Whitbread Plc is the UK’s largest operator of hotels, restaurants and coffee shops, with some of the UK’s most successful hospitality brands. Its largest division is Premier Inn, which is the largest hotel brand in the UK with over 750 hotels and 65,000 rooms. Its Costa Coffee chain has 3,401 shops across 31 countries and is the world’s second-largest international coffee shop chain behind Starbucks. Its other brands include the restaurant chains Beefeater, Brewers Fayre and Table Table.
As a large and growing organisation, Whitbread found themselves collating a huge amount of individual training requests across their full brand portfolio for a wide range of competency areas.
Their Learning and Development team, The Whitbread Academy, were spending a lot of time managing each individual’s training needs by organising in-house training courses. However, in order to run successful courses, they often needed to wait until they had a sufficient number of requests for each specific training area. This meant that employees’ learning needs were not met quickly and effectively. The lengthy processes and management of each individual’s training requests ultimately led to a huge strain on The Whitbread Academy’s time and resources.
The Whitbread Academy were keen to explore other ways that they could offer training support for each employee in a quick and effective way. They approached TrainingU as a local open course provider to support them with this process.
We worked closely with The Whitbread Academy to incorporate our open course schedule into their own internal Learning Portal which enabled individuals to book directly onto our range of Microsoft and Personal Development courses, choosing a date that suited their busy diaries.
We amended our online booking forms so that Whitbread employees had an extra field to enter their unique Budget Code which we could then add to the invoice. This made it a lot easier for The Whitbread Academy to cross charge their booking to the correct department.
We managed the whole booking process by liaising directly with each delegate, sending joining instructions, course reminders and post course correspondence.
We ensured that The Whitbread Academy were informed of each new course booking that we received so that they could ensure their records were updated accordingly. Copies of every post course evaluation was sent to The Whitbread Academy following each course as well as a detailed monthly report.
This new way of managing individual training requests was greatly beneficial to The Whitbread Academy in many ways. It enabled the training process to be agile and ensured that employees were able to quickly address their required development areas.
The added benefit that participants often expressed was that their learning experience was heightened because of the cross industry and cross functional attendees on each of the sessions. Delegates also found than an external off-site course meant that they could ‘escape’ their office environment which enabled a more productive and focussed learning experience.
The Whitbread Academy were especially pleased that they were now able to free up their time for other areas of Learning and Development.
“This was one of the best courses I’ve ever attended.”
“Informative and brings to life something I use on a weekly basis. Will be able to make the presentations feel more professional.”
“Perfect, couldn’t ask for better facilities/venue”
“Facilities and service was amazing. Would definitely book onto another course.”
“The training that we book is always excellent, and the feedback forms reflect this every time. Training U is very professional in all aspects of training and so is the administration that goes with each training course. All the team are very approachable, and they always go out of their way to help you, nothing is too much trouble for them all. I would have no hesitation in recommending Training U.”