A look back at 2018 – October, November, December

As we look back at 2018 it was a year with great highs but also some tough times. One of the hottest summers on records but also the Beast from the East and a number of snow days.
EP looks back at the year.

October, November, December 2018

Do people need responsibility in order to grow?

A common discussion piece is that there is a general fall in social behaviours across all age groups and there is a school of thought – rightly or wrongly – that argues that men especially are becoming increasingly immature in behaviours and in how they behave and that we see more man boys than ever...

CEO’s have short lifespans and don’t have time to focus on people. Is this fair?

It was once said that CEO’s of large companies have short lifespans and don’t have the luxury of focusing of people issues. This view is simply wrong...

Nothing compares: The Tower has stood for nearly 1,000 years

The fortress that has repelled invasion and protected the kingdom, Jay Burgesson, Commercial Director at Food Show speaks to EP on how they cater for the historic and breath-taking venue. 

Anchored on the shore of the River Thames, the castle welcomes millions of people each year and holds distinct events which brings both unique opportunities and challenges.

Read the full story

The necessary evil to prevent food waste? The plastics debate

Now this debate has surfaced, Winnow ask how does it impact the discussion around food waste?

Public interest in plastics and its damaging effects on the environment soared after the recent Blue Planet 2 series. This has resulted in many businesses – like McDonald’s pledging to ban plastics straws this year in the UK and Ireland – calling for the food packaging industry to reduce, or even get rid of, packaging around some fresh foods.

London in 1924

Test Match Special story on missing famous moments

“My Dad was forced to leave a certain 1981 Ashes Test at Headingley because my 2 year old self had been rushed to Leeds Hospital suffering from a severe asthma attack. He then watched the greatest comeback in Test history from the end of my bed on a tiny screen in the children’s ward. He never let me forget it and I don’t blame him, although my Mum always maintains there was a significant gap between the tannoy announcement and his arrival at the hospital. Approximately one session I believe.”

From Google and McKinsey to City Pantry

Kate Miller has been with City Pantry for ten months, having joined as Chief Commercial Officer. Her background includes Google and McKinsey, so moving to a start-up is a new challenge. EP spoke to Kate about this transition and why she believes they are challenging the catering market for a better future.

We need to ease the pressure on the young. Why individual mentoring and coaching will grow

“Thank God I grew up in the 80s as there is no record of my indiscretions anywhere!”

Jose’s 3 year plan

Even in October some well calling for Jose to leave:

May Dancing reaches Georgia

“And before anyone tells me on here that the Georgian word for English isn’t “angliiski”, we were talking to him in Russian because I can’t speak a word of Georgian.”

The launch of the newly named Blue Badge Access Awards

During the Independent Hotel Show, the Blue Badge Access Awards unveiled their new look and expanded scope. Aimed at raising the profile of travellers with disabilities, the awards aim to recognise venues and businesses with a stylish approach to accessibility, as well as praising innovative and forward-thinking solutions to the issues experienced by disabled guests when travelling.

The exclusive reveal of the Great Service Debate

EP and Penshee hosted a reveal of the Great Service Debate thus far at the Independent Hotel Show and held a stimulating conversation with senior players on the key findings. At the Independent Hotel Show, where 6300 owners and operators from UK luxury, boutique and independent hotels attend, EP and Penshee were joined by: • Rob Flinter, General Manager, Park Plaza London Riverbank • Alan Williams, Director, Servicebrand Global • Seth Lewis, Senior Lecturer Hospitality and Tourism Management, Coventry University London Each provided a different perspective and insight into the topic and shared stories and anecdote’s on service experiences.

There is a growing belief and understanding that sports players can make a real difference in the workplace

EP and Sanlam hosted an evening with four fascinating characters from the world of sport and business. PY Gerbeau and Simon Halliday, alongside two younger characters from the world of sports in Caroline Guthrie (from the RPA) and Lewis Hatchett (former professional cricketer) who shared experiences and opinions. With appreciated support from Indicater and Sporting Wine Club. Together the four had the audience enthralled and engaged for over one and half hours. Stimulating, adventurous and insightful, these events bring sport and business together.


EP brought together pan-industry for “Under the African Skies” – a unique Charity Gala Dinner. In an evening of African entertainment, a sharing and delicious vegetarian Indian Kenyan menu, unique elephant themed wines, raffled elephant statues and a live and silent auction, the evening was a great success for raising funds for the Tofauti Foundation and elephant conservation.

The evening crossed boundaries and age groups. Of the audience, 30% were from the world of Hospitality: 30% from the professions, 10% from the world of sport and 20% from other business sectors. This is rare to find and it was a delight to see all age groups covered from the young, emerging talent to those retired to Lords to innovative entrepreneurs.

Watch the video from the night below:

Plymouth Herald trending on Twitter

“But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me Godfather. Instead, you come into my house on the day my daughter is to be married, and you ask me to insinuate his wife is a prostitute in the Plymouth Herald comments section”

“We didn’t even know there was a Plymouth Herald comments section. We were trying to write a review of Salisbury Cathedral and we got lost.”

“I’m willing to bet a huge amount of money that the Plymouth Herald has never had anywhere near as much traffic as it will get today.”

“My name is Inigo Montoya. You insinuated my wife was a prostitute on the comments section of the Plymouth Herald. Prepare to die.”

“Whilst thus to ballast love I thought,
And so more steadily to have gone,
With wares which would sink admiration,
Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute,
On the Plymouth Herald comments section?”

Meet Mr Gelato

Meet Massimo Franchi, the inspirational character driving a traditional Gelato Company into the London market. The business, Badiani, is one of the leading historical geleteria from Florence, which came to life in the 1930s. Massimo with his relaxed persona and overall warmth has been serving scoops of their award-winning gelato to Londoners since 2015 and in 2016 found a home in Mercato Metropolitano, an urban space in Borough dedicated to fresh Italian artisan products.

How do we unleash talent to be brave and reduce the fear of failure?

EP brought together different industries, through its Emerging Leaders Network, to hear inspiring stories from the worlds of sport, business and entrepreneurs.

There is a school of thought that business is investing in skills but not enough into leadership and people development. Do you agree?

Video: Dare to Fail  –  How do we unleash talent to be brave?

What do Juliet Kinsman, Giles Coren, Fiona Duncan and Grace Dent believe is the ultimate hospitality experience today?

The Independent Hotel Show hosted “The Power Breakfast” – an insight into what some of the country’s top critics believe is the perfect experience in the hospitality industry.

Over breakfast Juliet Kinsman, founding editor of the Mr and Mrs Smith guides and now eco-travel consultants Bouteco, interviewed the prized panel and delved into their views built on many years reviewing the sector.

“The UK is on the brink of an African food revolution”

From Hotel General Manager to African Street Food Operator. The words of Kwashie Gbedemah, Director of URBANOKA, who only 18 months ago was a Hotel General Manager in London. EP spoke to the adventurous entrepreneur to find out why he swapped the corporate life for one which is very different.

Time to rethink our food system

Prestige Purchasing’s Chairman, David Read It’s time that our food system modernised and became fit for purpose for the 21st century. And that we all have a part to play.


AlixPartners in collaboration with EP, launched the Food Service Growth Report 2018. Now its in sixth year, the report launch brings together the foodservice community over breakfast to showcase the fastest growing (by profits) independent foodservice companies in the UK.

Over 130 guests heard insight from Graeme Smith, Co-Head of Financial Advisory Services at AlixPartners, Chris Sheppardson, Managing Director of EP Business In Hospitality and Kevin Watson, Managing Director of Amadeus.

View the Top 20 List and Report


The winners of the Boutique Hotel Awards 2018 were announced this week at a prestigious awards ceremony at Merchant Taylors' Hall, London. Hotels from around the world gathered for the 8th annual awards gala dinner where the world's best category winners were revealed. Here are just five of the many superb properties.

"Of all the tweets I've ever written, of course this is the one that gets noticed. Lads, I had no other clean bowls available and was putting my 2 year old to bed at the time so didn't want the doorbell rang. "There was NO NEED to alert the Daily Mail..."


Holly V Maslen, an artist based on the Isle of Wight, has spent countless days trailing her local beaches looking for plastic waste. It may sound like an unusual habit but every hour has been worth it, because with this washed up waste, Holly creates unique pieces of art to inspire and emphasise the human impact on this precious world.

Sea Change For Accessibility

When it comes to how businesses approach accessibility there is a profound revolution taking place and impressively is being driven forward by the hospitality industry. EP spoke to Ed Warner, Founder and CEO of Motionspot who believes in this important change taking place and how winning an Accessibility award propelled his business growth.

Shopping Basket Tenders Are Dying


How to curate places, spaces, services and experiences which fuel productivity

Companies are looking at food service with new eyes - one with a broader remit and in time will transform the sector. EP brought together operators, clients and consultants in a session which explored the role of food today and the positive impact it can make on people's daily lives.

Over breakfast 25 guests gathered in an event, kindly hosted by international law firm Bird & Bird, for a discussion and debate around the role of food today. The insightful discussion is part of EP's 'Fuelling Productivity' campaign and the collective response from the morning was there is a new language breaking through when it comes to food service and its being driven by clients and consumers. In turn it is making operators and consultants evaluate their direction and approach and moving from cost sensitivity to putting food at the heart of culture.

The day two international sporting icons cooked with two great chefs

In support of the
Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Adopt a School Trust

To promote the importance of great food, fresh produce and nutrition

The story of how the elephants came marching in

Bringing art and hospitality together

EP created and hosted a unique charity dinner to raise funds for the Tofauti Foundation – a special charity focused on elephant conservation in Kenya. As part of the evening, which included an Indian Kenyan themed menu, EP collaborated with a number of talented artists to create unique pieces of art which could be displayed and raffled on the night. This is the story of how these special elephants came about.

Napoleon Bonaparte and Adam Smith Recognised It


One of the concerns of recent times is that its getting harder for entrepreneurs to have a strong voice as they once did and for new creative concepts to reach market.

As we enter 2019 EP is supporting entrepreneurs and innovation as creativity really does sit at the heart of British culture.

It is becoming increasingly expensive for new concepts and products to be heard especially with GDPR coming in this year. However businesses are open to innovation as it can play a powerful role with improving the customer experience, increasing value and providing a competitive point of difference.

There is no lack of new ideas:


The story behind one of the leading exponents of such catering in the UK – operating from Scotland down to Southampton. MPM is still a relatively young company, but is operated by a team that possesses a wealth of experience. The original company, P&C Morris, was formed over fifty years ago.