26 NOVEMBER 2020 in Our Blog

Well, what a year 2020 turned out to be!

Who knew when we toasted the New Year on the 1st January that the months would unfold as they did? With every challenge we faced comes another opportunity to build and grow. As we look forward to 2021 we still must take time to reflect on the year that was, even if it was one that most would rather forget.

Our team remain the lifeblood of our family, we have been proud to support them throughout a challenging year and we have continued to create opportunities across our brands.

The KFC brand saw product highlights in the iconic Gravy Burger, the introduction of the Popcorn Bucket and the return of the Bites. After a brief closure and a chance for the teams to recharge their batteries, our coleeagues rose to the challenge and we gradually started to reopen. New processes, different ways of working and lots of chicken starved guests were just a few of the challenges that our teams overcame during this period. The pride and courage demonstrated by our teams was nothing short of inspiring, they played their part in feeding the nation. Whilst many of our many of our hospitality family were unfortunately being forced to close their doors, it gave us great pride to be able to offer employment and move forward with our apprenticeship program. The year has been topped off in style with recognition from the KFC brand for ‘Relentlessly Reliable Experiences’ acknowledgement for what the team have achieved; our drive to invest in and grow talent from within whilst continuing to invest in  new technology platforms that enhance our operations. We are incredibly proud!

Our Costa brand saw some exciting changes, the county wide restrictions saw the introduction of new ways to enjoy your favourite warm drinks and treats. Uber Eats and Click and Collect now support our guests in getting their caffeine fix no matter where they are! Our teams grew and developed with new training to ensure that every customer gets the 5-star service that we promise. We even introduced a Brand Capability Coach which has transformed the customer experience and training for our teams across the board. And as Christmas drew closer, we announced our collab with some festive favourites. Nothing says Christmas quite like chocolates and we were delighted to work with Quality Street, After Eight and Terrys to create liquid gold!

In Taco Bell 2020 was all about introductions. We were lucky to meet the newest member of our team after our People Capability Coach Kat gave birth to a lovely daughter. We introduced the UK to the American Icon the Cheesy Gordita Crunch; chewy, cheesy and crunchy all in one bite. And we were able to induct some of our team into new roles with internal promotions to Team Leader, Assistant Manager, Restaurant General Manager and People Capability Coach. Our team truly showed their resilience and their adaptability, after just a 6-week closure we joined KFC as some of the first hospitality players to open back up to serve the public with some craveable tastes. We supported the NHS with donations from our campaigns and free food for Key Workers in our local area. Our family has grown stronger and we look forward to expanding in 2021 to be able to offer even more communities the taste of Taco Bell.

2020 was the year of the Zoom Call, the Online Quiz and the Socially Distanced Elbow Pump. We laughed, we cried, we clapped, and we served thousands of guests fresh food and warm brews. We closed, opened, closed, and opened again. We ate out to help out, we ordered in and we took away. We wore masks but learned how to smile with our eyes. And most importantly we remembered that it’s not what we have in life that matters most, but who we have around us. We will never be able to thank our teams enough for the year that was, but we endeavour to show them our appreciation, in a new year of exciting opportunities for all the family. We are thankful for the lessons of 2020, but cannot wait to ring in the new year, here’s to 2021 being prosperous for all!

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