The Group’s activities prioritise our people, responsible retailing and charity.
As at the end of the reporting period, we employed over 2,900 people and we are committed to creating rewarding careers for all of them. Providing rewarding careers supports staff retention and that in turn provides a better skilled workforce and helps to ensure that our investment in training is focused on improving talent levels leading to improved customer service and business efficiency – a virtual circle. In the year up to the enforced closure of our venues in March 2020, team member turnover was 10% lower and management stability in bars had improved from 1.5 years to 1.8 years.
We aim to create defined career paths for every part of the business so that we maintain a strong pipeline of managers to lead and grow the business. Our detailed succession plan and talent management programmes have historically seen us fill over 80% of our management positions internally.
Whilst we seek to promote from within, we are also keen to introduce talented individuals into the Revolution Bars Group family and learn new ideas and different ways of doing things and in so doing broaden the skills and knowledge base of our teams. In April 2020, we launched our new careers website launched to attract the best talent and to celebrate our people and culture.
For bar-based staff who are ambitious to progress, career development paths are clearly outlined in My Career Portfolio (“MCP”), taking team members from first-line supervisor roles all the way up to General Manager and Area Manager positions. Twice yearly, we recruit new talent to our Academy programme, selected using an assessment centre selection process, and in so doing we ensure that the most talented individuals join our next cohort of future managers at a two-day development centre. This is followed-up by pairing each of them with a dedicated mentor and establishing a programme of regular reviews with their General Manager. Each year we hold our annual conference to set the direction for the year to come, create a strong network amongst peers and ensures that our purpose, vision and values are embedded into the day-to-day activity and behaviours with customers and fellow team members.
Our training utilises a variety of development tools including on-line technology to ensure a blended approach to meet all learning styles. We combine our e-learning platforms with face to face training to ensure all our employees are skilled on all the required areas from the day they join us. These programmes embed learning about our purpose, vision and values as part of the induction through to mastering a range of brand standards that ensure quality and speed of service are a focus for all venue-based team members. Across the last 18 months we have implemented Apprenticeship schemes to support both our Kitchen and Sales staff to further develop their skills and help them to achieve their potential. The operational challenges due to COVID-19 since March 2020 have resulted in a very high proportion of our teams being on furlough for the last quarter of the financial period. This ruled out classroom-based management development training courses, but we took the opportunity to use the time to overhaul our front-of-house team training. In May 2020, we launched our brand new Bar-Tender Career path, which includes four development levels and provides training in bite-sized chunks TikTok style allowing individuals to learn at their own pace whilst aiming to become a best in class bar-tender. During the year we also established our first ever wellbeing strategy and we trained 40 Mental Health First Aiders.
The Group is committed to equal opportunities and the elimination of discrimination, harassment and victimisation of employees. Of our workforce, 45% is female and 55% is male. We are active members of the Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure partnership helping to promote the Diversity and Inclusion agenda across our sector and during the year we established the Group’s first Diversity and inclusion strategy, which started with focus groups drawn from across the business.
During the year we are proud to have significantly improved the benefits for all our employees. Much was in direct response to feedback from our staff following our staff surveys (as referred to below) which revealed there were significant differences in opinions on zero-hour contracts. In April 2020, we provided the option for all employees to receive a minimum hour contract and 48% have taken advantage of this option moving on to different contract options of between 6 hours and 30 hours per week with the remaining 52% preferring to continue with zero hour contracts. Additionally, the following improvements have been made to other benefits:
- new maternity and paternity policies and best practice guides plus enhancements to leave - 12 weeks at 90% for primary carer and enhance paternity leave of 2 weeks at 90% pay;
- ‘Revs with Benefits’ – inclusive of a 24/7 GP helpline, telephone Employee Assistance Programme for all, cycle to work scheme, and retail discounts; and
- Salary finance – an on-demand payment and financial wellbeing platform providing employees quicker access to their earnings in case of emergencies
We also have a suite of reward and incentive schemes in place but due to the suspension of trade we agreed to defer certain bonus payments and suspend bonus schemes in the current year, with employees supportive of the measures in the circumstances. All employees may join the Group’s stakeholder pension plan, as well as obtain tax-efficient childcare vouchers and are entitled to a 50% discount on food and drink purchased within our bars. An Employee Assistance programme is provided to all managers to assist them with issues that might be impacting their well-being.
The Group’s performance as an employer is measured twice yearly through an independently administered “Quality of Life” surveys sent to every employee. These employee surveys are linked to our customer feedback platform to identify ways to not only improve employee engagement but to provide a direct link to how this can enhance how customers experience our brands. In the most recent survey, undertaken in March 2020, the Employee Net Promoter Score improved by 10 percentage points and engagement levels improved by 4% also. Following the furloughing of much of our workforce towards the end of March 2020, substantial efforts were made to keep in touch with all our employees through a series of newsletters, personal emails, virtual team calls and quizzes. In our ‘keeping in touch’ survey, undertaken in May 2020, 92% of respondents said they were proud to work for the business and 91%% said they felt the business had communicated effectively with them during the crisis.
The Group supports practices which promote responsible drinking and has established its own “Responsible Alcohol Retailing Policy”, supported by staff training and monitoring. The Group’s pricing models are set so as to avoid deeply discounting products. Events are promoted responsibly and are accompanied by individual risk assessments. A number of bars enter local “Best Bar None” schemes (run by local authorities and the police to encourage good behaviour in town centres), promoting a safe and secure environment. Test purchasing exercises are organised through Serve Legal to ensure that staff are exercising their judgement in the way that they are trained to do with regard to age verification.
The Group continuously aims to improve the quality of its food offering and provide customers with the required information about its products to allow them to make informed decisions about their food consumption. This includes providing allergen and calorie information for all dishes via our website. Products not containing gluten or meat are advertised on the printed menu. Full training is provided to bar teams to enable them to deal with customer queries and prevent cross-contamination. The Group sets out strict specifications for all products so that high standards of quality are met.
The Group continues to place greater emphasis on offering increased menu choices for vegetarians, vegans and those with food intolerances, given that this is important to an increasing proportion of our customer base.
As part of its social responsibility agenda, the Group extended its relationship with its nominated charity Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, to a second year; this charity having originally been selected by our employees who told us that homelessness was a matter of serious concern to them given the frequency with which they encounter those who are homeless when they leave our venues to return to their homes late at night. During the last year, more than £47,000 was raised for Shelter through various employee activities including sponsored events and through the Group promoting the donation of 20 pence from every hot beverage sold. Many of the Group’s head office employees participated in the Sleep Walk for Shelter sponsored event that was held in December 2019 in Manchester. Over the two-year period the Group has now raised over £84,000 for Shelter.
Additionally, during the enforced lockdown period, a small number of employees organised a virtual run from the Group’s northernmost site (in Inverness) to the southernmost site (in Plymouth). The event proved so popular that the run was extended to a third leg from Plymouth to the Nightingale hospital in London. Over 300 runners completed 1,639 KM over a 14-day period raising £10,595.41 that was shared between Shelter and the NHS. The event was notable not just for the money raised but the interest and motivation shown by staff from all corners of the Revolution Bars Group family during the lockdown period.
The Group also has a programme designed to promote other charitable activity within its workforce. The scheme, called “You raise it, we match it”, rewards funds raised by staff for other charities and matches what they have raised.
The Group endeavours to conduct its business in a way that is sympathetic to the environment. Where possible, glassware and bottles are recycled, as is cardboard packaging. All new sites and major refurbishment projects include fitting energy-efficient lighting and other control devices in order to minimise energy consumption. Smart meters have been fitted throughout our estate to allow monitoring hourly energy consumption on a daily basis in order to highlight unusual consumption spikes and to be able to benchmark individual site performance. The Group’s appointed energy consultant, Energise, facilitates the production of a suite of reports enabling bars to identify energy wastage; these reports are monitored both locally and centrally. The reporting is very useful for evaluating the impact of new energy saving initiatives, including investments in new technology and more efficient equipment.
Our SECR disclosure presents our carbon footprint across Scopes 1, 2 and 3, together with an appropriate intensity metric and our total energy use. The reporting of greenhouse gas emissions is for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. All of the Groups operations and based in the UK, and therefore all of the below figures purely relate to the UK.
Please see our Annual Report for full disclosure.
The Group has in place an anti-bribery and corruption policy that is approved annually by the Board and communicated through all heads of department to their teams. The policy requires transparency and the maintenance of an entertainment register that is regularly reviewed by the Board. Key suppliers have also been made aware of the policy.
The Group has in place an anti-slavery policy that has been approved by the Board. Suppliers are required to acknowledge the Group’s policy and their obligation to adhere to it as part of any contractual arrangements.
The Group does not have a formal human rights policy, but it is committed to conducting business with integrity and fairness.
This statement is made for the purpose of complying with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 ("the Act") and is to be interpreted in accordance with that Act.