Following a strict and competitive judging process, London-based events company Camm & Hooper has been crowned the gold winner in the Employee Experience category of The UK Customer Experience Awards.
The UK Customer Experience Awards is the world’s biggest customer experience event of its kind. Marking its 10-year anniversary, the 2019 awards, which took place at Wembley Stadium in London, shined a spotlight on the UK’s most innovative organisations that exude passion and care for the people they support and serve.
Camm & Hooper was one of six finalists in the Employee Experience category. The events company won first place by living up to its mantra ‘extraordinary people curating iconic experiences’ and by successfully demonstrating tangible results from the initiatives that have been implemented to improve the people experience, including regular reward and recognition initiatives via an internal social media platform.
Camm & Hooper launched in 2013 and the company employs 160 team members with a turnover of £11 million. The company’s unique venues include: Banking Hall in the heart of the City of London together with its Leadenhall sister Grace Hall; Six Storeys a Soho townhouse which lives and breathes the spirit of Soho; the opulent Victorian Bath House in the City; the secret underground Morton Society and the quirky Tanner Warehouse and Tanner & Co Restaurant in Bermondsey. Camm & Hooper has also just announced their newest venue, Battersea Power House, located in Battersea Power Station. Five iconic new events spaces will be open in Autumn 2021 for large scale, corporate and private events.
The events, restaurant and bar concept provides true innovation and an exceptional product and service on all levels. Camm & Hooper have opted for a mixed model approach, allowing event spaces access to ever changing customer tastes and demands by permanent restaurant and bar offerings where possible. Each venue is dynamic and flexible, making it ideal for corporate events and private parties.
This accolade completes a hat-trick of recent awards for Camm & Hooper. The company has won two bronze awards as part of the London Venue Awards. Victorian Bath House, a former Turkish Bath House that promises to deliver a theatrical flair whatever the occasion, scooped a medal for ‘Best Venue Customer Service (up to 500 reception style)’ and Grade II listed Banking Hall in the heart of Cornhill also achieved bronze in the ‘Best Historic Venue (over 400 reception style)’ category. These awards are testament to Camm & Hooper’s approach to the delivery of memorable experiences.
The company was recently selected as one of the London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain. Managing Director Debra Ward said: “At Camm & Hooper we believe that culture is a real differentiator for business. Our goal is not just to please but to ‘delight’ our customers every single day and that starts with ensuring our team are happy and enjoy the work they do. Our people are truly extraordinary, from our Chief Booze Engineer Patrick J Hobbs, who comes up with devilish concoctions in his secret lab, to our Executive Head Chef Ronnie Murray, a singular talent in British cooking, to our teams of booze engineers and everyday curators. Each one of them takes pride and passion in what they do and that is our winning formulae. I’m so thrilled that our dedicated team have been recognised and rewarded for all their hard work.”
Debra Ward, managing director of London-based iconic events company Camm & Hooper, has been named ‘one to watch’ by the Women to Watch in Hospitality, Travel & Leisure Index 2019.
The index is a new barometer for the hospitality, travel and leisure industry. It highlights the real-life stories from women who are seen to be up and coming in the industry, including those who have recently made or who are ready to step into board positions. Ward joins an incredible line up of talented female role models with a broad range of experience and achievements.
Ward is a true entrepreneur, having started, led and sold several businesses across three continents. In 2007, Debra and her team founded Mitie Client Services which became the industry leader in front-of-house services, turning over £22m in just five years. The company was named one of the Best 100 Small Companies to Work For by The Sunday Times, and received its coveted Special Training award as well as a host of sector awards. Ward was also former Human Experience lead across EMEA for property giant JLL, and prior to this MD EMEA for Condeco Software, recipients of the Queen’s award for innovation in technology.
Ward’s international career is dedicated to service excellence and she is passionate about people and culture as a company differentiator. In 2014, she was named Women of Achievement winner by Women in the City, and one of the top 10 people in facilities management by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. She joined Camm & Hooper in 2018 and has since significantly grown its turnover and opened two new exciting venues in London. Battersea Power House, located in Battersea Power Station, is the second new venue under Ward’s leadership and is due to open in Autumn 2021. Battersea Power House will showcase five stunning events spaces for large scale, corporate and private events.
The Women to Watch in Hospitality, Travel & Leisure Index 2019, in partnership with MBS Group, set out not to find the top women in the sector, but to demonstrate that there are inspirational female leaders in all areas of the hospitality, travel and leisure sector. Nominations for the index were sought for women who stand out from their peer groups and excel in leadership; commercial impact; entrepreneurialism and innovation; and a wider contribution to the sector and society.
Ward is thrilled to join the line-up: “It is an enormous privilege to be recognised as one to watch in the hospitality, travel and leisure industry. It’s essential that companies encourage and nurture women in leadership roles, as this attracts more talented women to join our sector. It’s so important that women can look around our industry and see authentic role models from all backgrounds and with a variety of experience.”
Tea Colaianni, founder and chair of the index, said: “The index has unearthed a monumental wealth of personal and professional stories, successes, tips and lessons learnt. These women are inspiring role models with diverse backgrounds, nationalities, education, race/ethnicities, experiences and ages. I feel proud to share the stories of so many talented women who can inspire the next generation of leaders.”
The full version of the Women to Watch in Hospitality, Travel & Leisure Index 2019 can be downloaded here.
Debbie was looking for a London venue with history and character to give her guests a party they’d never forget!
Name: Debbie Allen
Looking for: 60th Birthday Party
Venue: Victorian Bath House
Date: August 2019
Objective: “I told Regina that my objective for the party was to have my guests still talking about it for years!”
The venue: “I’d wanted a London venue with unique history and character, big enough to accommodate approximately 130 friends and family, yet with an intimate feel. The Victorian Bath House certainly ticked all those boxes – and what made it all the more special was that hardly any of my guests had ever heard of it, let alone been inside!”
We sorted out the DJ, DJ Snap, and a stage and AV from our production partner, Production plus. Debbie arranged the Comedian and the Drag Artist herself. We also recommended the photo booth company that she ended up using.
“Planning the party was made much easier by working closely with Regina from the Camm & Hooper planning team. I enjoyed working closely with her not just on usual food, drink, logistics but on how I wanted the party to feel. I knew I was pushing the boundaries on venue capacity and my wish to accommodate entertainers – but Regina really went the extra mile in enabling it all to come together, making recommendations where necessary and remaining positive and enthusiastic throughout!
Whenever we met or spoke by phone to discuss the plans, Regina followed up by email with precise notes and agreed actions/deadlines, which enabled me to relax and know that everything was being well taken care of.”
On the night: “There were many details on the night which made the excellence of the events team at Victorian Bath House stand out. When the weather made welcome drinks on the terrace impossible, the team quickly swung into action with Plan B and accommodated everyone inside without any fuss. Communications between planning, operations and the kitchen were faultless meaning food and drink requirements were clear and timely on the night, so I could simply enjoy the occasion without worrying. Mitchell (Victorian Bath House Events Team) always made sure I had a cocktail in my hand, even when I was too distracted to get to the bar!”
The food & drink:
Debbie had a champagne reception and 3hrs of beer, wine, soft and spirit as part of her package, along with some of our signature cocktails in Kilners.
For the food, she had canapés and small dishes, and we provided the Birthday cake made of cheese. This was special request and Debbie showed us a picture that had flowers on it for the decoration, and we made it happen for her.
“The chefs were so accommodating and created an amazing cheese ‘cake’ that was a real wow for everyone – how it had been decorated, how it was served, and of course, how it tasted!”
The verdict: “My friends and family had expected me to have a big party because I’d held my 50th at Wilton’s Music Hall in Wapping which they’d loved. However, it set a high bar for my 60th – which I can definitely say was more than met by the brilliant venue and the brilliant team. I already know the objective I set, for this night to be remembered for years to come by my guests, has been well and truly met!”
It’s time to celebrate! Birthday? Christmas? No it’s National Plum Day! An iconic day synonymous with our infamous booze engineering history from our very own CBE (Chief Booze Engineer) Patrick Hobbs. Here’s the man himself detailing how Plum Gin #1 came to exist!
‘When I first started out in bars the term mixology was just about to be coined. Twenty years later and although there has been some great innovation with cocktails and drinking trends, the style of service has not really changed. In fact it hasn’t changed radically for 100 years. People still look to the ways and techniques of the pioneers, and hold them in reverence as guru’s relevant to today’s hospitality industry.
I love mixed drinks and cocktail bars but have felt for a long time that instead of making life easier and the guest experience better, there is far too much fuss in making cocktails. Many drinks I sample are too strong, not balanced or don’t quite live up to the menu description. They can take an age to make while the bartender twiddles and faffs and you die of thirst. Somewhere down the line I believe the person behind the bar has focused so much on being a mixologist they have forgotten to be a host. I never enjoyed being in the weeds working a busy bar and thought it must be even worse for my guests. But there they were, patiently queueing five deep while I mixed their drinks. Guests have become conditioned to waiting as this has been accepted as the industry standard. This is where Booze Engineering comes in.
Working events it became very clear that taking 2 to 3 minutes to create a drink was not feasible for a crowd of a few hundred. There had to be another way. I wanted to create beautiful, interesting and tasty cocktails but speed up the process of service. The question that Booze Engineering asked was ‘why can’t I have my delicious drink now please?’ All the hard work and experimentation is done behind the scenes in the Booze Lab so the service part is relatively easy.
This planted the seed of an idea and through a lot of evolution, experimentation and market research the infusion programme was born. However, our first infusion Plum Gin No.1. was very much a happy accident. 10 kilos of Victoria Plums was accidentally ordered instead of 1 kilo which sparked a lightbulb moment and the first of my experiments. I added the excess plums to an 8 litre kilner jar, covered in gin and a little sugar and left them for a month to do their thing. Overtime the gin began to leach the colour and flavour from the plums, the kilner looked amazing and extremely photogenic. We served Plum Gin and tonic straight from the kilner much to the delight of our event guests. We had created a really simple bespoke drink that was right on brand with the increasingly popular gin sector. And most importantly it tastes delicious!
If there ever was a day to celebrate, surely National Prosecco Day (Tuesday 13th August) is up there with the best of them! In the UK we are known for our love of bubbly and are in fact the world’s number 1 importer of sparkling wine – cheers to that!
Champagne has always been the number one choice of bubbly but Prosecco has seen a huge increase in popularity. No longer seen as the poor relation to Champagne, this Italian sparkling wine has captured the hearts (and mouths!) of the UK.
Shane Boyce from Liberty Wines explains “It’s unfair to look at Prosecco as just a cheap alternative to Champagne as it’s a totally different wine, from a different country, made in a different method from a different grape variety.
Around the time of the great financial crisis, people suddenly had much less disposable income to spend on luxury goods (i.e. booze) but the UK’s palate didn’t suddenly change overnight. People turned to Prosecco, initially because it was cheaper, but many then discovered that it offered a much different proposition to Champagne. The key difference is the method of making the wine – Champagne involves a long-winded process that creates complex, savoury flavours and a wine that has very high acidity. Prosecco, on the other hand, is made in an easier (and cheaper) way which creates a wine with more simple, fruity and floral characteristics- it is less intense and less acidic so overall a much more approachable and versatile style of wine.
Its lightness has made it a popular choice for a boozy brunch and its versatility has led to it becoming the number one choice for use in cocktails.”
Here at Camm & Hooper we’ll be toasting National Prosecco Day with our preferred Proseccos. Ca’di Alte, Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry NV – a light straw yellow in colour with fine bubbles and a pleasant bouquet with notes of pear and floral hints followed by a very bright, clean and lifted, palate. Or Ca’di Alte, Prosecco Frizzante NV – a light, soft Frizzante, pale straw yellow in colour with delicate notes of Williams pear and stone fruits, it is clean and balanced on the palate with a fresh finish.
Cheers to many more years of our favourite Italian import!