Blog. Spotlight on: Kevin Charity

October 1, 2021 | Author: Giuliana Vittiglio

This October we are proud to highlight the work of top HA supporters The Coaching Inn Group. From stocking Invisible Chips to caring for their team via our Employee Assistance Programme, they always have the best intentions at heart. We recently caught up with HA Trustee and CEO of The Coaching Inn Group Kevin Charity to learn why Hospitality Action means so much to him.

How has the pandemic impacted Coaching Inns?

The chaos caused as a result of the Pandemic, ultimately brought some clarity for us at the Coaching Inn Group, and overall, more good came from it than bad.  Naturally, we suffered greatly financially and the toll on all our 750 team members will never truly be understood.  However, it has really helped us concentrate on what matters most, and that is our people.  For once in our company’s history, we were able to have time to stop and think, and suddenly the communication with our teams was at a level we had never experienced before.  A real “family feel” started to develop and the comradeship was just fabulous. During the lockdowns it became all about providing support for each other, and witnessing team members from different sites communicating with each other and helping one another was so pleasing to see.  The re-opening of the businesses could be considered as difficult as the closure period, but our family feel, and culture has really shone through and certainly helped during these challenging times.

Why do you support Hospitality Action?

I am hospitality through and through, the people who work in this industry I believe are very special, so often they do it for the love and not the financial reward. We will always see some people struggle from time to time, therefore I will always be drawn towards supporting people in our industry.  What I really welcome at Hospitality Action is twofold, first, the multiple ways in which it can help people who are now, or once did, work in the sector. There is a large cross section of help and it’s the practical way in which this is delivered that I admire.  Often it is very simple, quick and reactional.  Secondly, it’s the long term help it can provide, like the Golden Friends program, which can be as simple as bringing support through friendship.

As members of our ‘Employee Assistance Programme’ what benefits has it brought to the team?

The EAP has been invaluable.  In the first instance we will always try to help our team members if we can, but every now and again life throws up issues we simply are unable or not experienced enough to help with.  This is where the EAP program comes into its own.  Having access to this level of Professional help and support is simply amazing.  All our team members know they can contact Hospitality Acton through the EAP program and get immediate help as well as long term advice.  They understand its completely confidential and trustworthy.  We have had some fantastic feedback from our people who have used it and it has helped resolve their issues.

 

Have customers enjoyed seeing Invisible Chips on the menu?

Yes, without doubt, we love seeing the reactions of customers when ordering the invisible chips, it’s a lot of fun. Some conversation between our servers and guests are really amusing, especially when they get into role play mode and start discussing how they are cooked!  What’s great is that it’s the customer’s choice to support this fund-raising initiative, and so many are delighted to help out by ordering them.  Our menu price is on the lower side of £2 a portion, we recently sent £8,000 to Hospitality Action, all from Invisible Chips, that’s 4,000 orders from our customers, showing they certainly enjoy seeing them on the menu and having the option to help.

 

What do you have planned for the future?

After a period of uncertainty during the pandemic, I am delighted that we now feel we can start to grow again, therefore we are back on the acquisition trail.  Although we will be growing our estate and property portfolio, this more importantly, gives us an opportunity to grow the abilities of our people.  More prospects become available for our people, which helps them develop themselves and unlock their potential. I believe that we are all never happier than when we are learning and achieving, these are the ingredients to a satisfying life balance, therefore planning for the future always excites me.

 

Fundraising for Hospitality Action enables staff to feel connected to wider organisational CSR goals whilst boosting employees’ moral all while raising funds for a great cause. If your business would like to get involved please get in touch.