My name is Clare Hepburn, I am the Chef Manager at Watling Court in Gravesend, the new Abbeyfield Society Kent's Assisted Care Home.
I cater currently for 41 tenants and am waiting for the remaining 20 or so to move into their beautiful modern flats. We have been open for business since October and are about to host our Opening Ceremony on the 27th of April.
Since arriving back in the UK in 2010, I worked for a branded company who shall remain anonymous for many reasons! This company was only interested in results. No input, pitiful training sessions, and had a reputation for not listening to either their staff or their members, it was a grim unhappy work environment and as you can expect, every month there was a leaving do to attend. So when the Advertisement came through for a Chef Manager on the Caterer I grabbed it by the throat, harassing my poor recruitment guys until I got my interview and consequently one of the best lifestyle changing catering jobs ever.
I had worked previously in New Zealand as a Chef Manager at Toyota New Zealand, a job which I loved- working for a smallish contract catering company- Spotless Services, who provided both cleaning, catering and security contracts throughout New Zealand and Australia. They were at the beginning stages of realising that developing existing staff leads to better successes at ground level- happier workers= happier clients= client and contract retention. However they hadn't quite nailed the simplest of things- internal stability through nurturing of your staff.
I can tell you all now that in comparison I have NEVER worked for a company who carry such a strong and firm financial commitment to their biggest investment- us -through the enhanced training courses and support that they offer.
It is so refreshing to see an up and coming company value their staff with such commitment and obvious intent on furthering their staff's futures within the structure of the business.
I feel as an employee of Caterplus I now have a duty to commit myself to assisting my own staff members to reach their goals and full potentials and by also training and enriching their learning thanks to the positive work environment they have implemented throughout the company.
I feel I can pick up the phone and will always be helped by either my amazing devoted area manager Robin or the team in Warrington or Milton Keynes without made to feel inadequate in any way.
I recently had the opportunity to put faces to the names when I went on my Managers Induction, which further cemented my trust in this company's philosophies and missions and future business plans.
I feel very fortunate to be a part of a growing and nurturing company who value their employees and have really made a difference in my life and has redeemed my faith in contract caterers!
I actually enjoy coming to work knowing that I have a whole team behind me not only my own staff but also the behind the scenes team who make our work so much easier!