We closed all of the pubs on Monday night, a first for us, we’ve never actually had a pub closed before because we said so, not flooded, fallen trees, gas leak, on fire, it was a strange felling, but it was for a very special reason, The Yummy Bash 2014 aka The Yummy Conference aka Celebrating Success.
In 2014 we literally doubled in size from a bank mangers perspective, our turn over doubled, our like for like sales have ended the year far and above industry leading & all because of one common theme – people.
More lovely customers came to visit us than ever before, more spent their hard earned cash, supported in this process by our people, us & some amazing experiences. Its been a year of highs & phenomenal lows, but we’ve stuck to the vision; “For every one thing that happens which is crap, we will do two things which are just plain fun”. For 2014 it seams to have worked.
I don’t think I was really prepared for the experience of the night though.
It’s one thing seeing a entire list of names on a monthly print out to approve a pay run, its quite another to see pretty much every single one of them in one cocktail club basement, together. It’s terrifying that we have 100+ kids relying on us for their futures, whether thats a short term fix, or a long term goal, greatly satisfying, but terrifying, from 3 loons in 7 years to a little army of nutters, love it.
When we started this crazy journey we had a number of dreams, some visions & a desire to create something unique & special in our industry. Looking back at 2014 I think we’ve upheld some of those goals & looking forwards I can see a whole lot more becoming reality. The most satisfying thing for me is that even though there are so many of us, I know something about all of my people. Might just be a nugget, but its enough to generate a smile, maybe thats why I’m Head of Being Awesome? New people that join us take sometime to see that is a reality, not lip service, & Monday night was the nicest thing for new & old to mix, so many faces coming back into my business, so much talent in one room.
Chris, my new head chef at The Somerstown probably made the night for me. He’s new in, some great ideas, a fab temperament & in just a few short weeks over a crazy period in the coffee house, he turned to me & said “I don’t know how you guys do it, you actually know everyone thats works for you, not just the names, but you know them, you actually know them, not just you, but all three of you?”
I generally believe we can double again in the next 18 months, which will mean probably doubling the people that work for us, but I’m convinced I can still know all of them personally, still keep true talent in Yummy no matter who comes shopping (yes agency people out there, we can see your activity & ‘introductions’). Our commitment to the kids, older kids & middle aged kids is really beginning to show now, Mummy P is doing a fantastic job in guiding Yummy in the right direction, nurturing & maturing talent & dreams for us, you can see how she & Tom (Daddy P) nurtured her little boy into the man he is today, I hope to do half as good a job with my boys.
But onto the business in hand.
Lucien started working directly for Ellie & I yesterday, he’s joining the A team, taking over designing the websites, #YummyTreats & the raft of associated cracking comms, which I’m looking forward to seeing. The nicest thing, he was the 6th person we employed in Yummy at the start, straight out of Sainsbury’s part time shelf stacking whilst doing his A levels, into The Wiremill. I love the fact he’s dipped in & out of Yummy for the past 7 years, through education, work, watching him grow into the fella he is today & now he’s back, in a position that suits him, perfectly. I hope to keep & develop him for many years to come, Yummy Design Co. its got a nice little ring to it!
So the best way to say goodbye to 2014? Do it in pictures, here’s to 2015, it’s going to be a cracking year if all our plans play out.
Best employer in the hospitality industry? You bet ya!