HR Forum 2017 :: Home

The Caterer HR Forum



The HR Forum from The Caterer promises to educate and inspire people leaders working within the hospitality sector.  It is a must attend event for any HR professional working in a restaurant, hotel or contract catering business.

The HR Forum:

Taking place at the Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE on 24 April, The Caterer HR Forum is a fast-paced, half-day conference exploring the hottest HR topics with some of the industry’s leading experts and operators.

Inspirational employers in the sector will share their expertise with practical examples of how to become a talent magnet, while Best Places To Work in Hospitality partners, Purple Cubed, will present this year's key findings.

The conference will also explore key topics including:

•             How to maximise the opportunities the Apprenticeship Levy brings

•             Why sustainability isn’t just about food and the environment - with the Sustainable Restaurant Association

•             What Brexit means for HR and recruitment – from sponsors, Perkbox

•             How to empower your people through financial literacy - with Davidson Asset Management

We will also announce the Top 30 best places to work in hospitality; celebrating those who place people at the heart of their business strategy.

This is a must-attend event for any HR or people leader in the hospitality sector.

The standard delegate price is £149 plus VAT. The conference fee includes admission to the summit and refreshments



1:30pm Registration and refreshments
2:00pm Keynote: Delivering engagement on the ground 



With a remit to evolve the people approach at Firmdale Hotels, People and Development Director, Julia Murrell has set about empowering the department to deliver meaningful engagement on the ground. 
The director of people and development will explain how she has encouraged experimentation within the department and changed the role of HR within the company, with people and development managers working directly in the hotels for which they are responsible. Meanwhile, Murrell will explain exactly the effect that Firmdale’s employee engagement week has had on the business.

Julia Murrell, director of people and development, Firmdale Hotels

2.30pm Apprenticeship Levy update

With the Apprenticeship Levy coming into force in April, dramatically changing the way apprenticeships are administered, there is an onus on hospitality businesses to get up to speed to make the most of the new system. In addition to the levy itself, a new set of apprenticeship standards and assessments will replace all existing frameworks by 2020, operators need to act now to be ready. This update will explore how businesses can maximise their levy funding and achieve the optimum return from their apprenticeship programme.

Martin Knight, sales director, HIT Training

Tony Allenspecial advisor on the Apprenticeship Levy and former director of the relationship team at the Skills Funding Agency

2:55pm Responsible employment

The Sustainable Restaurant Association explores how the most forward-thinking employers are providing equal opportunities, training and clear policies to keep employees happy and productive. It will also outline how engaging with the local community, with schools and charities can support the people supporting your business.

Andrew Stephen, chief executive, Sustainable Restaurant Association

Peter Borg-Neal, founder and chief executive, Oakman Inns & Restaurants


Retention and the future for hospitality employment


How best to retain and reward staff in the wake of the Brexit vote. With the likelihood that Brexit will mean far greater difficulty in employing overseas talent, this session will explore how to attract great people and keep them. 

Gautam Sahgal, chief operating officer, Perkbox

3:30pm Refreshments

Creating a culture of financial wellbeing

Russell Davidson, Managing Director DAM will explore the different ways organisations can support their teams with financial planning and money management.  With one in four workers now citing financial stress as something which affects their ability to do their job, the session will focus on creating a culture of financial wellbeing in the workplace, highlighting the important financial milestones and considerations for employees.

Russell Davidson, managing director, DAM


People Pulse

Jo Harley, managing director of our people engagement partners, Purple Cubed, explores the results from the Best Places to Work in Hospitality survey.

Jo Harley, managing director, Purple Cubed


Panel Debate: Taking on the challenges of 2017

Facilitated by best-selling business author, Jane Sunley, leading operators featured in the top 30 The Caterer Best Places to Work in Hospitality will debate key trends hitting people engagement in 2017 including how best to manage the Brexit fallout and shape up your workforce for the coming years.

moderated by Jane Sunley, founder and chief executive, Purple Cubed

Peter Banks, managing director, Rudding Park

David Mills, director, CD Pubs

James Horler, chief executive, 3Sixty Restaurant

Moira Laird, human resources director, Valor Hospitality Partners (2016 Best Employer Catey winner)

Drinks reception and networking

Round up and recognition of our top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality.

7:00pm Close


As the hospitality industry's leading employee engagement experts, we are delighted to partner with The Caterer to bring you the HR Forum; enabling leaders to transform the people practices within their businesses.

Over the last 15 years, it has been our mission to enhance perceptions of the sector, ensuring it receives the recognition it deserves as one of the best employment industries in the UK. To do so we must stay one step ahead; focusing on employment innovations which attract, engage, empower and retain the very best talent creating sustainable competitive advantage in a uncertain, fast-paced business world.

Through a explorative, strategic yet practical approach, we've supported the likes of Dorchester Collection, Firmdale Hotels, Prezzo, and Lexington Catering to create transformational, bottom-line driven people strategies; delivered through cutting-edge technology, consultancy and delivery.

This multi award-winning approach has helped our clients collectively save £10m per annum, increase employee engagement which in turn has boosted productivity, competitive advantage and directly impacted financial performance.

Want to know more? Visit


Based in Glasgow and London, DAM has been working with some of the biggest names in the hospitality and leisure sector for over 10 years to build reward programmes that recruit, retain and build the best teams in the industry.

DAM focuses on a personalised approach to support businesses within the sector in their knowledge, choices, decisions and communication of employee benefit packages.  The team is dedicated to understanding the messages an employer wants to communicate to their core asset - their people - and will design specific packages tailored to each client to support them in communicating the real benefit of what is being offered to employees. 

The company also offers corporate and personal advice, from auto enrolment and corporate pensions to mortgage advice and wealth management.

HIT Training is the largest provider of training and apprenticeships for the hospitality and catering industry. They offer a huge range of apprenticeships and development schemes for people at all levels, from school-leavers to senior management.

Founded in 2006, they have supported more than 100,000 people at over 22,000 sites across the UK and understand what employers need in order to be successful. Their award-winning trainers and assessors have vast amounts of experience in helping companies to up-skill their employees, having each enjoyed successful careers in the field themselves.

Working in partnership with hospitality sector employers, they improve employees’ skills, increasing their efficiency and performance, boosting your bottom line.

Research shows that engaged employees stay at their job twice as long as their colleagues. Perkbox helps businesses reduce staff turnover by providing your employees access to over 200 perks, an online reward and recognition system and an expert-led health platform.
Want to find out more? Email or visit for exclusive pricing.

Shift-based businesses are faced with the fact that managers and employees often don’t work the same hours, making communication and planning difficult. Planday changes that dynamic by connecting shift-based businesses and hourly workers when, how, and where it’s needed.

Planday fundamentally restructures the workplace by creating a real-time platform where businesses and employees can collaborate using transparent shift planning, easy communication, streamlined HR processes, and online & mobile time clocking. Planday also supports managers in mid-sized businesses by providing granular reporting and payroll integrations. By creating a transparent, real-time platform, Planday enables businesses and employees to work together in a way that suits everyone.

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General Enquiries

Oliver Palmer - Event Manager
0207 881 4841


James Stagg - Deputy Editor
0207 881 4811

Sponsorship Opportunities

Rob Adam - Head of Sales 
0207 881 4817


Conference Fees

The standard delegate price is £149 plus VAT. The conference fee includes admission to the summit and refreshments