KFC to launch a degree programme.


KFC to launch a degree programme.

KFC to launch a degree programme.

Good staff are invaluable in the hospitality industry, if customers are pleased with the service they receive they are more likely to return and also give good reviews to their family and friends, and while restaurants and pubs will always try and hire the best staff possible, to ensure they remain competitive they also need to think about offering regular training and opportunities for skill development.

Fast food chain KFC has now gone one step further and become the first company of its kind to offer an honours degree course, in a partnership with De Montfort University, Leicester.

The course combines the company's existing training programme with the university's management degree and aims to train around 60 managers within the next five years. The benefits of the course are dual, not only do KFC get an experienced and highly-trained staff base, they also have something to offer their top staff which means they can retain them for longer.

Martin Shuker, managing director KFC UK & Ireland, said: "KFC degrees give us an opportunity to reward some of our best performers, who never had the chance to go to university when they were younger. Our employees gain a meaningful and respected qualification while still earning money, and we reap the benefits of their improved skills and confidence in the business."

So should all restaurants be following in KFC's footsteps?

While an actual degree course is likely to appeal to many staff members and carries a lot of weight, funding one does come at a huge cost. KFC has invested £600,000 and this is simply unthinkable for many businesses. However, there are other ways of providing staff with appropriate training. KFC has also linked up with City & Guilds to provide apprenticeships for team leader roles and eateries can also develop their own formalised training plans to help incentivise staff and equip them with the skills they need.

"Encouraging staff to think about what they are doing, rather than just doing it, will lead to those involved being more self-aware and creative. Then the trick is to keep that learning inside the business. But don't neglect the vast majority of staff - provide them with good quality and engaging training," commented Steve Pike, director at The Mystery Dining Company.

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