An award-winning restaurant has been hailed as a class act in the region’s hospitality sector after underlining its commitment to food hygiene.
Staff at 1884 Wine & Tapas Bar have shone in a succession of awards schemes and demonstrated that they are taking nothing for granted by turning their restaurant into a classroom and topping up their training with East Riding College.
The team seized the opportunity before Christmas of completing fully-funded food hygiene and customer service courses offered by the College. Now key members of kitchen and front of house staff have progressed to higher level courses to ensure that the restaurant stands out as one of the best in the business.
Jaqui Graham, Short Course Provision and Development Co-ordinator at East Riding College, said:
This restaurant is at the top of the industry and is setting a great example. I have been in the sector for 17 years and I have never seen a business embrace training so willingly. A lot of restaurants won’t even come forward to take the funded training but 1884 Wine & Tapas has gone beyond that and is paying for the next level.
1884 Wine & Tapas Bar opened in 2015 next to Humber Quays on the quiet side of Hull Marina. Less than a year later it won the restaurant category of the Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards (REYTAs) and followed up by being shortlisted last year. It was also a finalist in 2016 in the White Rose Awards and last year it won the restaurant prize in the inaugural Hull Lifestyle Awards.
Deborah Spicer, Director of the restaurant, has always achieved the highest score of 5 in the food hygiene ratings but still decided to sharpen her team’s skills after reading of culinary catastrophes across the region, with some outlets scoring zero.
We visited East Riding College’s training restaurant last year as part of a business supper club and we were really impressed with them, so it made sense to bring them in to top up our training.
Jaqui set out the restaurant seats in classroom style and used a laptop and projector to deliver Level 3 courses covering food safety, customer service and auditing. The partnership worked so well that Deborah has now paid to progress to Level 4 Food Safety in Management, with a smaller group gathered around the restaurant’s VIP table.
The College provided funding to cover the cost of the Level 3 courses, which was more than £5,000. We invested in staff time and in closing the restaurant for one day every week while we completed the training.
“Jaqui helped our people in terms of greater awareness and confidence around food hygiene and also such issues as dietary requirements and allergies. Hygiene issues have been very high profile in the media and we take it very seriously. That’s why we did the training and that’s why we have paid to progress to Level 4.”
East Riding College runs a variety courses for business at its sites in Beverley, Bridlington and Hull as well as in company premises.
“We take the training to the companies because their business has to keep working. We work with restaurants, pubs and other food outlets and there is funding available but it is unusual to find a business which will make this level of commitment.
I first came here as a diner about 18 months ago and I was bowled over. The food is excellent and the staff are attentive but not intrusive. It’s one of the best places I have ever been to. But it doesn’t matter how good you are, there is no room for complacency.
“There is a moral, not just legal, obligation to ensure that people who buy and consume food are safe and with the funding available there is no excuse for getting 0 out of 5. I’d encourage any businesses who need this kind of training to speak to the College whilst the funding is available – we can help.”