New Continental Hotel, Millbay Road, Plymouth, PL1 3LD

Tel: 01752 276798

Plymouth Half Marathon 2019 …

Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon | Sunday 19th May 2019, 08.30

Running Sunday’s Plymouth Half Marathon will be a host of individuals, businesses and groups who have put hours and hours into training and preparing. Primary schools who have taught that through dedication and commitment comes great things.

The Plymouth Half Marathon isn’t just about footsteps to the finish line, it’s about taking footsteps in your life that make you stronger, more focused and part of something great.

Many of our amazing staff are not only dedicated to our guests’ experiences, but also to our city; taking part in city events like the Plymouth Half Marathon.

Staff Have Their Say…

Our Wedding Coordinator talks honestly about how she felt before she took part. Here she shares some very heartening advice:

“The pit of my stomach slowly started to churn as I noticed the signs going up around the city, advising people of the road closures for the half marathon. Suddenly, suddenly it all became rather real!

After months of training and fundraising for a charity very close to my heart – race day arrived!

After checking for about the 10th time that my kit was packed, my watch charged and plenty of fluids were on board  … off we go to join the thousands of people in exactly the same boat as me!

All I need to remember is that I have done my training. Now I just need to enjoy the next 13.1 miles!!

There are so many expectations from so many different people, each of us with different reasons for doing it, but all of us having exactly the same goal – to cross that finish line. 

This is your moment and no one can take it away from you, and when you are climbing up that last hill and its hurting just keep saying; “pain is temporary – but pride is forever.”

Have Fun…

As an independent, family owned hotel, we pride ourselves on the support that we give our staff when they are passionate about things, and prepared to work hard for what they love. Be that CPD, returning to work after illness or indeed activities and events such as marathons.

We know that there can sometimes be a negative stigma associated to employees having a ‘busy’ life outside of work.  Especially hobbies or passions that involve burnout style training. But we truly believe that if our staff are happy outside of work, or training hard for something they love, it will not negatively impact their ability to do their job, put positively enable them to do it better.

We would like to wish EVERYONE taking part the very best of times.  May you enjoy the footsteps that lead you to the finishing line and the pride we are sure you will feel when you finish.

Please check the following link to find out more about the Road Closures on Sunday 19th May 2019.

Just a few pictures of some of our amazing team…

 

 

National Apprenticeship Week…

Before we start:

As we are now in the middle of the annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships, we wanted to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to the team at City College Plymouth, their amazing students and to our apprentices, those with us now and those who have flown the nest to amazing new careers in hospitality.

Today we take a sneaky peak at the life of an apprentice chef…

It’s always hard saying goodbye to an apprentice. But when you know you have played a part in connected them to their future and to a career that they are passionate about; it really helps with the farewells!

Growing up, our natural aptitudes and interests often lead us to pursue certain careers. Sometimes we follow our parent’s footsteps, join the family business or simply look for the best paid jobs!

Sometimes we look to the future, to see where there might be growth in a specific sector. Perhaps we look at predicted skill shortages, or staff predominately made up of a generation starting to retire, with no one snapping at their heels to replace them!

However, sometimes, you are lucky enough to know what you love to do, what you’re great at and then consider the merits of a career based on your value; turning your passions into a profession!

Now isn’t that something!

As Plymouth bounds forward with growth and regeneration, as the city centre continues to develop and as Plymouth is growing in popularity as a destination, there has never been a better time to be in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Today we specifically look at ‘Chefs Life’ and see how, over the past seven years, we have been working closely with some amazing young talent.

The kitchen is intense, fast paced and dynamic. There can be long, stressful hours. It takes bags of energy, passion and charisma and it’s anything but easy! It’s full of pressure and high expectations of you…

…we aren’t really selling it here are we!

OK! Let’s help with that!

Staff Have Their Say…

We ask our Executive Chef, Paul Doidge why he feels that hospitality, specifically the kitchens, makes such a good springboard to connect young people to a career that will grip them and keep them inspired:

“ For the past seven years, I have seen many apprentices join us and leave connected to their dream of being a chef. All a step closer to their goal. Being in the thick of the action and really empowering and enabling apprentices is a massive part of all of our responsibilities; ensuring that the future of our craft has innovative new chefs emerging, learning and growing in confidence.

Becoming a chef is a career with surprisingly broad appeal. You can travel the world with it, teach with it, care with it; you can work across all sectors and you have a skill that many are envious of.

Almost everyone cooks at some point in their life; unlike plumbing or carpentry for instance; on a fairly regular basis the majority of people will prepare and serve food. When you’re good at it, you and everyone you cook for instantly knows. It’s a natural aptitude that is unlocked. Perhaps in your own kitchen, a friends or at school; access to the tools are readily available and accessible. Let’s face it, very few people will ever say ‘I’d rather you didn’t cook for me’!   

We have an apprentice currently that knew he was an amazing ‘chef’ from a really young age, after cooking at school and home and gaining rave reviews. For me, to nurture and extend that passion and energy with additional skills,  sharing my knowledge and experience,  is one of the many pleasures of my job.

Plenty of jobs require skills that you’ll never use outside of the office. Being a chef is an amazing professional talent that can also be used and shared in our daily lives.”

Find Out More…

Would you like to fin out more about the opportunities in the New Continental Groups Kitchen for apprentices? Then please email: nikkif@newcontinental.co.uk with an introductory email.

If you are still wondering if a #chefslife is the life for you; then perhaps this may help: 5 Reasons Why A Chefs Life Is A GREAT Life! 

5 Reasons You Might Become A Chef…

For seven years Paul Doidge, our Executive Chef, has been passionately banging the drum for his profession and working closely with our chef apprentices. He shares  with us  5 reasons why people often consider a career as a Chef. 

At FIVE:

The perception for many is that cheffing is a ‘low skilled’ professional. You can rest assure that anyone making this assumption has never been a professional chef! It’s not only about a natural talent and creativity; depending on where you want to take your future, cheffing is a profession that is highly scientific, mathematical and requires exacting precision. High-level cooking is as much a science as an art.

 

At FOUR:

The freedom, possibility and direction is endless! There are jobs for chefs all over the world,  on cruise ships, in large restaurants and little bistros… You don’t have to take a year out to have a globe-trotting lifestyle, you can do what you love, make people happy with your food and make money all at the same time! If you really want the freedom to travel, working as a chef might be the way you can make that happen.

At THREE:

Artists work to please the eyes; chefs do the same thing, but for every sense and the soul!  The work of an inventive and dedicated chef is every bit as much an act of passion and creation as that that goes into a painting or sculpting.

At TWO:

Giving people experiences they will fondly remember and moments they will never forget is a huge attraction for the caring chef. People with giving, passionate personalities tend to thrive as chefs for exactly that reason. As a chef, you can use the power of food to get people to enjoy healthy eating, or explore different cultures, or even just smile. There is nothing better than to hear people compliment your food and say what a lovely time they had.

At ONE:

The love of food! Possibly the very best reason to become a chef is because you just love food. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that!

JOG Your Memory | Student Life | Join The Gym!

JUST £0.66p A DAY!

(Less than two pints of milk!)

Working out is a great way to relax and boost your mood; but studies also show that healthy, active students are more productive in lectures too.

Tiring as it sounds, thinking about adding the Gym to your already hectic schedules, what’s great about working out is it really will give you more energy to do all the things you love.

You may have noticed that the nights out and occasional takeaways have made you feel a bit sluggish.  Fitting exercise into your every day routine will make you feel so much better AND it really is easier than you think …

Club Continental Student Offer…

We ask our Club Continental Manager, Adam,  why the students he works with feel better since joining the Gym:

 

man standing with arms crossed“Physically active students perform better academically. The regular routine of healthy exercise really helps them perform at their best. It’s so much more than just the actual activity itself; more than improving  just the body through building muscle strength and endurance.  Keeping fit is one of the most important things you can do for your health yes; but also general well-being.  The students I work with have all said that by taking part in regular physical activity, they perform better academically.”

“I honestly think that now more than ever, students in higher education are under more pressure. Having to balance studies, finances and their social lives. I was reading in a report published  by the Office Of National Statistics that mental health issues for students are on the rise, particularly the feelings of loneliness and isolation.”

“So, yes it’s more than just trying not to be a couch potato, but it’s not necessarily about becoming a certified fitness fanatic either. It’s about students investing in themselves, in a healthy, positive way so they can be their best.”

 

If you’re thinking about joining a gym, to either get into better shape or just keep fit; we have the solution – without breaking the bank!
For less than the cost of two pints of milk a day, our special student discount is open to everyone over 16 years old and in education.

What are the other benefits?

No Commitment | you can hold or stop your membership at anytime.
No FEES | there is no hidden costs, no joining fee and no admin fee; just £20 per month.
Open For You | we are open 7 days a week!
Pay As You Go | we have a pay as you go option too!
City Centre Location | walking distance from all city colleges, training centres and the University.
FREE Parking | no need to worry about permits or city centre parking fees!
Enterprise Grade Wi-Fi | throughout the Club – you can be connected!
Be Social | it’s a great way to connect with Plymouth!
Be Motivated | our staff are PT trained and will always offer you free advice and guidance if you need it. So you can make sure you make the most out of every session.

So, with Club Continental you can stay healthy and fit without breaking the bank. You can burn off the calories from that occasional alcoholic beverage and takeaway without burning a hole in your pocket! You can clear your head on the treadmill, relax in the steam room or release some tension on the weights.

We work hard to suit your student lifestyle; no catch, just the opportunity for you to use all of our facilities and de-stress for £20 a month for as long as you want!

Student Facebook Competition T&Cs

Win 3 months FREE membership at Club Continental… Tell us in the comments section of the competition why you LOVE being a student in Plymouth for the chance to win 3 months FREE gym membership! TERMS AND CONDITIONS: 1.This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook. 2.Entrants must […]

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Five Minutes With | What An Event..!

New Continental Hotel, PlymouthFor us, our teams are an integral part of how and why we do what we do.

We know that there is no way we would be able to achieve and deliver without a truly passionate bunch of people supporting, empowering and enabling our objectives.

Our staff are our backbone and we take five minutes to talk all things ‘events’ with one of our Events Co-ordinator.

Five Minutes With Katie | lady sat on a rock in the sun surrounded by green grass

How long have you worked in the Tourism & Hospitality Sector?
It has been over 4 ½ years now. It has gone by so quickly and I have learnt so much.

How does it feel being part of the New Continental Hotel Family?

Just that! – Part of a family! Because it’s a family run business, you are made to feel like part of a large, supportive family. This gives you an even greater sense of pride in everything that the hotel achieves. It’s the main reason I love working here. I know for a fact it’s the main reason that so many members of staff have been here for so long. I feel I’m amongst family and friends.

There are lots of changes planned for Plymouth in the gear up to 2020, how might this affect you and your department?
Hopefully in a very positive way! It’s an exciting time for the city bringing in a lot of new and exciting opportunities. I feel the hotel is a major part of Plymouth’s rich history and hope this alongside our excellent facilities and central location will entice potential new clients for us as well as older ones who want to hold their events in an iconic Plymouth destination.

What does your day look like..?

Tell us about a day in your life?
No day is the same as no event or function we hold is ever the same so the preparation and planning varies on a daily basis. On a typical day I will be preparing for an upcoming event- creating place cards, table plans, creating function sheets so that each department knows what needs to be done for this event. Communicating with the function organiser to make sure all their needs are being met. I also show around lots of potential wedding couples and event organisers- showing them our function rooms and what we can offer to their event- going through menus and printing etc. Always researching or working on the next blog too!

What’s the most rewarding/enjoyable part of your job?
Seeing an event successfully come together; whether it is a wedding, corporate event or any other type of function.

Knowing we’ve all worked together to make sure every aspect of the event either matches or exceeds the client’s expectations. I also love seeing a wedding couple that I have been working with and getting to know get married and say ‘I Do’. It’s a huge honour to be part of someone’s big day and helping to create wonderful memories for them.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m not very good at looking too far into the future. I’m a very ‘of the moment’ type of person but I hope to be happy, healthy, providing all I can for my family whilst doing all the things I feel most passionate about. Plus working hard to achieve my goals whilst supporting others.

What’s your advice for those wanting to enter hospitality..?

What advice would you give anyone looking to get into our sector?
A positive and friendly ‘can do’ attitude will help you go far in this industry. A willingness to do all you can for people plus be willing to go the extra mile for customers. Good customer Service is essential. Bing able to think on the spot to resolve issues quickly whilst providing excellent service to all clients and guests is key.

Illuminate 2018 – Plymouth Shining Brightly

Proud To Be The Official Hotel Partner…

What we love most about our beautiful city is the people so passionate about making it shine…and shine it really will this weekend! And what’s more – you still have two nights to enjoy it!

Royal William Yard | FREE ENTRY | 17:30 – 22:00

Illuminate is a spectacular light-based festival that connects all of the Mayflower 400 destinations across the UK and internationally.

In 2017 Plymouth’s Illuminate celebrations saw parts of Royal William Yard turned into a spectacular display of light-based art installations and projections. This year, we truly believe, it’s even brighter!

In 2018 Illuminate has definitely grown; it’s showcasing projections and light art installations from local, national and international artists. It provides a vibrant, fun and inspiring experience for everyone. It has become a signature event in Mayflower 400’s programme; and an annual large-scale light festival that will be a highlight in Plymouth’s event calendar.

This weekend the Royal William Yard is lit up with light installations, immersive visual art and light projections. Illuminate, an event marking the anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, has grown for 2017, and taken on a new location in Plymouth’s historic former victualling yard.

If you have yet to experience it, then it’s a real must see event in Plymouth. Crowds  have the chance to walk around and see some fantastic light installations and projections around the yard as well as being entertained by music, food stalls, glowing candyfloss and the amazing settings offering food and fun around the yard.

For more information visit the Illuminate Festival website and you can download the Illuminate Map here!

Have a bright weekend – and be lit up by Plymouth!

Why Apprenticeships Matter In Hospitality …

Why do an apprenticeship..?

Can you have a hotel without passion..? What is a holiday without exceptional service..? We must engage, empower and enable young people..!

Paul Doidge, Executive Chef for the New Continental Group explains why he is an ambassador and advocate for anything that gives young people a springboard that connects them to a future in hospitality…

The government initiative to fund three million apprentice places by 2020 has had a mixed response. So, after the first year we take a look at the benefits attached to apprenticeships. For both the New Continental Hotel, Plymouth and our sector.

As a family business we feel it is our duty to ensure guests have the very best experiences. Yet we also feel it’s our duty to do the same for our staff too. We aim to ensure our staff feel appreciated, empowered and enabled – as well as knowing their value and unlocking their potential.

Paul Doidge shares the facts…

“Apprenticeships are excellent for up skilling staff whilst also recruiting and retaining top, young talent. Recent research has shown us that 70% of apprentices stay with their employers once completing their qualification. This is really amazing statistics.  For us, apprenticeships aren’t just about the value they offer the apprentice, but also the value they give our business and sector as a whole. Having an apprenticeship programme is one of the best ways of creating a more motivated, passionate and satisfied workforce.

What’s more, it ensures growth in our sector and a future that is bursting with energy and enthusiasm.  With young people passionate about a profession within hospitality. There have been great strides  taken within our sector over the last 20 years, not only by us, but many amazing companies who are championing the industry. As a united front a huge change is coming, by us all sharing the same vision,  recruiting new talent and tackling the somewhat negative perception of working within the industry means we are making leaps and bounds in the right direction.”

What do apprentices do for our sector?

“For us, as an independent hotel,  apprentices help decrease the skills gap but also change the narrative over time on the positives and many benefits that chefs can reap from working within our sector. As the new levy moves boldly into its second year we can look forward to  incubating the next generation to attract, retain and develop new shining lights. This will help brighten all of our futures and is most definitely the way forward.”

What IS the levy?

“Like many changes, understanding them sometimes feels like you need a post doctorate to wade your way through the facts and figures! I am no expert, but working with City College Plymouth has helped me understand the essence of the levy.

Basically it requires all companies (with a pay bill of more than £3m) to contribute 0.5% of their payroll costs to the scheme. They then claim back for training. This amount is then topped up by 10% from the government. Businesses with pay bills below £3m don’t pay into the fund but they still have access to government subsidies of 90% of the cost of the apprenticeship, with the employers co-paying the additional 10%.

A year in and many are now asking for the Apprenticeship Levy transfer fund cap to be expanded from 10% to 50% to help support SMEs, as they make up of 90% of the hospitality industry.”

Do you practise what you preach?

“Although we are definitely not pretending to be experts in the field, we have had apprentices for many years and are pleased and encouraged that we are seeing apprentices lead on to successful, long-term careers in hospitality. What we also love to see is the numbers doing higher level apprenticeships have also increased. There is no doubt that like us, those businesses that are open to this real and purposeful way of working really do benefit.

By spending just a little  time getting to know the right apprenticeship provider, who are the experts, can bring you many benefits and we are so grateful for the support we get from City College Plymouth.”

Why is it important to have the right partners?

“The apprentices take what they learn from the classroom environment and apply it in a real and purposeful way. If both sides of the equation, the college and the business don’t collaborate well, then the programme will fail.  Speaking in terms of the world of  hospitality, by working tightly together there becomes more relevant and rigorous training and qualifications that really mean something.

The future within our sector cannot be depicted only by bricks and mortar as we strive for 5*, but by passion, enthusiasm and young people who understand their value and who are inspired to turn their passions into a profession that matters.”

Five Minutes With | Hospitality Does HR

Our favourite five minute interviews with Plymouth’s  finest…

What is it really like to work in hospitality..?

Each week, the New Continental Hotel will hold five-minute interviews, allowing these hospitality gurus to prove that this sector really is the perfect place to be…

Today we sit back, we kick off our shoes and we get down to ‘business’!

Name: Nikki
Position: Human Resources & Accounts Manager

How long have you worked in the Tourism & Hospitality Sector?
I have been working within the sector for 30 years!

How does it feel being part of the New Continental Hotel Family?
It’s really nice to know that you are working for a company that cares so much about their staff and the experience of their guests. It’s a small team, smaller than anyone ever expects, but we are all always ready to help, step in and support each other. We may be small, but together we are mighty!

The development and regeneration of the city…

There are lots of changes planned for Plymouth in the gear up to 2020, how might this affect you and your department?
What has always been so good about working for an independent company is that you can organically shift and reshape to ensure you are always robust and fit for purpose. The development and regeneration within the city shows our guests a true sense of pride in Plymouth and that is an amazing thing to be part of.

Tell us about a day in your life?
Every day is different, one day someone might come in to talk about something exciting that is happening in their department; and another day it may be that someone needs a shoulder to cry on because they are having a bad day. Mix that with my day to day accounts role, processing and balancing figures – and all I can say is that not any one day is ever the same!

You have a unique role – can you tell us a little about it?
It’s shaped into what it is today over the years. As the Human Resources Manager I provide support & guidance to the team across all spectrum’s of the HR function, while managing & developing our staff alongside the HODs (Heads Of Departments). The role assists in the development and delivery of human resource projects within the hotel and Club Continental as well as plans and tactics that improve overall Organisational capability and performance. Then, my Finance & Accounts part of the role is helping the Finance Director to ensure robust and effective forecasting, reporting and management of income and expenditure.

Sounds like a lot of work! What would you say is the most rewarding part of your role?
From a HR point of view there really is nothing more rewarding than watching a member of staff achieve what they have been striving for. Watching departments grow and seeing staff propel themselves and advance in what they do through training, mentoring and support.

What’s the future of hospitality?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope still here, doing what I enjoy for a family I really enjoy working for, within a sector that has always been ‘my’ sector!

What advice would you give anyone looking to get into our sector?
GO FOR IT! Yes, the hours can be long but there are so many opportunities – including 9-5 jobs!

There is a myth that comes with the hospitality sector – yes there are some roles that are more ‘unsociable’ than others – but many times you get paid to BE sociable!

Seeing happy guests, being part of holiday memories and working within a team that is so supportive makes everything worth it. Hospitality is by far the best sector to be involved in – I love it.

I would also recommend seeing the difference between independent and chain settings. They really vary and some people feel more at home with the uniformity and structure of a chain, whilst others like the autonomy and creativity of an independent.

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