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The Nationwide Caterers Association
 
 

Looking after your staff

Happy staff means happy customers. Trade profitably the happy way.


Get the right staff.

Caterers regularly quote staffing problems as one of the biggest cause of stress. Staff cancelling at the last minute, or simply failing to show up can ruin a caterer’s trading day. You need to hire reliable people who’ll work hard and fast, and who you can trust with the till.


5 tips for hiring great staff.

  1. Employ someone with experience in the catering industry if possible

  2. Ask other caterers if they know anyone reliable looking for work

  3. If you’re a start-up, family and friends might be your best bet

  4. Don’t be afraid to offer a higher rate of pay to an excellent employee

  5. Don’t trust them? Don’t hire them.

An experienced and reliable staff member will be able to bring double the value of a newbie. So you want to retain your staff as long as possible. And you can only do that if you keep them happy.


Training eases staff retention.

Stats show that staff are more likely to stay with employees who have invested in them through training. Make sure you provide all legally-required training for your staff – you can find out more about catering training courses here.


You should also do practice sessions before you open, so that they know what to do from the start to the finish of their shift. Shrewd food business operators also train their staff in customer service. How to handle complaints, what to do if a customer is abusive and how to keep an itchy queue calm are skills that could come in very useful!


Managing and motivating.

Your team’s performance is your responsibility. Show them how to do a good job and lead by example at every stage of service. These tips will help you keep your staff working and smiling:


  1. Have a laugh while you work - you’re in the service-with-a-smile business! If your customers see you having fun with your staff, they’ll enjoy the experience much more.

  2. Ask your staff to come up with new ideas about how to do things better – they’ll feel more involved and they’ll probably have excellent and profitable ideas!

  3. Pay your staff fairly. Obviously you must pay at least Nationwide Minimum Wage, but if you want to really motivate them, consider paying extra.

  4. Reward good performances. Praise, thanks and bonuses are a powerful way to motivate staff. If you’re not grateful, why would they want to work hard for you?

NCASS staff are happy staff.

And we love to share ideas about keeping hard-working staff happy with our members. Give us a call if you'd like to chat about joining and put a smile on our faces - 0121 603 2524 is the number to call.



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Latest News

Brits opting for festivals over summer holidays

by Sophie Haigh | 5 minute read | Jun 14, 2019

‘Brits are choosing festivals over holidays,’ according to new research from Barclaycard.

The cost of holidays rising by 29%, hotter summers in the UK and uncertainties around Brexit are just some of the reasons why a fifth of Brits are choosing to attend more live events this year. Some 32% are seeing a live event as their main summer trip and most importantly, 27% revealed that trying new foods is a main reason to be flocking to muddy fields during the season, placing culinary delights third in a table of the top ten reasons why people attend festivals.

Gone are the days when festival food was just a means to line the stomach. Today, many people are placing as much focus on the food line-up as the music, with street food vendors fast becoming a main attraction at festivals thanks to the abundance of colourful stands and the chance to try new cuisines from across the globe.

The popularity of immersive festivals, whereby attendees can delve into a weekend of music, demonstrations, recreational classes and top-quality food is a key theme for the shift in people’s summer activities. Individuals are becoming less concerned about material things, instead, choosing ‘experiences’ and opportunities for new discoveries.

 Daniel Mathieson, Head of Sponsorship at Barclaycard, commented:

“It’s fascinating to see how live entertainment events have evolved over the past few years. Festivals are no longer just about the music, but about finding opportunities to discover new ways to have fun and make memories, whether that’s taking a yoga class, trying out a new cuisine or seeing a comedian.

“With many events now billed as entertainment hubs offering so much to do and see, it’s not surprising Brits are considering putting off a trip abroad in favour of some festival fun!”

The new findings are a reminder of the contribution that caterers play in giving festival goers the ‘full experience’ when attending events. With summer on the horizon and festival season in full swing, it’s crucial to ensure attention-to-detail when attending events as a caterer. The appearance of your stand, its location and the attitude and knowledge of staff when quizzed about the menu can be the difference between someone returning to you for a second portion, or rather, them warning their group of friends not to try your food.

Being able to demonstrate compliancy is also crucial if you want to prevent disruption to service.

A handy way to get all your relevant paperwork in order is through NCASS Connect, an online hub available to members and non-members, which allows you to get immediate access to legal documentation for any visiting health inspectors.

Other top tips for getting festival ready, include:

  • Making sure that you and your staff have completed all the necessary training in the last three years for the role
  • Sourcing good staff that you can rely on and who are friendly, helpful and have a passion for serving quality food
  • Ensuring you’ve got a contract from the event organiser, listing things such as pitch location, terms and conditions for event location and details of marketing placements
  • Creating a unit that is easy to spot in large crowds. Use boards, music or decorations to draw people over to your stand.

For more information about NCASS Connect, click here or speak to a member of the team on 0121 603 2524.



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