Situated opposite East Finchley tube station in North London, the building features a reception, bar, cellar and café training areas along with flexible meeting spaces and a demonstration and training kitchen with individual cooking pods.
Hospitality businesses to implement their own training using the facilities or via interactive technology that can stream live demonstrations, conferences and events around the world.
McDonald’s has played a pivotal role in bringing the project to fruition by donating the site to the Hospitality Guild rent-free for seven years. Speaking at the launch, the fast food giant’s UK chief executive Jill McDonald 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.”
Career of choice
Public investment, industry sponsorship and in-kind support for Hospitality House totals over £3m, with major funding received from the Skills Funding Agency and the Guild’s founding partners - Compass Group, People 1st, City and Guilds and Hilton.
Simon Vincent, chair of the Hospitality Guild and EMEA president for Hilton Worldwide, added: “We are indebted to the incredible support we have received from our founders and sponsors to be able to launch this amazing facility.
“We strongly believe that Hospitality House will be a game-changer for training delivery and sets a template for collaborative project development that could help to significantly improve perceptions of hospitality as a career of choice, and the value employers place in training their teams.”
Leading hospitality suppliers including Matthew Clark, Gram, Heineken, Sky, Rational, Claremont Group, Zonal and Electrolux have installed technology and equipment at Hospitality House under a sponsorship agreement whereby they will refresh their products each time an upgrade becomes available.
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.
Barnet and Southgate College principal David Byrne 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 café, bar and cellar.
“Barnet and Southgate College is proud to be working in partnership with the Hospitality Guild and the initiative is integral to one of our key aims as a college, which is to improve our students’ employability.
“The cutting-edge facilities will give our students the opportunity to train in a real life environment, whether that’s to become a chef, barista or embark on any career in hospitality.”
Video: Inside Hospitality House
Leading employers are already using the building, with Scott Freeman, chef qualifications manager for Compass Group UK & Ireland, adding: “The facilities at Hospitality House are fantastic – it would be impossible for anybody to leave Hospitality House without feeling excited about the industry.
“We are very proud to have been the first people to make use of this facility.”