Mitchells & Butlers has received a royal accolade for its efforts in recruiting and nurturing chefs to work in its kitchens.
The 1,700-strong pub and restaurant chain set up a ‘Chefs Academy’, offering level 2 and 3 apprenticeships, in response to a chef shortage exacerbated by Brexit.
The programme has significantly boosted kitchen staff retention rates in the business since its launch.
And this week it was presented with a Princess Royal Training Award by HRH Princess Anne in London after being recognised as one of 44 UK-wide organisations delivering outstanding workplace training.
Mitchells & Butlers credits the culinary programme, which includes masterclasses with award-winning chefs, with helping it achieve a 70% retention rate, compared to 12% for chefs in the business not undertaking the programme.
The Clink charity, another name from the hospitality sector, was also honoured for equipping its staff to train, assess and support offenders to encourage them to gain City & Guilds qualifications in hospitality and catering. Its efforts have contributed to reduced re-offending rates.
Meanwhile, rapidly-expanding franchise restaurant business, Black and White Hospitality, picked up the same accolade for developing a training programme focusing on brand integration and engagement in order to improve guest satisfaction.
Following the training, both mystery diner scores and guest satisfaction responses have improved across its restaurants.
Outside of the hospitality sector, winners included IBM, The Co-Op and Lloyds Banking Group.
The City and Guilds Group, which delivers the programme, said that all the winners were able to prove that the training had a “substantial” impact on their organisation and its people.