Ambitious millennials increasingly see hospitality as a viable career path, an operations director in the on-trade has claimed.
Speaking to db recently Matt Bamber, operations director of New World Trading Company said there had been a discernible change in the way the on-trade and hospitality were being viewed in the last five years, with an increasing number keen to embrace the.
“I’ve been in the industry twenty years – when I started people looked down on a bar server or a manager and it was not classed as a good position, but that stigma has changed over the last five to ten years,” Bamber told db.
One of the key changes had been the growth of the cocktail market, he said, which had not only boosted the skillset required for roles in the on-trade, but also the perception of the industry.
“I strongly believe there’s a big skills element involved in the industry, and people are passionate about it. Twenty years ago, there weren’t pubs like the Botanist, and you were just a ‘barman’ – but that has changed dramatically,” he argued.
This shifting perception had not only helped companies like NWTC recruit staff, but also improved staff retention, as number of young people who were looking at the on-trade as a viable career path had grown.
“They are young, hungry and ambitious people who want to learn the different aspects of the industry,” he argued.
These talented young bar managers and duty managers were likely to rise through the ranks in due course, boosted by greater training he said, which had become more “intense but enjoyable”. In-house training, he argued was a key part of the process and had become more complex as the industry became more professional.
The company has recently opened its new Didsbury site, with further openings planned in Reading in May, Birmingham in July and two more in the second half of the year, as it eyes up expansion in London and the suburbs. The new sites are set to bring around 200 new jobs to the group, Bamber said, increasing the number of the company’s staff team to 1,200.
Bamber said he was 110% committed to roll out, despite the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit, imminent rates rises and the late night levy in London, which the company was “keeping account of”.
Earlier this month the NWTC was listed in Sunday Times’ best companies to work for.