One of the world's most respected chefs, Raymond Blanc, lent his support to this year's Hospitality Industry Trust's Emerging Talent Conference.
As keynote speaker Raymond Blanc shared his insights and experiences in the hospitality industry and how he developed Le Manoir aux Quat's Saisons into a world class business.
Through sheer hard work, he built his hotel around the modern guest by focusing on all areas of the customer journey including aesthetics, food, nutrition, sustainability, provenance and local values.
Delegates also heard from Josh Littlejohn, the entrepreneur behind Social Bite, a sandwich and lunch shop on Rose Street, Edinburgh which was set up as a Social Business. 100% of the profits go to charities and social causes and 25% of the staff are homeless. The company also feeds the local homeless community through their ‘Suspended Coffee and Food’ initiative which allows customers to pay in advance for anything from the menu, and a local homeless person can come into the shop to claim it.
The HIT Emerging Talent Conference, which took place at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, was a sell out with over 350 people attending. Hosted by journalist and broadcaster, Stephen Jardine, the event offered a unique opportunity for senior managers, students, recent graduates and leaders of the hospitality industry to meet and learn from one another.
The conference closed with the awarding of HIT Scotland’s Emerging Talent Scholarships and this year, to mark HIT''s 20th birthday, 150 scholarships were provided to people who show the potential to become future leaders of the industry.
The scholarships provide world class learning opportunities and experiences at home and abroad for new entrants to the industry up to senior managers. Scholarships include time spent in six star resorts in Dubai, Michelin Star kitchens across the UK and courses at the world renowned Lausanne Hotel School in Switzerland, Cornell University in New York and the Disney Institute in Florida.
Annually HIT's scholarship programme is estimated to return a million pounds to the industry in new skills, promoting best practice, improving staff retention and encouraging professional development.