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All Together Now: Chief execs to offer hospitality free advice

All Together Now: Chief execs to offer hospitality free advice

Fifteen leading chief executives offering three pieces of actionable advice each. As pitches for a new online business conference that’s pretty much hitting the nail on the head. But this is what you can expect at the new Three Things Summit taking place next week aimed at helping the hospitality sector plan for what is still such an uncertain future. Here Richard Siddle talks to Martin Williams, chief executive of Rare Restaurants, that includes Gaucho and M Restaurants, about what to expect.

Richard Siddle
20th April 2021by Richard Siddle
posted in Conference,

Practical, actionable advice for small businesses is what is being offered at the free Three Things Summit between April 26-28.

The Three Things Summit is being billed as an event designed to help the hospitality sector move from “crisis mode” to a time of “economic recovery”.

To do so it leaning on the support of senior business executives who will be sharing and offering their advice on how to get what have effectively been dormant businesses for much of the last year, back running on full throttle.

What All Together Now offers chief execs of small businesses

It is all the idea of the All Together not-for-profit organisation that has built up a network of senior cross-industry business executives, from hospitality to technology, retail and manufacturing, who all agreed to give up their time for free in order to help out small business leaders. They have collectively since been able to help over 250 small businesses (with turnovers of between £5m a year to £100m) in their covid recovery plans.

Martin Williams, who heads up Rare Restaurants, that includes the Gaucho restaurant group and his own M Restaurants, was one of the initial 30 business leaders who first set up All Together in April 2020, in direct response to the outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent shutting down of so many industry sectors.

Critical time

As he said at the time, business leaders were having to make “critical decisions” then that would determine whether they had the “ability to survive this unprecedented crisis”.

To help fellow leaders do so, Williams and the other cross-industry executives in the group looked to mentor relevant companies that might best benefit from their experience. It was felt offering independent “cross-sector” advice was the most effective way to provide real actionable advice, he says.

Martin Williams has been able to offer mentor advice to The Cheese Bar in the last year

“The quality of mentors is phenomenal as are the speakers at our summit,” says Williams. “In my very small own contribution over the past year, I’ve personally helped advise Pilau restaurants, The Cheese Bar and LIMA London along with making numerous cross-sector referrals of both mentors and chief executives requiring support.”

He adds: “The All Together’s collective of business leaders are on a mission to support small businesses to survive and then thrive. As the economy and society continues to reopen, SMEs are going to play a crucial role in supporting the UK’s recovery, and it is more important than ever that the private sector works together to tackle challenges and open new doors.”

Even before the pandemic Williams and Rare Restaurants was supporting a number of charities to help provide effective support to help those from difficult backgrounds find a way into the workplace.

From the work it was doing with Only a Pavement Away, to help those living the streets find jobs in the hospitality sector, to its partnership with the Clink charity that provides prisoners with the opportunities to gain new skills and qualifications in catering and horticulture whilst serving their sentence and then providing support to secure accommodation on their release.

It also has ties and raises money for the School of Hard Knocks, the fight against sex trafficking through Not For Sale campaign, and helping literacy levels through Room to Read.

Martin Williams in full flow as he virtually bikes his way from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for the School of Hard Knocks

Last month, for example, Williams and members of his team spent much of a weekend sitting on their indoor bikes pedalling the equivalent of riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for the School of Hard Knocks.

Then during Covid-19 Williams and his teams have worked hard to provide daily mental health support for their staff, as well as providing up to 1,000 meals a week for the NHS, using the kitchens in the group, at the peak of the pandemic. It then put on a special “Dinner of Appreciation” for 200 NHS staff and their partners at M Threadneedle St last September.

Leaders event

That practical support is now being offered as part of a free three-day online event between April 26-28 that has pulled together chief executives across the drinks, hospitality and other leading industry sectors. It includes key names such as:

  • Dame Sharon White, chair of John Lewis Partnership
  • Lord Karan Bilimoria, chair of Cobra Beer and president of the CBI
  • Greg Jackson, chief executive of Octopus Energy
  • Claudia Harris, chief executive at Makers
  • William Reeve, of Goodlord, Nutmeg and Dunelm
  • Jill Easterbrook, former chief executive at Boden
  • Douglas Lamont, chief executive of Innocent Drinks
  • Tim Lee, chief executive of Mindful Chef.
  • Edward Lee, chief executive of Cook
  • Cate Poulson, head of talent at Business Growth Fund.

Jamie Mitchell, founder and director of All Together, says its summit is designed to help businesses make the steps they need to be taking now. He explains: “The pandemic may be waning, but there are still tough times ahead for SMEs. We have pulled together an extraordinary group of chief executives to speak at the ‘Three Things’ Summit.”

He adds; “There has never been a more important time to ask for help, and the summit is about looking ahead and giving small business actionable advice on how they can thrive as the economy recovers. It aims to be the antidote to the typical pandemic webinar, and we want to focus on the positives by sharing some big but tangible ideas on how we can build back better.”

The summit will be broken into three key areas on each day: digital, workplace, and sustainability. Each day will consist of a keynote presentation, followed by a panel discussion on each topic with a range of All Together’s volunteer advisors.