Who's who

24 June 2004
Who's who

Bluebeckers eating houses and Edwins Brasseries
Established in 1977, Blubeckers is a chain of informal and family-friendly restaurants with an emphasis on value for money and quality.

Why work for them? Blubeckers is a busy and dynamic company offering plenty of challenges. It's accredited by Investors in People and provides plenty of in-house training opportunities, as well as the following nationally recognised courses.

In-house training: Basic and intermediate food hygiene and health and safety; NVQ up to level 3 in Food Preparation and Food & Drink Service; Modern Apprenticeships; NVQ assessors qualification D32/D33; NVQ level 4 management.

Also: managers and chefs complete a training programme customised to individual requirements.

How many: Currently operating 15 restaurants with more openings to come in Chigwell, Essex, and East Sussex.

Where: Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire, Middlesex, Hertfordshire - all restaurants are housed in traditional character buildings.

Andrea Kearon
01256 704260

Tragus Holdings
(Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge, Mamma Amalfi, Abbaye, Amalfi, Oriel, Leadenhall Wine Bar)
The company was formed in May 2002 and is now one of the largest restaurant chain operators in the UK. It reported a strong first year of trading for the 12 months to June 2003 with a turnover of £95.5m.

Why work for them? Tragus is spending £8m reinvigorating its brands and will also be opening new restaurants this year. Employees can expect a range of benefits including incentives, bonuses and attractive salaries.

In-house training: On-the-job learning is supplemented by off-site workshops and there is also a dedicated training and development centre in Finchley, north London.
How many: 155 sites
Where: Nationwide

Emma Davies, recruitment manager
0800 032 0217


This chain of Italian café-restaurants is renowned for its quality offering and award-winning menu.

Why work for them? It's a fast-growing restaurant and food business which is serious about its product and people.

In-house training: Each team member has an individual training plan written for them which is reviewed regularly. Waiters and chefs then undergo a robust training scheme. After three months of work, chefs can be invited to attend Carluccio's cookery school where there is a wide range courses for varying skill levels.

How many: 15 with more openings this year.
Where: London, Kent, Hertfordshire, Oxford
Contact: Richard Maher, recruitment manager
E-mail: richardm@carluccios.com

Conran restaurants

Founded in 1991 by Terence Conran, this growing restaurant group incorporates a diverse range of styles including British, Italian, French, Japanese and includes acclaimed eateries Bibendum, Bluebird and Quaglino's.

Why work for them? Conran wouldn't have been around this long if it didn't take real pride in its product and people. They aim to offer solid foundations for career progression.

In-house training: From statutory to craft, including wine tasting, food-and-wine matching and recipe cost controlling to communications skills and employment law.
How many: 31
Where: Mostly London but also Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris, New York and Stockholm.
Vanessa Lawson
020 7716 7827

Eat Café
This private group of caf‚s was founded in 1996 by Niall and Faith MacArthur. It offers quality, fresh products with sandwiches, soups and salads made on site every day.

Why work for them? This company has retained a personal touch, and with its rapid expansion comes a wealth of career opportunities.

In-house training: Initial induction day for everyone, and then tailored programmes to develop staff through barista, team leader and management stages. There are also full- and half-day workshops and coaching days.
How many: 31
Where: Primarily London-based, plus Birmingham and Cambridge with more expansion to come.
Contact: adrian@eatcafe.co.uk for management roles
020 7636 8309

Las Iguanas

Las Iguanas provides the definitive Latin-American restaurant experience with fresh, authentic food and cocktails, vibrant interiors and comprehensive training for employees. The company was founded in Bristol in 1991and is undertaking a nationwide expansion programme.

Why work for them? The group is Investors in People accredited and believes strongly that offering employees the best in training and development benefits all. It also favours internal promotion.

In-house training: Dedicated in-house bar, floor and back-of-house trainers, and a comprehensive training system in place for employees at all levels.

How many: Nottingham will be the seventh restaurant when it opens next month. Some 20 sites are planned for the next three years.
Where: Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Bath, Sheffield, Leicester and Nottingham (opening July)

Lucy Harwood,
0117 970 6664

Le Petit Blanc

Le Petit Blanc is the brasserie group that has Michelin star chef Raymond Blanc at its helm. The group is now owned by Loch Fyne Restaurants but operates as a separate entity. Le Petit Blanc serves high-quality French food at affordable prices.

Why work for them? Le Petit Blanc is one of the few restaurant groups where back-of-house staff can really learn the "craft" - everything is created in-house, from ice-creams to jams, dressings and sauces. All staff benefit from being surrounded by a talented team who know how to produce and deliver food of an exceptionally high standard.

In-house training: All back-of-house staff will spend part of their induction period at Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and will work under Blanc and Clive Fretwell (also Michelin starred) at Le Petit Blanc. Promotion from within is encouraged and training has a strong emphasis on food and wine knowledge, as well as the essential service and management skills.

How many: Four
Where: Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford and Cheltenham. A fifth opens on 21 June in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Contact: Nichola Pickering
020 8404 6686

Living Room

The concept for this bar and restaurant concept was born in Manchester in December 1999 and proved such a success it took in excess of £1.9m in its first year. It's also high-profile and visited by the likes of the Beckhams and Justin Timberlake.

Why work for them? Living Room is an award-winning and rapidly expanding company

In-house training: Living Room has a strong internal training culture: bartenders are trained up on a two-week programme, as are "Servers". "Hosts" are put through the same training as Servers, but are paired up with and shadow an established Living Room Host. Kitchen staff also go through a controlled training programme.

How many: 10
Where: Manchester, Birmingham, London (Smithfield and Islington), Nottingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, York, Chester and Liverpool.

Contact: Clifford Hill, training and development executive
01565 631 234

Gordon Ramsay Holdings

Gordon Ramsay opened his first restaurant in 1998 and within three years he won three Michelin stars. He's one of the country's best-known chefs.

Why work for them? All staff employed within the restaurants have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge, both within the work situation and through courses devised and run by the company's dedicated training school. The group also favours internal promotion.

In-house training: a number of short courses. For example: sommelier courses, wine tastings, cheese training and cigar training.
How many: Seven
Where: Central London
Clare Lynn, human resources manager
020 7592 1360

The Restaurant Group

The high-street and leisure park group has an ethos for good food and value for money and includes chains Garfunkel's, Caff‚ Uno, Est Est Est and Chiquito

Why work for them? It's a dynamic and expanding company offering plenty of opportunities for development and promotion. Investors in People and Excellence Through People accredited.

In-house training: Management training programme at assistant or deputy level for three months - run within the restaurant. Comprehensive courses including legislation and developmental workshops. NVQ training available to all full-time members.

How many: Leisure 120-plus and growing.
Where: Across the UK in high streets, retail parks and airports.
Gavin Peace, senior HR and training manager
01905 25703

Groupe Chez Gerard

This well-established London-based company encompasses three restaurant concepts - the Chez G‚rard chain, based on a traditional Parisian brasserie, the Livebait chain of fish restaurants and the Italian-style Bertorelli.

Why work for them? The three distinct brands allow employees variety and good promotional prospects and there is a range of attractive benefits and a bonus scheme.

In-house training: There's a management training scheme and a chef apprenticeship, both of which offer nationally recognised qualifications, hands-on experience and a job at the end of it.

How many: 21
Where: Mostly London but also Cambridge, Manchester and Leeds.

Sophie Damas, HR officer
020 7881 8890


This trendy noodle-bar chain with big plans began in London in 1992 and has since branched out across the UK. It also now has franchise operations in Ireland, The Netherlands and Australia.

Why work for them? It's a dynamic, fun company offering good promotional prospects as it expands. Emphasis is on staff welfare in the belief that if staff are happy they will ensure customers are too.

In-house training: Programmes vary from three to nine weeks and cover chefs to restaurant managers. Standard courses such as food hygiene, health and safety are also covered.

How many: 22 (in the UK)
Where: UK: London, Nottingham, Manchester
For management enquiries: jobs@wagamama.com
Or apply directly to restaurant.

Pizza Express

PizzaExpress is a professional and progressive company and employs more than 6,000 people. What sets its restaurants apart is its atmosphere, which has as much to do with its friendly, efficient staff as the buildings they are in.

Why work for them? The group is well known for its hands-on and course-led training programmes, with career and development opportunities assisting individuals to progress into many constantly evolving roles, all carrying very competitive salaries and benefits packages.

In-house training: Formal qualifications are not the group's first concern as it believes it can develop an individual, providing they have the required qualities.

How many: 308
Where: Nationwide
Contact: Fran Horne, recruitment

For all other restaurant-based positions, please apply direct to the manager of the PizzaExpress branch you are interested in working at. For management, e-mail your CV and a covering note to: careers@pizzaexpress.com.

Le Caprice, The Ivy, J Sheekey

Established more than 20 years ago, Caprice Holdings comprises some of the best-known and respected restaurants in central London. They include Le Caprice, the Ivy, J Sheekey, Daphne's, Pasha and Bam-Bou. Caprice Events, which concentrates on private outside catering, also forms part of the group.

Why work for them? Staff benefits include competitive salaries for both front-of-house staff and chefs. Staff meals are provided on duty, an accommodation scheme is available for those relocating to London, and there are corporate rates for gyms and fitness facilities. Subsidised social events and activities are also organised. There is a strong policy on promotion from within.

In-house training: Front-of-house staff are recruited up to a waiter/chef de rang level and there is then a structured in-house training scheme. Chefs are recruited up to chef de partie and are also then offered great opportunities to further their careers within the group.

How many: six
Where: central London

Jane Revell, personnel manager
020 7557 6096

Loch Fyne

Loch Fyne Restaurants is a fast-growing seafood restaurant group which now has 22 restaurants in England and two more opening in June and July.

Why work for them? Loch Fyne offers the security of a large company while allowing its people to have a level of autonomy unusual in the restaurant sector. Employees are encouraged to be entrepreneurial, creative and to think for themselves as part of their development within the business.

In-house training: All new employees go through a planned induction programme - learning about the heritage of the company (Loch Fyne in Scotland) and the environmental philosophy of the business (use of sustainable seafood resources). Promotion is encouraged from within and there are training schemes for assistant managers and general managers as well as courses, talks and opportunities to develop specific skills.

How many: 23 - with more to come.
Where: Barnet, Bath, Beaconsfield, Brighton, (Bristol - July), Cambridge, Covent Garden, Chalk Farm, Egham, Elton, Fulham, (Guildford - June), Harrogate, Henley, Knowle, Loughton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Portsmouth, Reading, Sevenoaks, Twickenham, Winchester

Nichola Pickering
020 8404 6686

Ask Central

This pizza-pasta chain was recently bought by the owners of PizzaExpress but was originally started by the Kaye brothers in 1993. It now operates several brands, including Ask Pizza, Jo Schmos and Zizzis.

Why work for them? It's still growing and offers lots of opportunities for promotion in various styles of restaurants.

In-house training: Management training programmes include a six-month programme covering kitchen floor and financial training or a six-week fast-track scheme for graduates and those with experience. One-off day courses covering things such as time management and leadership are also on offer.

How many: 170
Where: Nationwide
Massimo Di Glangia Como, personnel and training manager
020 7431 5721

Greenich Inc

This Greenwich-based group was born in 2002 and since then it has invested heavily in renovation and improvement of its diverse portfolio. Their ethos is to provide the customer with good-quality produce and service.

Why work for them? A young and dynamic company, focusing on quality and attention to detail. It's still expanding and includes a house butchery and bakery.
In-house training: As well as on the job, there's the opportunity to attend different food seminars around the country and to gain a licensed retail qualification.
How many: Five

Where: All in Greenwich but a range of styles in terms of food, atmosphere and design.
Audrey McCracken, managing director
020 8305 3098

G1 Group

G1 is Scotland's largest privately owned restaurant group. It's a portfolio of stylish but value-for-money-led restaurants including Glasgow's Corinthian, the flamboyant Ara tapas bar and the chic Gong eaterie, also in Glasgow.

Why work for them? This is a fast-growing and large firm. Every function is in-house, including an award-winning graphics department. Students are offered flexible working.

In-house training: A range of programmes depending on position.
How many: 28
Where: Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee
Contact: Susan Wood, human resources
0141-552 4494

Marco Pierre White Restaurants

Having built a legendary reputation in the kitchen, MPW has gone on to create numerous celebrated London restaurants, including Mirabelle in Mayfair, the Criterion Grill in Piccadilly and Quo Vadis in Soho.

Why work for them? The restaurants are known for their high standards and White retains personal involvement throughout the group.

In-house training: MPW is a great believer in traditional apprenticeships, with the emphasis on technique, knowledge and practice.
How many: Seven
Where: Central London
Karine Lestarquit, human resources
020 7287 7337

Whitebread Restaurants

Why work for them? Whitbread is the UK's biggest restaurant operator, managing nine brands including Brewsters, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday's and coffee store Costa. Pub-restaurant brands include Beefeater and Brewers Fayre. The company also operates Travel Inn hotels and David Lloyd leisure clubs.

In-house training: The group has a chef apprenticeship scheme that enables anyone aged under 24 to join a three-year programme resulting in a nationally recognised qualification. TGI was also voted one of the best companies to work for in the FT survey 2003.

How many: 1,500-plus
Where: nationwide
Contact: HR director for relevant brand. See website for details.
020 7606 4455

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