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RESULT! – We’re winners

Last night we were surrounded by Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s business elite at the Sentinel Business Awards.

We were up for the Training Excellence Award and were against some strong competition so when we won, it was incredible!

As an ecstatic team of 10, we all proudly approached the stage to take home our award.

Training is a huge part of our company values and we put a lot of time and effort into upskilling our staff so that they have the tools to progress.

On the job training is clearly a huge part of driving success at some levels of employment and our shadowing scheme for new members of staff works really well in settling them in after induction, but we have many avenues of training to employ.

Some of the training tactics we use:

  • Training trackers issued to all new staff to guide them through their initial months
  • Each venue has a dedicated in house trainer
  • We have two new area trainers that target areas of development specifically
  • Our managers have access to an online platform of training modules
  • We clearly outline what is expected in every job description and provide managers of every level with a training record which shows them the skills they need to progress
  • We run annual leadership management workshops
  • We also offer a work experience programme with Stoke-on-Trent college
  • We organise educational trips to suppliers for members of the team

By offering such a clear and well-managed training programme, our staff know what’s expected of them so they don’t feel overwhelmed, they are fully supported by our trainers and management team, and they are able to have aspirations to progress.

We have excellent staff retention figures and a happy workforce, so we know that our training programme is working.

We were thrilled to have been recognised for all of this thought and effort and we look forward to training and working with a further 140 of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s finest when we recruit again later this year.

If you want to join the Parogon Group visit: parogonpubs.co.uk/jobs/

Photo by The Sentinel

 
 

MEET THE TEAM – POPPY FLETCHER

Poppy Fletcher, senior assistant manager at Seven Stars, has climbed her way up the ladder with Parogon and has set her sights on a site of her own.

Name / title / how long have you worked for Parogon?

Poppy Fletcher, senior assistant manager. I joined the Parogon Group two and half years ago, originally with the Wayfarer.

What was your first position at The Parogon Group?

I initially started as a runner at the Wayfarer because I really wanted to join Parogon Group and I was willing to do any role. I didn’t actually get the job the first time I applied but I kept on trying for anything from pot washer to waitress which I think really showed my determination and that really fits with the company values.

How has your career developed at Parogon?

I’ve worked my way up the ranks starting as a runner polishing cutlery and crockery and then I became a waitress. From there I moved up to assistant manager before becoming senior assistant manager, all at the Wayfarer. Then the group opened the Seven Stars and I moved there as a senior assistant manager to give myself a new challenge. I wanted to manage a new team and give it a go for my personal progression.

Is the career progression what you expected with Parogon Group?

It far exceeds what I expected. They have massively helped me to get to where I wanted to be and they’re still helping me now.

What are the main benefits of working for Parogon Group?

One of the great things about working here is the progression opportunities. If you show willing they’ll give you everything you need to move forward. Not only that but they have great treats, like a voucher for your birthday and they take you out if your team has done particularly well. For example, last year the opening of Seven Stars was such a success we got a beautiful four course meal and then went to watch football in one of the boxes at Stoke which was amazing. We also just had an awards night celebrating those who do well and it was fantastic to be involved in that.

What do you most enjoy about working at Parogon Group?

It is generally a great company to work for. The directors know you by name and want to catch up with you on a personal level to see how you are, you’re not just another name on a piece of paper.

The people here are amazing. It really is like a family as we spend so much time together we form really great friendships and every day is different and fast-paced.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’d like to be managing my own site which feels very achievable here.

What are the main values of the Parogon Group in your opinion?

Of all the values the two that I relate to most are progression and passion. Here they help me to progress but that wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t have the passion.

What did you do before you joined Parogon Group?

I was a waitress for another chain before here but there were no progression opportunities. I really wanted to be a team leader or something more but they just didn’t have the structure that Parogon has.

 
 

MEET THE TEAM – SIMON HEMMINGS

The Block House’s new general manager, Simon Hemmings praises The Parogon Group for its progression opportunities.

Name / title / how long have you worked for Parogon?

Simon Hemmings, General Manager at The Block House. I joined the Parogon Group five years ago to help them open The Orange Tree.

What was your first position at The Parogon Group?

I was the Bar Manager at The Orange Tree for three years before moving to The Block House two years ago when it reopened to be the Deputy Manager.

How has your career developed at Parogon?

I became the General Manager in September 2018. I’ve had three positions in the group now and I’ve worked my way up to this position and earned it. They do promote internally in the Parogon Group which is great.

Is the career progression what you expected with Parogon Group?

There is a massive amount of opportunities in the company. I’ve got a really young management team who are all bi-products of the company. Lots of people move up internally which is a testament to the company.

What are the main benefits of working for Parogon Group?

The prestige, strong values, the food is good. It’s nice to know you work for a company with that kind of reputation. We get discounts as team members across the group which increase as we work our way up and the incentive scheme has increased. Employee of the Month has been introduced for both front and back of house which will culminate in an awards ceremony which is great for staff morale.

What do you most enjoy about working at Parogon Group?

There’s a massive team ethic involved in managing a restaurant so being the head of a team is very rewarding. Managing a restaurant is hard work but it is so rewarding, keeping the team happy.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I would say that in five years’ time I would hope to have progressed personally and professionally as much, if not more than I have over the previous five years.

What are the main values of the Parogon Group in your opinion?

As a company, we have just revisited our values and I think teamwork is a huge one. We have also done a lot with charity as we think it’s important to give back to the community and charity. We have a lot of staff here from the local village, we feel it’s important to employ locally. But to summarise teamwork, quality food, good service and drinks with a good atmosphere are core to us.

What did you do before you joined Parogon Group?

I studied to be an illustrator at Manchester Art School and got a job in a cocktail bar whilst studying. Due to this experience in the city, I then joined The Orange Tree.

 

 
 

CELEBRATING OUR TEAM!

We hosted our inaugural Parogon awards night this week, to celebrate and reward our staff for their dedication.

We held the event at Aston Marina and it was a huge success.

There were 32 awards up for grabs, five of which were site awards and the rest were individual, including the much coveted Employee of the Year for Front of House and Back of House.

Awards included; stand up to scrutiny, fundraising champions, harmonious tribe, customer is king, site of the year, manager of the year, people’s choice awards and the one everyone wants, employee of the year.

Front of house employee of the year went to Oliver Hosler-Rushton at the Blockhouse. He was described by his manager as: “Always incredibly positive. Pushes other members of the team and for drives sales incentive and upsells.”

Back of house employee of the year was awarded to Stephen Siriett from the Swan with two Necks. His manager said: “He push bikes from Burslem every single day, is never late or sick. And when he is at work gives 110%.”

The winners of the Employee of the Year trophies received an all-expenses-paid trip to Amsterdam. Other rewards included hampers, spa days and Michelin star restaurant experiences.

Working in hospitality means our team doesn’t get a traditional Christmas do, as it’s such a busy period for us. It’s important to us that we give our staff the opportunity to let their hair down, have some fun and feel appreciated too.

We decided to host the Parogon Annual Awards as a way to recognise those who go above and beyond and to really give the team a chance to dress up and have a great night.

It was brilliant, everyone looked amazing, morale was high and we all thoroughly enjoyed a well-deserved night.

If you want to join our amazing team, visit our jobs page!

 

 

 
 

WE’VE BEEN SHORTLISTED!

We’re thrilled to have been shortlisted for a Training Excellence award in this year’s Sentinel Business Awards.

We pride ourselves on training our staff and upskilling, rather than outsourcing and it’s earned us this much coveted shortlisting.

The winners will be revealed at a grand event on Thursday 28 March at the King’s Hall in Stoke. We’re taking a table and can’t wait to celebrate with the other amazing businesses of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire at the black-tie event.

The Sentinel describes the awards as: The highlight of the regional business calendar, this competition rewards the very best, the most successful and the most innovative firms from across our patch and acknowledges the cream of local businesspeople and entrepreneurs.

We have six core values which we promote to the staff that together embody what Parogon stands for as a brand and as a company. One of them is ‘Develop’ and how we define that in a nutshell. We have case studies showcasing where individuals have joined us as a kitchen porter and risen to head chef over a period of four years for instance. On the job training is clearly a huge part of driving success at some levels of employment and our shadowing scheme for new members of staff works really well in settling them in after induction, but we have many avenues of training to employ.

If you want to join the Parogon Group visit: parogonpubs.co.uk/jobs/

 

 
 

Parogon Group rewards hard working staff with glamorous awards celebrations

We’re excitedly preparing for our inaugural Parogon Awards Evening on Monday 4th February at Aston Marina, Stone.

The evening is to celebrate our staff, we want to reward them and recognise the hard work and effort they have given to us over the past year.

Since April 2018 we have been crowning an employee of the month. Each site has been putting forward a nomination for both the Front of House and the Back of House for the operations team to award the title to.

Each person who has won Employee of the Month has been automatically put into the running for Employee of the Year. Two winners, one for Front of House and one for Back of House will be revealed at the awards evening and will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Amsterdam.

There are nine people in the running for each department and there will also be an award for the Manager of the Year who will win a luxury spa break.

During the evening there will also be four people’s choice awards and five site awards which will include:

  • Stand up to scrutiny award
  • Harmonious tribe
  • Customer is king
  • Site of the year
  • Fundraising Champions – this will go to the site which has raised the most money towards the group’s Douglas Macmillan £50,000 pledge.

Working in the hospitality industry the festive season is one of our busiest times of the year, so we don’t have an opportunity to have a traditional Christmas do. This is our way of showing our staff we appreciate their hard work, that they will get rewarded for it and that we want them to have fun.

Here are our finalists for Employee of the Year

Front of House:

Back of House:

If you want to join the Parogon Group visit: parogonpubs.co.uk/jobs/

 

 
 

WE’RE IN THE PRESS AGAIN THANKS TO OUR TEAM

We invest in our staff because we know they are the key to running a successful business. Their happiness and development is important to us which is why we’ve entered The Sentinel Business Awards for the Training Excellence Award.

We’re pleased to have a lovely write up in The Sentinel about our commitment to our team and to show the staff that we appreciate their hard work and dedication.

We have 360 team members across six sites and are looking to grow that figure even further. By the end of next year, we’re hoping to employ 500 people locally and each individual will be mentored and trained so that they can work to the best of their ability and feel confident when carrying out their daily duties.

 

Read the article here

Stoke-on-Trent Live

 
 

OUR CHRISTMAS COCKTAILS HIT THE HEADLINES

We are pleased to announce that our Christmas Cocktail specials have been featured in an article in Bar Magazine, an industry leading publication after they contacted our in-house bar trainer Chris Turner for some input.

Mixologists from all of our venues have designed a range of cocktails to bring festive cheer to the Christmas period.

The list features the likes of The Gingerbread Man, combining coconut rum with ginger, pineapple and cream and the Toblerone Old Fashioned built with Reserva rum, almond sugar syrup, sea salt and bitters and creatively garnished with mini Toblerone and orange segments.

These sweet festive flavours alongside our classic bold presentation will be available all through December so please come down and enjoy a Christmas tipple with us.

To see the article in the magazine Click Here

 
 

OUR CHARITY PLEDGE CONTINUES

We are proud to announce that we been featured in Stoke-on-Trent Live for our continued support of The Douglas Macmillan Hospice! Across 6 restaurants we have raised an impressive £28,848 for the charity over the last 18 months through a variety of fundraising activities such as our recent Wild Warrior Mud Run!

We would like to take this opportunity to say and HUGE thank you to all our staff and guests for their continued support and charity! We pledge to continue our efforts and raise £50,000 by 2020!

To read the full article click the link.

Stoke-on-Trent Live

 
 

STAFFORDSHIRE HOT 100

The Sentinel has listed Parogon Pubs as one of the ‘Hot 100 Businesses’ for 2018.

Companies were chosen for a number of reasons such as current performance, great innovation, importance to the local economy and what the company and staff put back into local communities.

We are proud to have been recognised in Staffordshire and thank everyone within the business for their continued hard work in helping us remain successful.