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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

'Meat Free Week'

by Sophie Haigh | Read time: 5 minutes | Jun 18, 2019

What is World Meat Free Week?
June marked the sixth year of Meat Free Week, an initiative to get people thinking and talking about meat consumption and production. The challenge is simple; to give up meat for seven days and raise funds for charities, including Meat Free Monday in the UK, which helps to fund education resources, marketing, research, cooking workshops and special events.

Why does it matter?
In a study carried out by the University of Oxford - the most comprehensive analysis of the food system’s impact on the environment to date, researchers found that beef consumption needs to fall by 90% and be replaced by five times more beans and pulses. Enormous changes to farming are also needed to avoid destroying the planet’s ability to feed the 10 billion people estimated to be living on Earth in a few decades.

Researchers have said that there needs to be a large global shift towards following a flexitarian diet to prevent the global temperature increase from breaching the 2C limit agreed by governments. Livestock are responsible for creating as much greenhouse gas emissions as all the world’s cars, trucks and aeroplanes put together.

Forging a pound of beef is the equivalent of taking one car off the road and it takes 500 gallons of water to grow one pound of chicken meat, an amount that could be used to make five pounds of potatoes or three loaves of bread; in turn creating a smaller carbon footprint but feeding more people. Taking small steps to reduce our meat intake can have a positive impact on the environment and the future of our planet.

How is NCASS involved?
Sustainability has become a hot topic for caterers in the past few years. Festival and street food organisers are increasingly looking towards sustainable ways to feed hundreds of people at events without having too much of a negative impact on the environment. Here at NCASS, we strive to create an industry that protects the environment, as demonstrated in our partnership with 8th Plate, a food salvage scheme with a mission to turn festival food waste into nutritious meals for people visiting food banks and soup kitchens.  

We’ve also come together with other live events industry specialists to pledge our support to Powerful Thinking’s Festival Vision: 2025, an initiative aimed at reducing festival impacts by 50% by 2025, in line with government targets. Festival Vision: 2025 will provide free-to-use and practical sustainability resources for caterers, including a second edition of the environment report, The Show Must Go On. You can get involved in the crowdfunder page here.

How you can help
There are many ways to reduce the impact that your business is having on the environment. Caterers looking to make the first steps in helping the environment can start by changing their packaging to bio-degradable alternatives, such as Biopac’s plastic free range. Signing up to food salvage schemes such as 8th Plate will also help us to save food that would otherwise go to landfill and use it to feed the most vulnerable members of our society.

If you want to learn how to run a catering business that is protecting the environment whilst increasing profits, our Sustainability Training is the perfect solution. 

Covering a variety of areas that are crucial to ensuring sustainability, including sourcing seasonal produce, menu planning, Fairtrade and social responsibility, the course will enable your business to function responsibly in an everchanging industry and take care of the planet for generations to come.

To purchase the course or for more information, visit the NCASS website or call 0121 603 2524.



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