Liam Norval is announced as Non exec director at PURE Vodka, WM Spirits

PURE is an Organic Vodka brand which has already seen huge success this year with the launch of their latest product PURE Lite. Managing Director Adam Player developed the idea for this home-grown British brand, after realising the need for a cleaner, healthier vodka alternative.

After working with the brand for over a year, Liam and Adam have built up an exceptional working relationship, this is a fantastic step towards further developing the brand.

“I am very excited to take on this new role within PURE Vodka, I have worked closely with the brand for over a year and moving into a non-exec role will allow me to help the company grow and develop further. I am delighted to be able to lend my experiences and knowledge to this fast-growing brand, watch this space for some huge announcements in the next year.” – Liam Norval

“It’s been a pleasure working with Liam and his Posh Cockney team for the last year, bringing Liam on board with his experience and contacts is a great move for the business, and we look forward to having more success as a company and seeing where this new relationship can take us.” – Adam Player, Managing Director at PURE

2021 is looking like a big year for PURE Vodka as they hope to build on their recent success. With Liam on board, we can be sure that there will be star studded events and exciting new product launches coming your way very soon.


The Vaccine is Finally Here – What does this mean for Hospitality?

There is finally a light at the end of the very long Covid tunnel.

This week, the first vaccines in the world were given, here on UK soil. This is an incredible step for science and a huge step in the right direction for getting our lives back to normal.

The Pfizer/BioNTech jab is the fastest vaccine to go from concept to reality, taking only 10 months to follow the same steps that normally take up to 10 years.

The UK has already ordered 40 million doses of the jab – enough to vaccinate 20 million people.

But what does this mean for Hospitality?

As one of the sectors worst hit by closures, job losses, and restrictions, the Hospitality Industry is desperate for things to get back to normal.

Research suggests that 80-90% of the population needs to have immunity before Covid is no longer a threat. That is a vast amount of people. Due to the current vaccine needing to be kept at -70 degrees Celsius and transported in quantities of 1,000 doses, carrying out the vaccinations in some rural areas is going to prove incredibly difficult.

As well as this, some people simply do not want to be vaccinated, and it won’t be compulsory.

There have been talks of some travel companies, restaurants, hotels, and venues asking for proof of a person’s vaccination before allowing them entry. This has proved incredibly controversial but may be the only way that businesses can ensure the safety of their staff and customers and ultimately, allow them to keep their business open.

Is there another option?

Rapid testing could offer the hospitality and events industry the solution they need. The Answers People are offering the hospitality sector one of the fastest and most effective rapid tests.. This quick and easy test gives results in just 5-8 minutes, meaning that after a short wait, businesses can let consumers in through their doors, feeling confident that they have significantly reduced the risk to staff and guests.

The test involves a straight-forward nasal swab. Similar to a pregnancy test, the user will see a control line, and need to wait several minutes to see if a positive line also appears.

“The test detects proteins on the surface of the virus and identifies infection even before the body starts to produce antibodies. A highly effective tool at reducing risk, enabling those infected to quickly isolate. We remain focussed on bringing agile and effective solutions to our customers, offering affordable options to protect your team, your customers, and your business.” Gillian Hoffman, The Answers People.

With 98.5% effectiveness, this is a very promising option for businesses. It is straightforward to administer, and ideal for on-the-day testing. This would offer companies a way of ensuring safety for events and sports matches, for example, as well as hospitality venues and hotels. The Answers People do recommend that the test is administered by suitably trained staff, but say it is possible and easy to self-administer.

We are definitely moving in a far more positive direction and I think we are safe to start hoping for a much brighter summer, full of events and celebrations.

For more information on The Answers People and their Rapid Testing solutions, head to their website: Covid-19 Testing Solutions – The Answers People


Posh Cockney Gain Three Exciting New Clients

2020 is not over yet, and Posh Cockney are ending the year on a high with three exciting new clients. Celestial Cinema, Home Edition and The Stardust Foundation have all joined our ever-growing list of clients. Posh Cockney are delighted to be creating PR and Social Media Influencer campaigns for these incredible brands.

Following the huge success of Celestial Cinema’s summer drive-in extravaganzas which saw thousands of families and friends enjoying open-air entertainment, the brand are back every Thursday – Sunday from 3rd December to 3rd January with Winter shows that are set to be even bigger and better, and Posh Cockney will be working closely with them, ensuring people all over the UK hear all about this fantastic event.

Situated in their new home in the beautiful town of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, this immersive production will help you escape the mundane of a life indoors, as you and your family are transported into a new and magical world each evening. Customers should expect their favourite festive films, delicious, themed nibbles and an ‘elf and safety-first environment.

Can’t get out to Beaconsfield this year? Do not worry, Home Edition will bring the Cinema experience to you!

Home Edition is the brand-new cinema in a box experience. Enjoy your favourite films on 70-inch screens paired with a projector to provide the ultimate in transformational flexibility. Using hassle free technology with a variety of compatibility options, repurposing your home has never been so easy, or looked so good.

And Finally, The Stardust Foundation. Posh Cockney are thrilled to be working alongside them on what is sure to be the biggest event this NYE. Fancy spending an evening with some of the best know bands, artists, and celebrities, live in your front room? The Stardust Foundation are about to make that happen.

The Stardust Foundation has been founded to give back to those that have been most effected by job losses this year – those in the Hospitality, Events and Entertainment industries, a cause very close to our hearts. Many suffer a lack of self-worth from an absence of their creative careers, leading to a crisis taking lives at an increasingly alarming rate. The concept of the event is to create a charity and a giving back ethos to save lives and save careers of people within the creative industry. Not only providing jobs for the hospitality sector, but also supporting the artists that are usually playing in front of large audiences, in order to empower their self-worth as their belief in their own brand is vital to get them through this dark time, whilst entertaining the nation and allowing us to finally wave goodbye to 2020 in style.

It has been a tough year for all, and we are delighted to be able to work with brands that are sure to lift the spirts of all this month. Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting updates to follow soon!

If you would like to know what Posh Cockney can do for your company and how we can elevate your brand to the next level, contact liam.norval@www.poshcockney.co.uk

For any press enquiries on the above brands, contact emma@www.poshcockney.co.uk

 

 

 

 


Takeaway Fatigue and Christmas Uncertainty

Lockdown one saw us grabbing a takeaway from our favourite cafes and restaurants, setting up camp in a park with people in our Covid bubble and enjoying a warm British summer. This lockdown feels a little different. With the weather far colder and wetter, people are opting to spend their time wrapped up indoors. And with job losses on the rise, we just don’t have that extra cash for a takeaway meal, when we could cook one ourselves at home.

This is becoming a big problem for businesses in the Hospitality Sector, particularly when many of them have spent time and money creating and marketing new lockdown takeaway menus and cook at home kits.

The Jersey Hospitality Association has come up with it’s own suggestion to combat the loss of income for the Hospitality Sector on the run up to Christmas. It’s asking businesses to give their staff vouchers, to be used at restaurants in the new year, in replacement of a Christmas party, in the hope that this creates income for local venues.

“This has been a devastating year for trading in our sector. We are conscious that it has also been a painful year for other sections of the economy, and this gives corporate businesses an opportunity to offer vouchers to their staff as a reward after a difficult year.” Simon Soar, Chief Executive of the JHA told ITV.

Whilst the novelty of the takeaway seems to have worn off, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Since the end of the Welsh firebreak lockdown, venues there have been fully booked since opening, and we can hope that this will be the case across England also. The problem comes as we get closer to Christmas. By now, venues would be well on their way to being booked up for Christmas Eve, Christmas day and of course, New years Eve, but with so much uncertainty over restrictions, people have been unable to make plans.  Some people have begun to get creative however, I recently spoke to a venue in Wales, planning to have a theme each hour as countries around the world welcome in the new year.

It’s clear that the UK Hospitality industry is a resilient one and it will not be going down with out a fight. A huge part of Christmas is spending it with friends and families, in the venues that we know and love. I am sure we will all be doing our bit to support them and booking a table as soon as we get some clarity from the Government on what we can and can’t do this festive season.

 


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!