Service with a smile 21 February 2020 Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
In this week's issue...Service with a smile Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
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The Caterer

Inside track

27 July 2004
Inside track

What business is it in?
The budget hotel business.

What brands does it operate? Its parent company, Permira, operates roadside restaurant chain Little Chef.

Where is its head office and area of operation? The company has its head office in Castle Gate Way, Dudley, in the West Midlands.

What's its form? Set up in 1985 with the launch of a 20-bedroom lodge in Staffordshire, the chain has since spread across the UK and Ireland from Inverness to Plymouth. In January 2002 it was sold by Compass to capital firm Permira for £712m.

What sort of employer is it? The company has about 3,000 employees looking after 14,000 bedrooms at 245 owned or managed hotels. It runs a reward system for employees who nominate friends or family to work at the chain. It recruits its staff through regional and trade press, as well as holding recruitment days and using JobCentres and recruitment agencies.

The company puts all staff through an initial four-week training programme followed by on-the-job training. It hires specialists for certain roles, but encourages further training to aid in the advancement of individuals' careers. The company is planning to develop a graduate recruitment scheme soon.

How does the future look? Travelodge is finalising plans to enter into a sale-and-leaseback plan that would raise £400m to spend on accelerating the roll-out of its brand. It plans to open a new lodge every 10 days in 2005, in city centres and near tourist locations.

Did you know? Last October the company launched a special half-hour room rental offer to help sleepy motorists recharge their batteries. The 30-minute period has subsequently been extended to one hour - although the offer isn't open to couples!

Not to be confused with… Travel Inn, the UK's largest budget hotel operator, which is owned by Whitbread.

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