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

Tel: 01752 276798

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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