· Features

Our top interviews with: restaurant HRDs

We look back at some of our best interviews with HR professionals at restaurant chains

As part of our new personal development series, we take a look back at some of our most exciting profile interviews. Ever wondered what HR professionals in your sector are up to? Then look no further, as these curated collections will give you the low down in no time. Here we look to the restaurant industry, with a focus on recruiting and growth.

The Byron interview served with extra relish

“As we grow, that’s the thing that wakes you up screaming: how do we know that the guys in Manchester are as Byron as the guys in Soho? It’s about making sure everyone has that same spirit,” said burger specialist Byron's then head of people Steve Rockey. Find out how this rapidly expanding chain managed to keep a community feeling across every one of their new branches.

The UK's top employer: interview with KFC's James Watts

Believe it or not, KFC UK and Ireland is the only large organisation to be awarded the Britain’s Top Employer accolade for three consecutive years – 2012, 2013 and 2014. We spoke to the chicken brand's James Watts (now HRD at Pizza Hut International) on how it doesn't just train its young recruits to work in the kitchens, it also prepares them for life.

Pizza to go

Back in 2011 Pizza Express reinvented itself from a quiet, conservatively-decorated suburban diner into a futuristic, bright, and minimalist eating experience. We caught up with Julie MacDonald, the then HR director of the chain, on empowering staff to voice their opinions without fear of reprimand.

TGI Friday's MD: my people management secrets

When Karen Forrester joined TGI Friday’s it was a brand in decline. As UK managing director Forrester helped to engineer a people-led recovery, which involved a brutal approach to ensuring the right employees were on board. Find out how the chain dealt with its transformation 'assassins' and reclaimed the brand.

Pret's people management secrets

Group people director of sandwich firm Pret, Andrea Wareham, describes the 'family trees' her managers are taught to recruit for. Candidates are assessed against three behaviours: passion, clear talking and team working. Whether someone has ever worked a day in retail before is unimportant. Find out how they do it here.