeships throughout the lockdowns, due to having more time dedicated to learning without the distraction of their restaurant or bar.”
TRG Leisure & Concessions are looking to the future, creating new training opportunities for staff outside of hospitality apprenticeships, with a focus on business, leadership and wellbeing.
Jo said: “As a result of our 15% improvement in retention, we’ve made further investments in training and now offer a range of business and leadership apprenticeships with HIT Training’s sister company, The Executive Development Network (EDN). Additionally, we’re focused on establishing positive mental health within the culture of our business. So far we’ve enrolled over 200 of our leadership teams on Mental Health First Aid qualifications delivered by HIT Training’s sister company, Connect2Care.”