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BaxterStorey Launches the Industry’s First In-House Service Academy

BaxterStorey has launched its newest training initiative; the Service Academy. Designed to ensure hospitality staff across the business are equipped with skills and confidence to provide a service to rival that of a five-star hotel, the initiative is the first of its kind within the hospitality industry.

Presented to hospitality and catering insiders at a launch event at Hachette UK in London this week, the Academy complements BaxterStorey’s already award-winning learning and development initiatives including the Chef Academy and Barista Academy.

Noel Mahony, Co-Chief Executive at BaxterStorey, said: “Our clients now look at hospitality service from a new perspective, with many bringing hospitality in-house but demand an offer to reflect that of a five-star hotel, or Michelin-star restaurant.

“The BaxterStorey Service Academy ensures our people are equipped to provide the very highest levels of service, matching the skillsets of those offering top-level service outside the contract catering industry.”

Bringing the training in-house has given BaxterStorey the opportunity to create a bespoke programme which exceeds industry standards, providing colleagues with confidence and knowledge to provide high quality service. Modules are focused on developing both soft and technical skills through workshop modules including hotel visit, afternoon tea and lunch experiences as well as food and wine masterclasses.

With those graduating from the course being awarded globally recognised qualifications, BaxterStorey is the first foodservice business in the UK to be accredited as an Approved Programme Provider (APP) of Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) qualifications, with Gabrielle Le Roux, Programme Developer at BaxterStorey becoming the first in-house APP educator in the food service industry.

Apprentices and other team members within the business will have the opportunity to achieve Level 1 in Wines and Level 2 in Wines and Spirits.

In addition to the one-year apprenticeship programme, colleagues will have access to a number of courses to help fine-tune their service skills. These include; Foundations of Coffee and Tea Brewing, Presentation and Communication Skills and Service Black and Whites.

Speaking at the launch of the Service Academy last night, Alastair Storey, chairman and chief executive officer of WSH, the parent company of BaxterStorey, and president of the Institute of Hospitality, said: “We are blessed to have very good chefs in the UK and I think there is a great deal of enthusiasm for people to get into the culinary world, but we must never forget the person at the point of service who make an enormous difference.

“The skills that these people have – the ability to talk about the product, the ability to talk about the wines, and the ability to interpret the mood of the room, a table or a customer and react appropriately – these are critical skills. You can have the finest food in the world, but if you let the front of house down it doesn’t work and that is why training is so important.”

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