Hospitality House has opened for business following a year-long redevelopment campaign that gained funding from a number of catering equipment suppliers.
The state-of-the-art training and meeting venue, which is the new London home of the Hospitality Guild, was officially launched this week by Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills and Enterprise.
Hospitality House pulled in £3m through public investment, industry sponsorship and in-kind support, with major funding received from the Skills Funding Agency and founding partners such as Compass Group and Hilton Hotels.
Catering equipment suppliers heavily involved the project include Gram, Rational, Electrolux and Valentine. They have installed their technology at the venue and agreed a sponsorship deal whereby they will refresh their products each time an upgrade becomes available.
Valentine’s donation included 20 induction units for the site’s kitchen pods and a twin fryer, a gesture worth almost £50,000 based on current list prices.
The Guild was established in 2012 as a unifying voice to simplify professional development within hospitality, with funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.
Hospitality House features a reception, bar, cellar and café training areas, flexible meeting space and a stunning demonstration and training kitchen with individual cooking pods.
The management of the building’s facilities is being done through an innovative partnership with Barnet and Southgate College, giving students first-hand experience of the daily running of a commercial venue, while hundreds of students will undertake part of their training within the building.
David Byrne, principal of Barnet and Southgate College, said: “Hospitality House is undoubtedly one of the best catering and hospitality training facilities in London, allowing our students to be taught in an environment using the latest interactive technology within a state-of-the-art kitchen, fully working cafe, bar and cellar.”
Fast food chain McDonald’s played a pivotal role in bringing the project to fruition by donating the building housing Hospitality House rent-free for seven years.
Jill McDonald, president and CEO of McDonald’s UK, said: “As a major employer in the hospitality industry, we know how important customer service is to the more than three million people who visit McDonald’s every day. We are delighted to support Hospitality House in helping to drive up service standards across the entire sector.”
To view pictures of the launch event, visit our online photo gallery here.