Breaking bread - In conversation with Virginia and Emma at Bagel Factory inploi Team | 06.09.2017
Bagel Factory is one of the UK’s most well-known franchises, with over 60 sites across the UK, selling bagels, soups, snacks and speciality coffees to customers nationwide. We met with Virginia (Human Resources Assistant) and Emma (Head of Human Resources) at their London headquarters, to find out more about what it’s like to work there and what opportunities are available across the company.
Before working at the Bagel Factory, Virginia had a background in research in Spain. However, she decided to take the plunge – moving to the UK and beginning her career in hospitality. With basic English, she worked for a while in an Italian restaurant, before applying on a friend’s recommendation to the Bagel Factory. Six years on, Virginia has progressed within the company, moving from Team Member to Crew Leader, Assistant Manager, and now assuming the role of HR Assistant in their Head Office. It’s been a learning curve with Virginia assuming more responsibility and attaining new skills with each role. She commented, “I have really good experience because I’ve learnt a lot. They trust me to always do my best. The company came to me, and they said, I think you can do it, and just try. So that’s when I tried. They helped me to do it.”
Having worked in Bagel Factory sites across the UK, Virginia has an incredibly close working relationship with Bagel Factory staff across the company. Both her and Emma know their employees by name and are there to look after their needs. Although working in the smaller units can be challenging at times, the HR support provided by Virginia and Emma is responsive and hands-on: “If they need something, we are here. They don’t need to worry about anything.” Whatever their employees need, be it lighter cotton t-shirts in the summer, or heaters in the winter, they are there to help.
Employees are given added incentives for their work, including several bonus schemes, such as the ‘Mystery Shopper Bonus’, whereby team members can earn an extra £15 for exceptional customer service when mystery shopper experiences occur, ‘Team Member of the Month’ through which employees can earn a £50 bonus, ‘Best Week’ where the whole team working together can earn some extra money through sales, and of course, all team members are entitled to a free bagel and drink for lunch each shift!
You don’t need to be a great salesman/woman to work at Bagel Factory. The HR team above all else are looking for candidates that have a positive attitude, as Virginia explained, “We don’t need experience, we need people who are helpful, with good attitude, hard-working, flexible. They can work Monday, Tuesday, weekends, any time. I think we have really good people in our company. After that we can provide the training.”
In addition, all the staff at Bagel Factory are provided with a whole host of other induction training to prepare them for their role, from health and safety, fire assessment training and nationally-recognised hygiene qualifications. Needless to say, regardless of their position, all staff are supported in their learning and personal growth – allowing them to progress through the company and diversify their skillset. Virginia is a prime example of how hard work pays off over time at the company, with staff well and truly becoming part of the Bagel Factory family.
If you’re interested in joining the Bagel Factory team, you can check out their latest job openings by visiting the Bagel Factory company page here.