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What it takes to 'Be a star' at Eurest

Eurest | Great people |  16 November 2016

Jemma in her chef whites.

Discover how our latest ‘Be a Star’ winner improved the menu, boosted team morale and increased her site’s profits by almost 200 per cent.

Meet the star.

What does it take to ‘Be a star’ at Eurest?

Consistently going the extra mile. Delivering results that are far beyond expectations. Encouraging and inspiring her team. Taking on every new challenge with a positive, ‘can do’ attitude.

Jemma Spellacy, Head Chef and Catering Manager at Port of Tilbury, does all this and more — and that’s why she’s one of our latest ‘Be a Star’ winners.

Jemma’s one of the many fantastic people that make our service what it is, and to celebrate that let’s look at how she got to where she is today.

Taking on Tilbury.

With 20 years’ experience in hospitality, Jemma was looking for a new challenge. That came in the form of Port of Tilbury — an immense site, stretching almost 7km, and comprising of multiple areas and function rooms — where she took on an under-performing unit, and, within a year, completely transformed the catering provision.

In a few months, she had completely turned the foodservice around — exceeding all expectations. Here’s how she did it…

The first six weeks.

After quickly familiarising herself with the site, Jemma hit the books and began an extensive audit of almost every aspect of the business. From personnel files to silver-service records, profit detection and due diligence (including all legal compliance), she looked into every aspect of the unit. And this audit formed the basis of her successful business management system.

She also recognised the need for better teamwork and training and was heavily involved in teaching and mentoring staff, making sure they understood the impact their commitment had on the overall team. She also became personally involved in improving the site — from washing down walls to scrubbing pots, Jemma showed the team the standard of work she demanded.

After putting in long working days, and overhauling almost every aspect of the unit, the site began to improve rapidly.

System overhaul.

Jemma’s thorough audit highlighted several areas for improvement that she addressed quickly.

One of the first major changes was the food offer. Armed with a better understanding of daily peaks and troughs, Jemma focused on providing customers with fresh, tasty food and more choice.

At the same time, she cut down on a number of unnecessary costs and, by taking the time to understand what customers wanted (and when), Jemma and her team were able to significantly reduce food waste.

With a far better food offer and an improved, five-star Environmental Health rating, customer satisfaction improved and footfall increased significantly.

Streamlining and restructuring the business hasn’t just been great for customers, though. It’s also had a profound impact on job satisfaction and enjoyment for the team. Seeing Jemma’s hard work has been an inspiration for the team, who now enjoy a friendly and productive atmosphere.

An award-worthy achievement.

In only nine months, Jemma improved Port of Tilbury’s profit protection score by 90 per cent — well above the company target.

She has also overseen an increase of profit before interest and tax of 174 per cent, a phenomenal achievement.

And an equally impressive but less measurable impact is the way Jemma’s taken on vast amounts of additional responsibility, cutting external costs by helping out herself and also inspiring her team every day.

And that’s why we think Jemma deserved her ‘Be a star’ award.



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