Hospitality Today Oct-Nov 2016 - Page 14

14 | Hospitality Today | Oct/Nov 2016 Hogan also spoke of a ‘growth mentality’. When you are in growth people want to work with you as you emanate positivity and confidence. In the States, there is an inherent growth culture, whereas in the UK, he saw that there was a plethora of fantastic people and talent, who often just lacked the confidence to ‘go for it’. The Compass UK & Ireland business is growing and diverse, and Hogan is committed to its being best in class in every area. As the company has grown and acquired new businesses, their brand identities have been kept and supported, and this approach is respected and something people want to be part of. Looking to the horizon, Hogan sees there being great opportunities for foodservice providers across all of the sectors it operates in and with a really strong competitor landscape, the industry is a very exciting one to work in right now. When asked to offer advice to budding entrepreneurs with a start-up idea, he replied that it’s tough but if you’re built with the entrepreneurial gene you have to ‘go for it’. You need to be resilient, keep going and have self-belief, and also have a good business plan that makes sense. The contract catering sector is tough and hard-working but Hogan wants to make it a natural career choice for people, and this boils down to raising awareness and supporting employees. Compass has a wide range of training programmes such as the Compass Chef Academy – a dedicated programme for Compass’ culinary apprentices - supporting the business’ drive to deliver 1500 new apprenticeships by the end of 2017 and build more culinary talent. Improving the worklife balance and driving female participation is also important. At present 18% of chefs in the industry are women, but at Compass the figure is 35%, with the ambition to reach 50% by 2020. Hogan is proud of the business’ support of LGBT employees, commenting, “for people to be their best selves, they need the freedom to be themselves.” Hogan believes in empowering his managers, as they are closest to the business and clients. “If I sat in my ivory tower and micro-managed them, that would be incredibly demotivating”. The number one thing in leadership was trust, he said: “when the chips are down, they’ve got to know that you’re in the boat with them”. Hogan described how Compass looks to its supplier partners to constantly innovate and confirmed that they are ‘bringing it in spades’. Innovation is essential for supporting clients. They are looking to attract the brightest recruits and being able to provide a great food offer is part of this. Creativity and competing with the high street, be that through own brands, high street partners or creative chefs, is paramount. The model was “bringing creativity off the high street and into our business.”