Newcastle restaurant group dishes up 5-star accreditation with award first

A restaurant group in Newcastle has become the first hospitality business in the North East to receive an advanced accreditation for its ‘good work’ as a business and as an employer.

The Hooked-on Group, which owns Blackfriars and Dobson & Parnell in Newcastle and Hinnies in Whitley Bay, has been awarded with a five-star accreditation by the Good Work Pledge which was set up by the North of Tyne Combined Authority in 2021 to promote best business practices.

The pledge’s five key pillars of good practice are: valuing and rewarding the workforce, promoting health and wellbeing, effective communications, and representation, developing a balanced workforce, and a social responsibility. Applicants must demonstrate that they either meet or are actively progressing towards all the key criteria in at least two of these pillars for a standard award, and five pillars for the advanced.

The Hooked-on Group met each of the five pillars making it the first hospitality business in the area to achieve the advanced accreditation demonstrating its commitment to being a good employer.

Caroline Preston, economy and policy advisor for North of Tyne Combined Authority commented: “By committing to the Good Work Pledge, businesses can help build a thriving workforce and economy.  The Hooked-on Group was awarded the advanced accreditation and we were particularly impressed by their commitment to training and development, ensuring all employees have an opportunity to better themselves and develop a career in hospitality. In addition, the organisation realises hospitality and catering often involves working long and unsociable hours and this business has taken steps to ensure employees have guaranteed ‘time off’ comparable to work in other sectors”.

The Hooked-on Group is owned by Andy and Sam Hook and as well as running the three restaurants, the company also offers consultancy and mentoring services to other hospitality businesses in the area.

Ruth Terrington, group operations manager for the Hooked-on Group, added: “I am so proud that we have been awarded the advanced Good Work Pledge award.   I have worked for the company for more than ten years and when I first started, we had ten staff at Blackfriars. The family has since grown to more than 70 staff across our three restaurants with a lot of the original team still with us.

“I can honestly say we genuinely cherish all of our hard-working staff and try to create the best possible working environment we can by investing in staff training and development, focusing on health and wellbeing, consulting on future projects and ensuring the majority of team take home the real living wage”.

Created in partnership with industry, community experts and the business community from the North of Tyne region and headed up by Jamie Driscoll, the North of Tyne Mayor, the pledge is already embedded into many of the region’s leading brands, including Sage, Learning Curve Group, Newcastle University, Haines Watts, Robson Laidler and Karbon Homes with 68 organisations on board to date.  The Hooked-on Group is the first hospitality business to achieve any accreditation and it is hoped that more businesses in the sector will now come forward to apply.

Elected Metro Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, said: “Hats off to the Hooked-on Group for taking our Good Work Pledge. Hospitality can be a tough industry. It’s great that they’ve taken such a positive step and we hope others like them will follow their industry-leading example.”

If you would be interested in applying to the scheme, visit Good Work Pledge

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