Mitchells & Butlers to close 20 sites across UK

44,000 people are employed by the Pub, Bar and Restaurant group Mitchells and Butlers, and it looks like some of those employees are going to become the latest victims of Covid job cuts.

It’s hard to walk around a city centre without seeing a venue owned by Mitchells and Butlers, names include Toby Carvery, All Bar One, Harvester and Miller and Carter and many more. These are all big favourites for many people, but that isn’t enough to secure their place in the post covid world. In September, the company announced a 35% fall in sales over the previous 6 months, this leading to their shares falling by a half.

Whilst 95% of their venues have already reopened post lockdown, the remaining venues are being reviewed on a case by case basis, and this week announced that twenty of its sites will not be reopening.

A spokesman for the firm said: “As announced in September, Mitchells and Butlers re-opened the vast majority of its estate, approximately 95%, after the first lockdown ended.

The remaining sites have been under review on a case-by-case basis since, taking into account factors such as expected footfall and business layout. We have taken the difficult decision not to reopen some of these sites and are working with leaseholders on next steps.”

 

How is the rest of the Hospitality Sector doing?

Not great. According to a study by software provider Forth, approximately half a million jobs have been lost in hospitality alone since January. People are keen to get out and support their local businesses, but with talk of lockdown extensions, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to do so.

One thing we can be certain of, is that we will all be looking at a very different hospitality industry as we move into the new year.


National Happy Hour Day

Is there a better sight than seeing the words ‘Happy Hour’ outside a pub, bar, or restaurant?

2 for 1, half price cocktails, free appetisers, all some of the wonders on offer during happy hour. And to make things better, in recent years, Happy Hour has become more like, Happy Three Hours!

Where did Happy Hour start?

The original origin of the Happy hour is unknown, but it can be traced back to the US Navy. In the 20th Century, a variety of activities including boxing, music and dancing were held to help ease boredom when away at sea, these activities developed the name ‘Happy Hour’. By the end of WW1, Happy Hours were being held throughout the entire Navy.

During the Prohibition, people would stop in for ‘Cocktail Hour’ and their local speakeasy, before heading to a restaurant where alcohol would not be served. When prohibition ended in 1933. Cocktail hour had caught on as a marketing ploy, much as it is today, to entice customers into their venues.

Did you know that Happy hour is still banned in some states? Massachusetts, Alaska, Indiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont, all have strict rules in place against Happy Hour.

National Happy Hour Day 2020

Thursday 12th November is national happy hour day. Yep – right in the middle of lockdown 2.0 (unless you live in Wales or Scotland in which case, have a drink for us please).

But, why not celebrate it from the safety and comfort of your own homes!?  Our Client PURE has created a selection of incredible cocktails, as well as online masterclasses, guiding you through the process. Head over to their website to choose form an incredible range of cocktails, both classic and their own special PURE Cocktails. Have a very happy National Happy Hour Day!


How to set up for the Perfect Online Meeting or Interview

We have all been there. It’s team meeting day, you settle into your chair and everyone logs on, to your horror, you realise your top is far too low cut, your beard looks like it hasn’t be tamed in weeks, there is nothing designer about the bags under your eyes (it’s the lighting, I promise) and to top it all off, your internet connection keeps freezing. Or you are in the middle of a hugely important interview, only for your darling 3 year old to pick that exact moment to barge into the room and let you know she needs the loo.

For some of these problems, there are some very easy solutions (I am not allowed to tell you to lock up your children for legal reasons).

Lighting

This is the easiest and probably the most important. Yes, the window is lovely, but if you position your camera facing it, all the person on the other end of the call will see, is your silhouette.

If possible, move yourself around so that you are facing the window, natural light coming towards you (in the case of UK winter, the main light will have to do).

Invest in some lighting. A ring light will do, they are less than £20 on amazon and often USB and will plug directly into your laptop.

Having good lighting will make you look and feel more professional and will eliminate shadows across your face causing bags that aren’t really there (honest).

Sound

Laptop microphones are really not very good – fact. Invest in a microphone.

These range in price from £20 – £200. If you only need it for a team meeting once a month, the lower end of the spectrum will be absolutely fine. If you are regularly recording for a podcast it may be worth investing a bit more. Our CEO Liam Norval has a particularly stylish microphone that he uses for all of his at home interviews which can be purchased from Fifine Technology.

 

Hair, Make up and Clothing

There really is nothing more frustrating than trying to listen to someone speak whilst they constantly flick their hair out of their face. Guys and Girls please fix this before starting a video call.

We all need to feel comfortable in our own skin so I struggle here with advising everyone to put on a full face of make up before a meeting. But if it is a particularly important one, or it is being recorded and posted all over YouTube, just bare in mind that laptop cameras and lighting wash you out. More is definitely More when it comes to blusher, bronzer and highlighter, avoid a heavy Smokey eye – natural is the aim.

Clothing. Let’s just take a moment to imagine the scene. Your interview is going perfectly, your red blouse is a winner, lighting and sound spot on, kids are silent, your interviewer asks you to stand up to present this particular answer…. You still have your pyjama bottoms on. I know it is tempting to work from home in your pj’s, but please, please, don’t do this for an important call.

Try to avoid crazy patterns, plain colours are great – avoid white, especially if the wall behind you is also white!

Background

Not busy but not boring. Everyone loves a bookshelf (please check what books you have on display first), a plant or a scenic photo. Virtual backgrounds are a huge no! In this case, less is definitely best.

Positioning

Please try to avoid being a floating head. Position your chair far enough away so that some of your upper body can be seen, but of course, so you can still reach the table for your notes etc. Camera should be slightly (very slightly) above eyelevel.

Practise

If your call is particularly important and you have never used the software before, perhaps it would be a good idea to have a little practise with a friend first. Pay particular attention to how to mute and unmute yourself.

You can have a look at your camera setting before logging into a video call, as well as testing your sound. Please do this.

We hope this has helped give you the basics of what to do and what not to do when setting up for a video call. If you would like further help with this, or wish for your team to be coached in the dos and don’ts of not only the set up, but video call etiquette, presenting and more, please get in touch with us today.


The Sheer Business Inspiration Vlog with Jo Ferreday and Liam Norval

Starting with the trailer for London after Lockdown, this insightful interview gives some great tips on starting your own business, the need to pivot and the importance of reaching out.

Liam explains why the best jobs are sometimes the ones that teach us the biggest lessons. After working at Proud Group for 8 months, Liam knew that he didn’t ever want to work for anyone again, it was time to start his own business – Posh Cockney was Born.

The Hospitality Titans is a hot topic in this interview, as Liam is a co-founder, and Jo one of the founding members. The Hospitality Titans brings together some of the biggest names in Hospitality, all keen to invest in, support, nurture and develop the future of Hospitality. 2020 has been a difficult hear for the industry, but with all crisis comes opportunity and 2021 could certainly be the year of the start-ups.

Liam opens up about the difficulty of growing up as a professional football player, the pressure on himself and other young people to succeed, and the lack of support available for those struggling.

Multi skilled people are the future of Hospitality. Liam discusses the importance of levelling up, of looking for other areas that you can train in, and explains the benefits of reaching out to a mentor.

Liam talks Jo through the development of London after Lockdown and the creation of Posh Cockney Productions. Now more than ever, businesses have realised the importance of high-quality images and video footage, and the need to give consumers a real taste of what a brand has to offer. Posh Cockney can offer this, as well as creating, growing, and managing your YouTube platform.

Listening to Jo and Liam, there is a big emphasis on using 2020 to make connections, to grow as a brand and as an individual. If you stayed silent during the first lockdown, use the second Lockdown to find your voice and reach out, you never know how valuable those connections could turn out to be in the future.

We wrap up the interview with some hints about Liam’s future projects. This is one not to be missed, head over and watch for yourself!


Crisis Management

What is a business Crisis?

A business crisis is an internal or external event that can have a negative impact on your company’s reputation, operations, or finances. This could be due to a number of things, including natural disaster, a pandemic, a huge drop in demand or bad press.

Do you have a Crisis Management Plan in place?

Prevention is always better than cure. A solid crisis management plan will help you to plan for any possible crises and detail what you will do to over come it. As we have all learnt this year, it is impossible to be prepared for every situation, but having a plan in place for any potential problem could make the difference between your company surviving, or not.

There has been a fire in the Kitchen of your restaurant, restoration could take weeks, what would you do? Your brand has a heavily fish-based menu, and it has been discovered that the area you source your fish from is heavily polluted, causing huge health problems to anyone who eats it, what now?

To create a crisis management plan, you will need to identify possible crises, decide on a crisis management team and pre-draft messages to employees, customers and stake holders – saving time in the moment of an emergency.

The team at Posh Cockney are here to help you, from creating a plan, to being there with you at the time of a crisis, and helping you post crisis.

The most important thing during a time of crisis, is communication. We have dedicated communication managers, experts in dealing with the press, employees, stake holders and customers, creating a smooth and constant stream of communication.

Post crisis, it is crucial that the whole team takes time to look back on how the situation was handled. What did we do well and what need to be improved?

Would you like some more information on how Posh Cockney can help you with Crisis Management? Contact us today: liam.norval@www.poshcockney.co.uk


Liam chats with Mesh Kumar on his show Big Ideas with Mesh!

As always, this interview is packed full of hospitality news, entrepreneurial tips, Posh Cockney updates and of course, a little bit of football talk.

Liam talks Mesh through his journey from DJ and club promoter, through to running events and club nights, becoming marketing director at Café de Paris, where he worked for 10 years and then spending 8 months as director at Proud Embankment.

Liam explains how he then made the jump into running his own business and how Posh Cockney was created, even giving away his secrets as to where the memorable name was born.

Growing up as a professional football player, being captain for Wales U21 as well as at Leicester and West Ham, hard work and leadership is something that has always been embedded in Liam. He discusses how these have led him to become a successful entrepreneur.

Liam looks the importance of adapting to the ever-changing circumstances we find ourselves in at the moment. Whilst his company were once heavily events based, the team have quickly turned their focus to their PR and Marketing divisions, as well as launching Posh Cockney Productions – offering clients the ability to create high quality images and videos, and creating and managing their YouTube platforms for them.

Liam and Mesh chat about the importance of going out and supporting their local pubs, bars, and restaurants. Is the way we dine about to change? How can the general public be incentivised to go out and stay out?

Now more than ever, it is incredibly important to make yourself indispensable to your employer. Train yourself in other skills, what else can you do within the hospitality industry that will have a positive benefit on the company?

Finally, it’s time to look at Liam’s latest projects. The Hospitality Titans are an organisation, consisting of some of the most influential people in the hospitality industry. Their aim is to inspire and invest in a new generation, creating the blueprint for the future of hospitality. As well as creating The Titans, London after Lockdown and building up Posh Cockney’s reputation as one of the best hospitality consultancy agencies in London, Liam and his team have been opening a brand new restaurant (yep, during a pandemic!). The Bosporus UK serves delicious Turkish cuisine, right in the heart of London’s Leicester Square.

Head over to Big Ideas with Mesh! now, to hear the full interview for yourself!

 


The Importance of a Company Website

‘I have social media, so I don’t need a website!’ – a phrase we hear time and time again. Whilst social media is an incredibly important and powerful business tool, the need for a professional website is still as strong as ever.

A website provides a central location for consumers to head to, to find out everything they need to know about your business, as well as how to contact you and how to book your service or buy your product.

According to a recent study, 75% of customers admit to making a judgement about a company’s credibility based on the professionalism (or lack of) of their website and 30% of consumers won’t even consider a business without a website.

A well-made website can give visitors a real taste of what your brand represents. If you are a luxury brand with a clunky, difficult to use, slow loading website, your potential customers are probably going to very quicky head somewhere else. This is often the first place people will look to find out more information about your company, so why wouldn’t you invest in it!?

If you are a restaurant that specialises in Vegan dishes, wouldn’t you love to be the company at the top of that Google list when a potential customer searches for ‘Vegan Restaurants’? Now, it is going to take a lot more hard work than just creating a website to make that happen, but if you don’t even have a website to start with, you really have no chance – you have to be in it to win it!

Have you noticed an increase in companies creating blogs and publishing regular content on their websites recently? (Guilty!) There is a reason for that. Regular content like blogs and case studies will boost your domain authority, meaning you will rank higher on Google organically.

If the thought of creating your own website terrifies you, Posh Cockney can help. Whether it’s revamping an existing site, or starting from scratch, our team will take the time to get to know your brand and create the perfect website for you. If SEO and Google Analytics fries your brain, we have experts in SEO and Google ads, as well as incredible content creators and web developers. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you create the perfect website for your business, and drive customers to your site, creating fantastic ROI. Contact us now – liam.norval@www.poshcockney.co.uk


The Perfect Winter Escape

Ready to book a flight and get away from it all? How does a private, Luxury Ski Chalet in the French Alps sound?

Posh Cockney have a range of beautiful Chalets available, sleeping up to 15 guests, situated in both France and Switzerland.

Escape the madness this winter, and jet off to a luxury escape, surrounded by fir trees and snowy mountains.

 

Chalet Olga is a 6 bedroom, luxury Chalet with incredible mountain views. Facilities include a spa, gym, home cinema, 3 elevators and all of the gadgets! The Chalet comes with its own housekeeper, chef, butler, and driver.

This is just one of a huge selection of incredible winter getaways. Perfect for friends and family that love adventure and skiing, and also for those who would prefer to opt for a hot drink whilst admiring the breath-taking scenery.

Take a look at our full selection of winter escapes here.


Posh Cockney Social Media Marketing

Posh Cockney initially began as a dedicated social media marketing agency before growing and developing other divisions. As such, social media remains at the heart of our marketing campaigns. As social media specialists, we have deep end-to-end knowledge of how to utilise social media for business and how it integrates and benefits other channels such as influencer marketing and SEO.

You will have a dedicated social media Account Manager who will execute all your brand’s activities across your chosen mix of Social Media Channels including customer engagement through comments, direct message and likes.

Your Account Manager will ensure all content is released in the most effective way through optimising the use of locations, hashtags, posting times and reach amplification. Want to target a specific group of people in a specific country? We can make sure your content is seen by exactly the right people, growing your brand and creating excellent ROI.

Your Account Manager will be reachable at all times and will provide you with monthly reports to shed light on your brands social media performance.

Your Posh Cockney team will provide management on the following social media platforms: Instagram / Facebook / LinkedIn / Google My Business / Twitter / Pinterest / TikTok

Various engagement and targeting projects can also be actioned including: Events, demographics, competitor and existing community engagement driven targeting.

Love it or hate it, social media has become an incredibly powerful tool for marketing and brand growth. Nearly 50% of the world’s population uses social media, and if you want to target Millennials, over 90% of them are social media users. Our team will carry out extensive market research, ensuring the best possible social media marketing campaign for your brand.


Posh Cockney Recruitment

Recently been made redundant? Looking for your next career move? Posh Cockney can help.

In recent months, jobs that were once thought to be stable and a safe career choice, have now become uncertain and many people are unfortunately falling victim to Covid business cuts.

The most recent survey, shows that there are currently 1.5 million people unemployed (that’s people who are able to work, are looking for a job but cannot find one) in the UK. And we all know that this number is very likely to rise over the next six months.

If you are highly skilled in the world of Hospitality and know you have what it takes to bring something incredible to a business, wouldn’t it be great to have a company behind you with an extensive contact list in the industry and a reputation for matching the perfect candidate to a job?

Whilst things may not be looking great for Hospitality at the moment, we know that by the time summer comes around, the UK is going to be desperate to get back to all of their favourite bars, clubs and restaurants. Hospitality will come back with a bang and exciting new venues will be opening.

Posh Cockney are looking for the UK’s top new talent. Whether you have recently been made redundant or are looking for your next dream career move, we want to hear from you.

Similarly, if you are a venue or business looking for new killer talent, we can guarantee to find you the perfect fit for your company. We take time to get to know both the business and the candidates, to ensure we fully understand the needs and requirements from both. Our team is passionate about hospitality and bringing out the very best in people and businesses.

Take a look at our recent case study, to see how Aaron Sinkia took on his new role as General Manager at Café de Paris, and instantly turned the business around. We love to see our clients succeed and can’t wait to continue this into 2021.