That will be followed by the NACC’s Training & Development Forum, so conference season is well and truly upon us in the public sector catering world - having already had the HCA and ASSIST FM conferences earlier in the year.
I am always struck by the incredible amount of synergy across the various sectors of public food. We all face similar issues, pressures, regulations, changes, opportunities and, of course, threats to our businesses. So it is vital that at this sunny time of year, we take a breath and spend some time together with our fellow caterers, regroup and recharge those professional batteries.
We come together not only for learning and development, hearing inspirational speakers, industry leads and, in some cases, our food heroes, but we also come together to socialise, to listen to each other, to download and of course to catch up with friends and colleagues old and new. This helps to create those vital networks that enable us to lean in and gain support when we need it most from those that understand the best.
I always think to myself that we, as caterers, are not in competition with each other in the public sector and so we can beg, steal and borrow ideas from one another and deliver better products and services as a result.
When we have strong network connections, we can learn about the limitations, what went wrong and what can be done better to achieve success.
Products and services are not just delivered by us on the front line, of course, we have to work hand-in-hand with our suppliers and partners and where we can, get as close to the farm gate as possible to ensure our food is the best quality and delivers the most sustainable options to our customers.
Our supply chain is rich with great innovation and entrepreneurialism. Suppliers work across all sectors and can translate products from one setting into another with huge success, so working as a team delivers huge dividends and rewards.
As public food architects we create hundreds of thousands of plates daily, so we need great products, awesome people and a huge knowledge base to ensure we keep abreast of change and development within the world of hospitality.
So do take time to attend your association’s conference or a regional meeting and listen, share and learn. I guarantee a little personal investment from you will pay back by the shovel load and you will not only be positioned to do better business, you will have empowered others along the way.
So get involved and join your public food family, together we are strong and our plates will keep our nation healthy and mighty.
Happy summer to you all and I hope that as well as conferences and events, you will all get a well-earned break at some point and hopefully the sun will get her hat on for you!