| 38 mins

Episode 74: Nurturing hospitality's greatest asset

On the podcast today we’re kicking off a feature on talent management to understand how the hospitality industry can protect its key asset - people.


In part one we focus on people strategy and find out how leading hospitality businesses foster a positive work culture.

In conversations with Jonathan Crookall, Chief People Officer, Costa Coffee, Brooke Gray, Director of People, Equator Coffees and Henry Ayers, Co-founder, The Gentlemen Baristas, we discuss the staffing challenges they are currently facing, what they look for in potential employees and how they keep teams motivated to deliver exceptional customer service.

Credits music: "3 Lies" by Alessia Piermarini in collaboration with The Coffee Music Project and SEB Collective

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Jonathan Crookall

Jonathan Crookall

Chief People Officer, Costa Coffee

Jonathan Crookall is Chief People Officer for Costa Coffee, overseeing the HR programme for over 22,000 employees worldwide. Prior to Costa, Crookall was Group People Director at Halfords for over seven years and HR Director, Resourcing & Development at Specsavers. Crookall is also a Non Executive Director for Tandem Group plc

Brooke Gray

Brooke Gray

Director of People, Equator Coffees

Brooke Gray is the Director of People at Equator Coffees where she plays a pivotal role in fostering a positive work culture. Gray has an extensive background in hospitality, spanning over 20 years, with experience in hotel and restaurant operational management, sales, marketing, business development, and human resources.

Henry Ayers

Henry Ayers

Co-founder, The Gentlemen Baristas

Henry Ayers is the Co-Founder and Wholesale Director of The Gentlemen Baristas, a collection of ten coffee houses and roasting business in London, UK and a soon-to-open education and training facility. Ayers co-founded GB with his business partner Ed Parkes in 2014 with the mission to provide high-quality, “well mannered” coffee for everyone.
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