Only a Pavement Away's Fill A Flask Campaign

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We’ve been out on the road this month, helping the charity Only A Pavement Away (OAPA), with its ‘Fill A Flask’ campaign. The charity helps the homeless, but also veterans and ex-offenders to find a job within hospitality. Dozens of operators have come forward to support the initiative, committing not only pledges to provide more funds but also much needed help on the ground to distribute thermal flasks and cold drinks.

The primary objective of the ‘Fill A Flask’ campaign which costs £40,000, is to distribute 6,000 thermal flasks to every rough sleeper on the streets of the UK. The use of flasks is environmentally friendly and, based on a minimum average usage of each flask being filled three times per week, per rough sleeper, saves 18,000 plastic water bottles in just one week. Over the 12-week period of the campaign, OAPA will have facilitated 216,000 cold drinks bought by the public for rough sleepers. 

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‘Fill A Flask’ is just one of OAPA’s projects to help those in need, who can often become lost in the system once their routine is removed and they find themselves back at the start, without work or accommodation. OAPA founder Greg Mangham and his wife Gill recognised this on a walk along The Strand in London one day, seeing the evidence before their eyes as they observed the rough sleepers and those in dire need.

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Between now and 2024, the hospitality industry will need to recruit around 1.3 million employees and around 300,000 of these roles will be new positions. Knowing this and with decades of experience in hospitality, Gill and Greg’s response was to found Only A Pavement Away, to highlight the plight of the people they saw that day and the thousands of others like them to an industry that is desperate 

for new recruits. The charity has since grown to such an extent that Greg now works on the initiative full time, with Gill’s invaluable help behind the scenes.

“We’re on the move again,” Greg told us this week. “Fill A Flask is going to Brighton and then on to Manchester. We need to keep going. In our first year, we’ve already helped 35 people find roles in hospitality and get their lives back on track. Our next target is to get another 250 people back into work within the next 12 months. 


“The help, encouragement and support we’ve received from operators and suppliers has been overwhelming. We’re really grateful. Fill A Flask and events such as The Cateys, where OAPA was represented recently, have produced yet more offers of funding and support. To make it work for the long term, our aim is to raise at least £250,000 a year. We will use those funds to provide support workers for the vulnerable and relationship management for all of the fantastic operators and suppliers who help us so we can do more. Society has keen and able job-seekers; hospitality has jobs. Only A Pavement Away is the conduit that will help them find each other.”

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Harri provides OAPA with something of a charity recruitment exclusive – a dedicated jobs board. “No other industry has a charity recruitment set-up like this,” Greg explains. “Harri enables OAPA to offer a free jobs board and applicant tracking system for employers to advertise their vacancies. Through a personalised profile, job brokers can make applications on behalf of their members, removing the need for applicants to trawl through the process, which may seem daunting. Operators only receive applications via the job brokers on behalf of members who

, OAPA will be encouraging are ‘job-ready’, with the desire, behaviour and attitude to seek new opportunities. OAPA would certainly not be as sophisticated as it is without Harri. This is one of the ways in which the industry and its suppliers are helping us to make meaningful employment a reality for the vulnerable.”

 ‘Fill A Flask’ will continue across the UK throughout July. At Christmas operators to get involved once more and participate in its Winter Warmth campaign. The charity would like donations of warm coats and sleeping bags to give those in need some help through the cold months and, with luck, encourage them into OAPA’s support system and on to successful careers in hospitality. As OAPA puts it, it’s about stability through employment – and we’re all for that.

To learn more about OAPA, please visit www.onlyapavementaway.co.uk. To find out more about Harri’s Applicant Tracking System, please click here.


Harri’s unique integration with top hospitality job boards puts you ahead of the competition in the war on talent.

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Hospitality is the UK’s 3rd largest employer, creating 1 in 8 new jobs with 3.2 million people employed directly and forecast to grow by a further 10% by 2020. With a perpetual war being waged on talent, these numbers are becoming harder and harder to sustain and operators are finding it increasingly challenging to attract and retain their most valuable asset; their people. 

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In these market conditions, operators need to give themselves the best chance of being found by potential employees and then make it as easy as possible for them to complete applications. This is where technology is playing its part, ensuring a wide net is cast to bring in as many employees as possible and create a seamless application flow. 

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Historically, job application processes have been clunky and inefficient - forcing the applicant to go through several tedious steps, often filling out the same information more than once in order to complete an application. Aware of this problem, Caterer.com & Indeed.com have modernised and developed ATSi Apply technology; a product designed to improve application performance by transferring candidate data seamlessly between job board and applicant tracking system. According to TotalJobs Group, this increases job board conversion by 90%. Understanding how valuable this technology is when it comes to increasing applications for operators, Harri has uniquely integrated with this technology that sits within both Caterer.com & Indeed.com meaning only with Harri do you optimise candidate liquidity and kill the dread of the drop off!

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Restaurant operator Côte Brasserie use Harri to manage their recruitment process along with Caterer.com & Indeed.com as major sources of candidates across its 90-strong estate. They say the drop-off rate among applicants increases by 10% for every extra click a candidate has to make during the application process.

Kelly Davis, Senior Recruitment Manager for Côte, explains:

“Harri’s integration with Caterer and Indeed is extremely important for us. It’s about the person’s experience with our brand and making applications easier for them. Increasingly in hospitality we’re seeing a candidate-led jobs market, so when the brand speaks for itself, suitable candidates who are seeking the top places to work, will naturally come forward. We actively look for job boards that have integrated Harri’s one-click apply technology because it increases our chance of securing quality applications. In addition, many job searches now take place on mobile devices, so applying for vacancies can no longer be a tedious form-filling exercise. For us, it has to be a one-click process that ensures applying for a job at Côte is quick and easy”.

James Edwards, Digital Attraction Manager at Mitchells and Butlers has seen a huge boost to the number of applications. 

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After 6 months of implementing Harri to our 1,650 sites, we have seen ROI including 89% more applications of which a 24% increase in chef applications.

To find out more about how Harri, click here

2019 Minimum Wage Increases Guide

On July 1st, minimum wage increases will go into effect in several jurisdictions across the country. The ever-changing landscape of the hospitality industry can be confusing and overwhelming - that’s why we’ve created a guide to help you navigate your state’s changes.

MINIMUM WAGE CHANGES EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2019

California:

  • Alameda: $12.50 per hour

  • Berkeley: $15.59 per hour

  • Emeryville: $16.30 per hour

  • Fremont: $13.50 per hour

  • LA, City: $14.25 per hour

  • LA, County: $14.25 per hour

  • Malibu: $14.25 per hour

  • Milpitas: $15.00 per hour

  • Pasadena: $13.25 per hour for businesses with 25 or fewer employees; $14.25 per hour for businesses with 26 or more employees

  • San Francisco: $15.59 per hour

  • San Leandro: $14.00 per hour

  • Santa Monica: $14.25 per hour for large businesses; $13.25 per hour for small businesses; $16.63 per hour for hotel workers

DC:

  • Washington: $14.00 per hour

Illinois:

  • Chicago: $13.00 per hour

  • Cook County: $12.00 per hour

Maine:

  • Portland: $11.11 per hour

Maryland:

  • Montgomery County: $13.00 per hour for large employers; $12.50 per hour for mid-sized and small employers

New Jersey:

  • $10.00 per hour

Minnesota:

  • Minneapolis: $10.00 per hour

Oregon:

  • Portland metro area: $12.50 per hour

  • Non-urban counties: $11.00 per hour

What Employers Can Do Now: 

Get Your Scheduling Down to a Science: Analyze your most crucial shifts and recognize the strongest members of your staff in order to strategically schedule your team (tools like Harri's TeamLive can help managers and operators with schedule alignment, labor costs, and budget).

Consider Adjusting Your Hours:  By tracking your stores’ sales patterns, you may gain valuable insights to determine the working hours that are most productive for your business. For example, if you frequently experience a spike in customers/sales around lunch Monday through Friday, but find there's a slump during evenings on the same days, you may want to consider closing earlier during the week and focusing your marketing efforts towards weekday lunch. (Pro Tip: Your POS weekly and monthly reports should be a great indicator of these trends.)

Take a Close Look at Menu Item Prices: This is a last-ditch but sometimes necessary effort to combat minimum wage increases. Analyze each menu item and break it down by cost (with the help of your culinary team), and consider comparing vendors. Know that you may lose some customers at the expense of your menu changes. If you decide to increase your menu prices, communicate to your guests that your business has done so in order to stay open, pay your employees fair wages, and continue to serve them!

HARRI HELPS EXP101 TAKE ON THE 0-90 CHALLENGE AND KEEP HOSPITALITY HIRES HAPPY

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It’s a well-known fact that more than 40% of new hires in the hospitality industry leave their jobs within 90 days, causing a genuine economic crisis for operators. To help tackle the problem, Harri has joined forces with hospitality communications and engagement specialists, EXP101, to sponsor the first meeting in London this month in support of EXP101’s ‘0-90’ initiative, designed to bring industry leaders together to face the issue head on.

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At the 90-minute meeting, 10 top-tier human resource experts from some of the country’s leading hospitality brands, heard from industry insiders on how incredibly important it is to engage Gen Z in hospitality, stating that it’s time to reboot our approach to recruitment and on-boarding. It’s about making hospitality a career of choice, killing the idea of basic inductions and creating brand ambassadors amongst new, young recruits to ensure they want to stay. And it starts with the managers on the ground.

The aim of 0-90 is to equip recruiters and managers with the tools they need to find the right new hires for their business and then intelligently track the on-boarding and engagement process to ensure new employees are excited about their prospects. By adopting this approach, those who move into new roles should have a real desire to succeed with that employer and in that career. It’s a much-needed, new take for the industry, one which turns the recruitment process on its head and puts the retention factor in the employee’s hands.

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Roy Walker, Associate Director at Harri, said:

“Recruitment has changed over the past 10 years. Gone are the days when a candidate showcases their CV and asks for an opportunity. The world of hiring has been turned on its head and hospitality employers must now demonstrate why a candidate should choose them. Recruiting the correct mentality is crucial to reducing the 0-90-day turnover. Recruitment is not a manager’s primary role – so they need support. Our research identified that 60% of leavers stated their main source of dissatisfaction was the rota, where there were sudden changes to shifts or additions to pre-agreed hours. At a cost of £1,000 to hire team members – and as much as £5,000 for managers – this is a real economic crisis for operators, which requires addressing.”

The EXP101 team agrees and hopes the discussions will produce a new live dashboard that operators can access without great expense or extensive set-up to combine the power of online recruitment platforms with digital measurement capabilities, in order for success to be tracked.

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Using its online recruitment platform, Harri has launched their own form of Career Story pages, where employers can highlight their value proposition to prospective candidates, starting that brand ambassador process early and creating a mind-set where new hires want to stay. The Harri Hire app, now in the hands of thousands of restaurant and hotel managers, supports the recruitment process with consumer-style tech to engage users and ensure the right behaviours are followed during on-boarding and beyond to secure new hires and reduce staff turnover.

EXP101 founders Kieron Bailey and Chris Fletcher commented:

“It’s all about collaboration between these tech solutions to produce a single hub to aid in recruitment and retention. The 0-90 initiative is designed to help young people find a rewarding career in an industry we love and where they should want to stay. Our aim is to ensure it is easy for operators to attract new recruits in the places we know they spend their time – which is online – and then to harness the power of digital to assist managers in successfully creating new brand advocates in a business everyone wants to work. A great deal is spoken about ensuring operators give the customer a great experience, however, that starts with the employee experience. We want to elevate hospitality to a place where work sells itself. Great people make great brands.”

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The 0-90 challenge is scheduled to be complete in 90 days. A follow-up session will look at the new approach and the strategy behind it in July, before the third meeting in August launches the tech solution into test phase.The event was captured on film by Vidleos and is shown below.

For more information about Harri, please visit www.harri.com/uk

NRA 2019: The 5 Biggest Takeaways

Team Harri landed last week in Chicago and was in full force at the 100th National Restaurant Association Show. After days of meeting with hundreds of operators, here are the 5 biggest takeaways from this years conference:

  1. Retaining talent continues to be the primary concern of operators. With a majority of the industry narrative pointing to engagement as the key to preventing turnover, it’s very clear that a single dimensional solution, such as engagement, to solve a multidimensional problem such as turnover, is an incomplete perspective.  With wage inflation pressure adding fuel to the labor problem fire, operators are turning to lose-lose decisions in order to counteract rising labor costs and maintain economic equilibrium. According to the 2019 Wage Inflation Survey by Harri, 45% of operators experienced labor costs rise from 3-9%. In response to these changes, operators are making changes to labor and business operations ranging from reducing employee hours, raising menu prices, cutting jobs, and closing locations.  What’s compelling is the correlation between those decisions and a spike in turnover events (35%) that are occuring in their wake. Moreover, with 71% of respondents raising menu prices, the industry experienced a rise in average check values by 4.2% but a 2.1% drop in traffic (Bloomberg Intelligence). This means that operators (emphasis on casual dining and QSR) are losing elasticity in their pricing and will no longer be able to lean on rising prices to simply counteract increases in labor costs.  They need a sustainable solution that allows them to be strategic in managing the economics of the business, particularly in all facets of labor control.

  2. Unit-level adoption of employee facing technology continues to be an up-hill battle. Finding a technology platform that’s built from the ground up, mobile friendly, highly intuitive, and meet the expectations of a multi-generational workforce is a rare find. The Workforce OS by Harri was built with this entirely in mind. With the introduction of the Harri Live, operators can grant frontline managers the ability to access live sales and labor data, full scheduling management, employee requests, communications, live compliance alerts and team data in one place, on the go. The application also allows for cross-location employee data, which is useful to have up to date information at the unit level.

  3. Gaining a better hold on the candidate experience to attract and hire the right talent has felt like mission impossible for the industry.  Whilst there is certainly an emphasis on winning the War for Talent in today’s labor market conditions (the process of driving greater volumes of candidate acquisition in a highly competitive market), there’s simultaneously a Race for Talent (getting highly qualified candidates from point A ‘applying’ to point B ‘hired and on the job’ as quickly as possible).  Understanding and optimizing each stage of the candidate lifecycle is achieved in combination of enacting talent acquisition best practices and deploying device agnostic technology that generates speed, efficiency, and positive candidate experiences. As recently demonstrated at HR in Hospitality, Harri’s partnership with CAVA has resulted in a 107% improvement in their average time to hire and has attributed to their success in opening numerous locations in complex geographies and significantly improving overall retention rates.

  4. “People related challenges are just par for the course in the hospitality industry, everyone is dealing with the same issues and there isn’t a clear way to address them.”  We hear this almost everywhere we go given that so much focus remains on the inflation of raw materials, optimizing inventory management, and delivery's impact to the bottom line. The acceptance of the ‘status quo’ plagues the industry and leads to costly mistakes.  Recent examples like Steak n’ Shake, who made a 7.7 Million dollar error by misclassifying 286 store managers best exemplifies this conclusion. Specifically, Steak n’ Shake classified managers as exempt from overtime pay, then required those managers to work 50 hours or more a week in order to perform non managerial tasks while restaurants were understaffed.  This primary example only bolsters the need for tools such as Harri’s Smart Scheduling system. A system that is integrated to a biometrically controlled time and attendance environment and combines seamless demand forecasting, activity based manning matrices and streamlined schedule distribution to create an optimized sales forecast and help organizations maintain compliance to avoid costly errors like Steak n’ Shake.

  5. The power of one. The days of building, managing, and engaging teams through fragmented, one-off technologies are no longer an option given today’s operating environment.  The industry needs to deeply consider the value of consolidating employee facing technologies in the pursuit of driving the retention, engagement, and satisfaction of their employees.  According to TDn2K’s People Report, there is a direct correlation between brands that have the best metrics in overall sales, traffic, and intent to return and the aforementioned people related KPIs.  Aside from embracing the concept of driving business performance through employee performance, there's a tremendous opportunity to aggregate all employee related data under a single system ( from both pre and post hire events) that deliver insights to drive business performance and sales, optimize hiring practices and costs, decrease turnover rates, drive people related compliance and risk mitigation, and optimize labor costs.  Only a platform that integrates all of those points and interactions of the employee lifecycle can achieve such a powerful dynamic.