Black and White Hospitality Adds Support To IWD

The UK's fastest hospitality businesses, whose main shareholder is Marco Pierre White, is throwing its full support behind this year's International Woman's Day (IWD).

With a lot of its staff being female, Black and White Hospitality, which has nearly 50 UK-based restaurants, is keen to not only celebrate the contribution and success of its female members of staff, but also demonstrate that a career in hospitality is not only highly rewarding but can provide some exceptional opportunities.

Brandie Deignan, the recently appointed managing director of the fast-paced business is now keen for more women to consider working and developing their careers in the sector.

Having worked her way up the career ladder with some of the country's prime corporate businesses, including British Airways, Tesco and Whitbread, Brandie is a prime example of a woman forging a successful path in the competitive corporate world.

She said: "When people think of hospitality, they instantly think of waiting staff or house-keeping. The fact is there is a huge range of opportunities within the sector and is something we as a business are keen to highlight.

"At Black And White Hospitality, we have some exceptional female members of the team whether it's front of house, kitchen, marketing, finance, field operations, administration or HR. Without them, we wouldn't exist and I'm keen to make sure we encourage others to think they can achieve great things in the sector. Half our board is female and our executive operating team within MPW Restaurants also has a fifty, fifty gender split."

Jennie MacKenzie, Black And White's head of training and development is a great example of someone who not only has vast responsibility but has made a huge success using her skill and expertise. With nearly 50 restaurants spread across the UK, her remit is both challenging and rewarding in equal measure but is something she relishes.

Jennie said: "I've been working in the hospitality sector for over 20 years and I'm extremely passionate about guest service. I love my job and as head of training and development my role is instrumental in shaping and implementing the training and development strategy for the Marco Pierre White franchised restaurants. I thoroughly enjoy my job and love the fact that every day is different!

"Some days I can be developing strategic documents, while other days will see me designing training courses, delivering face-to-face training and supporting with new restaurant openings. But no matter what I am doing, every day is equally rewarding. I thrive on supporting our team members within the franchised restaurants in delivering inspiring service and growing their career in hospitality."

Chloe Guy, who is the team leader at the New York Italian restaurant at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport said: "There are really loads of opportunities within the hospitality sector. What I enjoy is being in a team where I'm able to be myself and being able to show my personality off to the customers which makes them laugh during their experience.

"It makes it a lot more enjoyable in a place of work, which is definitely evident in Marco's and the Holiday Inn."

One area Deignan is keen to get more women involved in is in the heat of the kitchen. She added: "Being a chef is perceived as being predominantly the realm of the male cook, but that is changing with more and more woman taking up the challenge of running a kitchen.

"I'm keen to redress the balance of women working in hospitality and to break the glass ceiling. My view is there are no barriers, no boundaries and there's no doubt that the sector, particularly in the kitchen, can be notorious for its relentless work ethic and long hours.

"But anything can be achieved with the right mindset and attitude and is why more women should look to work in hospitality as I believe we have the mindset, ability and drive to succeed."

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