Off to Work - Latest News
Christmas can't wait at Bullring Birmingham
We were delighted to support the Bullring Birmingham this month with their late night shopping promotional campaign #bullringcantwait. Our team were helping to distribute the seasonal spirit with goody bags, water hydration for the serious shoppers and mall guides. Open from 10am-10pm, Monday-Friday through until 23rd December, Bullring Birmingham is well and truly in the festive groove!
We have been thrilled to support many other exclusive brands recently in addition to Birmingham’s iconic Bullring; Swarovski, Jo Malone, Louis Vuitton and Joe & Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn to name just a few! We have continued to develop our promotional training and look forward to working closely with our luxury brand clients to develop their hospitality and promotional programmes.
Posted 10 December 2013
Off to Work Birmingham at the Good Food Show
Our Birmingham team continue to go from strength to strength. We were thrilled to support our partners at the NEC recently in November, supplying over 60 staff per day for the Good Food Show, including team leaders, waiting staff, bartenders, cashiers and porters. One of the culinary highlights of the year for us, our team were particularly honoured to be working in the MasterChef restaurant, receiving great feedback from the management team and guests alike. We are already looking forward to next years fantastic food extravaganza...
Posted 5 December 2013
Off to Work Platinum with Urban Caprice & Estee Lauder
We were delighted to provide our Platinum waiters for the launch of Lipstick Envy by Estee Lauder. Hosted by Urban Caprice at David Gill Galleries, our team complemented the style and branding of the event, sporting wonderfully quiffed hair and a slick black and white look. The look was complemented by the models planting kisses and lipstick marks on our boys cheeks which they took in their stride! It was a fantastic event for all concerned and the media ripple for our client post event has been great to see.
Posted 3 December 2013
Events Industry says Goodbye to Pippa da Cunha
After 22 years of service at Victoria & Albert Museum the events industry came together to say goodbye to industry stalwart Pippa da Cunha on Tuesday 26 November. Pippa has been an amazing driving force at the Museum since 1991, during which time business has grown enormously and the Museum has established itself as one of the best places to have events and one of the most forward thinking Museums. The occasion was extremely glamorous, with Pippa being given a suitable send off, and our team dressed to match. An event we were delighted to be involved with.
Posted 30 November 2013
New OTV Demos: How to Make Flat Whites, Cocktails, Hair Buns and More
Events and hospitality staff can now learn new basic skills in our brand new collection of bite-size training videos.
They’re free to access via our online video channel OTV and we’ve created them to meet demand for more interactive learning tools from our Off to Work Training Academy. See our Off to Work trainers walk you through simple, step-by-step instructions for making lip-smacking cocktails like the rum Daiquiri, the Gin Collins and the Bloody Mary. You’ll also learn about the history of the spirits, where they come from and what they’re best used for.
See barista Thomas “Ricco” Reid brew and pour a perfect ‘flat white’ as he explains how this popular Australian coffee style differs from the latte. Learn how to box a table too, with smart tablecloth folding tips from Terry Jones, before perfecting elegant up-do, the hair bun – an event grooming staple made easy by Annie Jones and hair model Susanna Born.
Other videos in the series include tips on how to open and pour wine and champagne, how to tie a Double Windsor knot and how to clear five plates from a table.
These new video instalments in the Off to Work training library are produced to support the extensive classroom and practical hospitality training we provide our team and clients. While an open resource for all in the hospitality industry, they help to deliver the exacting standards we believe in and enable amazing experiences for our clients and their guests. Download or view the complete series online.
Posted 7 November 2013
Supporting SSE Hydro Glasgow
The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow has recently opened their fantastic new venue, the SSE Hydro, alongside their current premises on the River Clyde in Glasgow. The new venue offers a truly outstanding experience for guests, built specially for concerts. With a capacity of 13,000, it is the largest such venue in Scotland and offers clear sightlines, excellent acoustics and a clean yet chic, modern environment for visitors.
Having worked with Levy Restaurants for many years in London, we were delighted to be able to support the SSE Hydro in their opening concerts, providing a range of experienced staff including hospitality, kiosk staff and bar tenders. Our Scotland team worked alongside the SECC's own staff to work out the best possible processes for the new venue and ensure a smooth and succesful opening for this spectacular venue.
We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with The SSE Hydro in the coming months, particularly with the excitement of the Commonwealth Games in 2014!
Posted 6 November 2013
Off to Work at the International Bar & Restaurant Design Awards
Off to Work were delighted to support the International Bar & Restaurant Design Awards 2013 on 12 September 2013. The Farmiloe Building looked truly fantastic and the award winning designs were truly awe inspiring.
Many congratulations go out to Foster & Partners for their award for the Overall Best Bar. We look forward to a glass of fizz or three in this gorgeous space in the new ME Hotel. Additionally congratulations go to Alfred & Constance at Derlot for the Best Bar design in Australia & Pacific who our Director of Operations, Robert Persson, was very proud to hand their award to.
This is the second year in a row Off to Work have been chosen to be the staffing provider ensuring the look and feel of the staff matches the quality of the designs. To find out more about awards please visit their website: http://www.restaurantandbardesignawards.com.
London Irish Centre’s Titu comes highly commended at Kitchen Porter of the Year 2013
Off to Worker Titu Habibur Rahman has received recognition from some of the hospitality industry’s most influential names, for his excellence as kitchen porter at the home of our dedicated training academy, the London Irish Centre (LIC) run by Sliced Events.
His high commendation by the esteemed panel of judges of the inaugural Kitchen Porter of the Year Award is the result of a competition designed to hunt out the industry’s best KPs and uncover the secrets of finding, developing and retaining the people that form the backbone of a busy kitchen.
Judging for the award, sponsored by warewashing systems manufacturer Winterhalter, took place on Wednesday 12th June and amongst the panel were Caterer & Hotelkeeper managing editor Amanda Afiya, James Horler, chief executive of 3Sixty Restaurants, Nick Vadis, executive chef, Compass UK & Ireland, Liz McGivern, director of HR and training at Red Carnation Hotels, and Jeff Galvin, chef patron, Galvin Restaurants.
Stephen Kinkead, managing director of Winterhalter and also one of the judges, said, “Titu was not the overall winner but I’m pleased to say he was one of the top 3. We were so impressed with his nomination that we decided to create a highly commended category which only he and one other have been awarded. The panel chose the winner based on their huge responsibilities and overall passion for the catering industry. More importantly the panel felt that the individual might act as a beacon to other KPs and illustrate the fantastic opportunities that are open to them, but also how a KP can develop their own niche in the kitchen.”
Titu’s nominator, Tarah Cunynghame, venue manager at the London Irish Centre, added, “In the last 12 months, we have transformed our food and beverage offering by bringing all catering in-house. We put our KP Titu forward for the award for his hard working approach. He is a key member of the team and although his role is sometimes not glamorous, by nominating him for a national award, we hoped others might recognise the importance of a back of house role and know that it is very much recognised as a critical part in delivering the overall service we offer clients here at the LIC.”
The overall KP of the Year winner was Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s Bartek Malek.
For more information on Sliced Events at The London Irish Centre, please contact commercial manager Neil Preston at Neil.firstname.lastname@example.org, call 020 7428 2081, or visit www.slicedevents.com.
Royal Windsor Horse Show documentary proves OTW service is fit for The Queen
Off to Work was incredibly proud to serve the Queen again this year at her all-time favourite annual event, the Royal Windsor Horse Show (8th-12th May 2013), so what a thrill it was seeing behind-the-scenes documentary ‘Royal Windsor’s Big Week’ air on ITV1 on Tuesday 18th June.
TV cameras followed our back-of-house operations staff throughout the week, conducting interviews with a number of Off to Work staff members, all with the purpose of revealing to the nation what it takes to pull together one of the most celebrated events on the British calendar. The Queen has never missed a show over its 70-year history and the highlight of this year’s show was an anniversary dinner for The Queen and Duke and over 20 VIP guests.
Serving dinner to the Monarch and her guests takes exceptional skill and poise, something which the documentary highlighted Off to Work takes very seriously. “They’re not supposed to speak to her [the Queen] or interrupt her if she’s talking to somebody,” said Bethan James, catering director for Payne & Gunter, as the waiting staff were shown enacting dinner service and walking repeatedly through the motions of presenting dishes to the royal table.
“It’s just about being mindful that they’re actually serving a royal. It’s just an element of courtesy really,” said Bethan. None of our 30 waiters had ever served the Queen before, but with extensive training in the lead up to this show and with experience brought from many other high profile events, they successfully delivered outstanding service and the feedback from both the Royal family and their guests was exemplary.
This year was the first year head chef John Brodie had prepared a royal dinner, so he was understandably anxious that front of house could deliver his creations– which included burnt onion panna cotta with asparagus, then guinea fowl – with care.
View the programme, available for a limited time, here www.itv.com/itvplayer/royal-windsor-s-big-week/series-1/episode-1-royal-windsor-s-big-week
June 2013 - Taste of London
This was the 5th year of supporting this great fun yet sophisticated event in Regents Park.
With all the top chefs such as Michael Roux Jnr., Georgio Locatelli and Antonio Carluccio showing off their culinary skills and the opportunity for guests to sample some of London’s top restaurant in one place. We were delighted to support in the VIP Bar, the private hospitality areas and also Waitrose prize winners private enclosure.
The team helped with delivery of food, product sampling, cooking demonstrations and running the VIP Bar. Being the show’s 10th Anniversary we were very proud to be supporting again, helping to make the show the huge success it was.
June 2013 - Aegon International Tennis
May 2013 - Summer Events
Summer is always a wonderful season for the events industry, with guests and venues alike making full use of outdoor spaces to create some really unique and spectacular occasions.
We have already worked at some truly beautiful venues, and with the summer seemingly here to stay we are receiving more and more requests for special outdoor events teams to not just provide service but also to really enhance the entire experience for guests - whether that's through designing refreshing summer cocktails or donning a range of unique summer uniforms.
We wanted to share a couple of photos from our recent event with It's The Agency, who put on a really fantastic Secret Garden-themed event at Stationers' Hall in London. With a jaunty flower as part of the uniform, and glistening colourful cocktails, we may just have allowed ourselves to believe that summer was properly here!
April 2013 - Event School 2013
Building on the success of last year’s school, Event School 2013 brought together renowned professionals from successful creative businesses to deliver a practical, workshop-led programme focusing on specific areas of the event planning and delivery cycle.
From a designer ‘mocktail’ mixing masterclass with Sejuiced and a lesson in wine buying for events with Blanco & Gomez, to workshops in food styling and event storytelling through photography with Red Photographic, room theming and lighting with Wise Production, plus content marketing and event communication tips from Custard Communications, Event School 2013 is aimed at event planners, event coordinators and managers, event agencies, caterers, F&B staff, chefs, marketing staff and business development teams.
Highlights of the programme include a networking lunch and concurrent panel debate on ‘Menu design for events’, featuring Keri Moss, winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2012, Nick Mead, director at Eden Catering, Vicky O’Hare, managing director of Party Ingredients and Gerald Aberdeen, executive head chef for Table Talk. These expert menu developers and chefs will share tips and tricks for planning a show-stopping selection of dishes that are not diluted by challenging dietary restrictions.
“We’re pleased to welcome our clients, our team and all events professionals to attend any or all of the Event School’s workshops. We’ve designed workshops to be intimate, with a cap on 20 people, to ensure you can enjoy a focused and interactive learning environment,” said Philip Atkins. The exceptions to this are the educational, networking lunches.
February 2013 - Biff Bash
February 2013 saw us host our annual client party at the London Irish Centre. This year, our theme was all about providing an authentic and relaxed Irish hospitality experience where our clients could feel at home and celebrate the year that was 2012.
The London Irish Centre, our dedicated Training Academy in Camden, provided the perfect venue with an outdoor theme and market stalls serving up a range of Irish cuisine, from DIY soda bread to Irish ales. We were also lucky enough to have a demonstration from the three times World Champion Ceilidh dancers who were truly amazing and Elegant Entertainment kindly provided a fabulous singing waiter act and fantastic classic Irish singer.
Well Dressed Tables, SLR and All Safe and Sound were all a massive help in bringing the look and feel together with haystacks, gingham cloths and great outdoor look lighting all at the fore.
With the opportunity to “pimp your own bun” (bake your own breads!), numerous live cooking stations, 20 different beers and ciders, a potato sculpting competition and two Irish police to ensure guests were not behaving themselves the occasion was simply a chance for managers and staff at all levels to have a bit of fun.
We were so grateful that so many clients joined us on the night giving us the chance to say thank you for 2012 to their teams at all levels be they managers or kitchen porters. We equally got an enormous buzz from all the kind words of thanks the next day and we look forward to delivering an equal (or hopefully better!) event to our client teams next January.
"The format of the evening was fun, refreshing, entertaining, humourous and the Irish grub was just like fine cuisine. I am not a beer enthusiast by any mean but I was taken aback by some of the ales on offer to complement the oysters, the blinis and other creations. As to the brown bread and Irish whiskey ice-cream, it was just worth the trip to Camden Square if only to get a chance to get a taste of this amazing concoction."
-A very kind email from one of our clients the following morning.
January 2013 - Events to the Future
On the 29th January Off to Work were delighted to support our friends Dish and Merlin for “Events to the Future” at Sea Life London Aquarium. The event was an opportunity for event buyers to see the fantastic facilities at this newly refurbished venue while the theme showed off retro chic married with the newest technology.
This technology showed the ability to extend the lifespan and reach of events through harnessing social media opportunities live at events. Equally it highlighted the opportunity to create interactive opportunities and audience co-creation of the event experience.
The catering complimented the retro chic feel of the occasion while showcasing different and innovative ways of providing stand up food to events.
Off to Work were delighted to work with all parties involved on the event to ensure a fabulous guest experience with exemplary and friendly customer service all provided with a smile and a slight tongue in cheek approach. Our team had great fun in the futuristic outfits provided for the occasion and we were proud to represent the brands involved. To see from this great occasion please do view the video below: