News

Rebrand Yourself for Career Progression Cork 2024

By | News | No Comments

On July 1st, our Rebrand Yourself for Career Progression Programme has come to an end! Congratulations to all who have successfully completed the programme.

This 20-day programme was held from 4th June to 1st July. This programme helped individuals rebuild and rebrand themselves to secure future employment. Trainees had the opportunity to develop key skills for their personal and professional life.

The programme covered:

  1. Personal Effectiveness
  2. Teamwork & Communication
  3. Time Management
  4. CV & Interview Prep
  5. Creating a Digital Profile (LinkedIn)
  6. Contingency Planning
  7. Guest Speakers – such as Colin Egglesfield
  8. Work Experience

This programme included work experience, where the learners got firsthand experience to prepare them for future employment after successful completion of the course. Participants completed work experience in hospitality businesses, retail shops and office environments.  The programme was delivered by industry expert trainer, Fiona Dunne of Hospitality Skills Ireland who possesses 28 years’ experience in the hospitality sector.

It was a fantastic programme with many participants securing employment!

Special thanks to Maldron Hotel South Mall for hosting our training sessions and  Marie Harte and all staff in Intreo Cork for their collaboration.

We wish all participants best of luck in their future endeavors!




Beyond Impact Mastery Workshop with Colin Egglesfield

By | News | No Comments

This June, we had the pleasure of welcoming actor and life coach Colin Egglesfield to Cork, where he conducted his renowned Beyond Impact Mastery workshop. Our trainees, who are currently completing the Rebrand Yourself for Career Progression Skills Connect programme, greatly benefited from his expertise.

Colin provided invaluable coaching on personal impact, interview skills, and communication techniques, equipping participants for upcoming interviews, work experiences, and their return to the workforce.




Skillnet Ireland 2024 Spring Convention

By | News | No Comments

Our network attended the Skillnet Ireland 2024 Convention which took place in the Killashee Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare last week.

The Spring Convention hosted by Skillnet Ireland was opened by Tracey Donnery, Director of Policy and Communications of Skillnet Ireland, who focused her address on unlocking talent to drive business success. Discussions throughout the convention revolved around lifelong learning and fostering talent in the workplace, emphasising the role of Skillnet Business Networks in supporting Irish SMEs. Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland highlighted the importance of embracing innovation and upskilling for future success. Mark Jordan, Chief Strategy Officer at Skillnet Ireland outlined Skillnet Ireland’s collaboration with EU partners to address skill shortages in Ireland and across Europe, underscoring the organisation’s commitment to developing skills and talent to fuel innovation and support businesses.




New report identifies the importance of upskilling in attracting and retaining talent in the Irish Hospitality Industry

By | Blog, Membership, News | No Comments

(L-R) Eileen O’Connell, Interactions Research, Michelle Guthrie, Development Advisor, Skillnet Ireland, Niamh O’Malley, Network Manager Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet, and Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive, Restaurants Association of Ireland.

Press release, November 20th, 2023: A new report from Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet, one of 70 Skillnet Ireland Business Networks nationwide, and the Restaurants Association of Ireland has highlighted the importance of upskilling in attracting and retaining talent in the Irish hospitality industry.

Launched last week, the report found that through the continued development of micro-credential programmes Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet could play a leading role in the delivery of training in the computer/digital skills arena, including specific upskilling in areas such as finance and accounts, payroll, electronic reservations, social media, e-learning and more.

According to the research, employers need to be open to, and offer, a range of career path opportunities, as learning and development programmes in the workplace are key to securing new hires and developing existing talent. The study shows that the feedback, views, and experience of employers are also essential for identifying upskilling requirements for the sector’s growth and development.

The aim of the Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet is to grow Ireland’s world-renowned hospitality sector, by ensuring the skills and training needs of member businesses are adequately resourced. The network develops and delivers bespoke upskilling solutions for business owners, managers, chefs and front of house staff.

Skillnet Ireland is the national talent development agency of the Government of Ireland, responsible for advancing the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led talent development. In 2022, Skillnet Ireland delivered upskilling and training programmes, investing €70.2 million, to almost 25,000 businesses and over 92,000 workers through its 70 Business Networks, across most sectors and all regions in Ireland.

The in-depth report explores the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector’s workforce and provides actionable insights for businesses aiming to thrive in the face of ongoing challenges.

The hospitality industry was the first sector to be affected by temporary closures and layoffs during the pandemic and has grappled with a persistent skills shortage ever since. A 2021 Oireachtas report, on the impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality and entertainment sectors, highlighted the departure of international staff returning home and employees transitioning to sectors like retail and distribution as significant factors affecting employment in the industry. As a result, businesses are faced with the urgent need to retrain, reskill, upskill, and source new personnel to meet evolving demands.

The research report, which had very strong engagement with over 800 respondents, examined the Irish hospitality industry’s diverse workforce through one-on-one interviews with industry leaders, in-depth focus groups with employees, and a comprehensive survey. This research led to the identification of six distinct employee segments, each with unique needs, attitudes and skills. The segments – including Future Star, Career Committed, Family Ties, Career Seeker, Career Mover, and Career Entrant – provide valuable insights of the industry’s workforce composition and what motivates each employee type.

The report recommends that a Future Star would benefit from role specific upskilling in areas such as revenue, accounts and/or food and beverage, while someone who falls into the Career Mover category could benefit from a micro-credential programme that would encourage them to stay in the sector.

To address these findings, the report includes comprehensive recommendations for hospitality sector businesses, including a review of learning and development planning, engaging in micro-credential programmes, revisiting recruitment strategies, implementing workplace coaching, conducting thorough analyses of past hires and digital literacy upskilling.

Welcoming the publication of the report, Niamh O’Malley, Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet Network Manager, said: “We are thrilled to present this report, which not only highlights the challenges faced by the hospitality industry but also provides practical solutions for businesses to adapt, thrive, and create a skilled, motivated workforce. By understanding the unique needs of different employee segments and implementing tailored training and development initiatives, businesses can foster talent, enhance employee satisfaction, and achieve long-term success”.

Meanwhile, Michelle Guthrie, Skillnet Ireland Development Advisor, said: “The Irish hospitality industry has a well-established reputation for delivering top-class offerings and customer service. The Covid-19 pandemic impacted all businesses but the hospitality sector, in particular, is still grappling with a number of legacy challenges brought about by the public health emergency. This report thoroughly examines these challenges and provides comprehensive actions for businesses looking to futureproof their workforce. Restaurant and Hospitality Skillnet is committed to supporting businesses, through targeted talent development solutions that address their most urgent needs.”

The report can be accessed online here:  https://www.rhskillnet.ie/the-future-of-irish-hospitality-attracting-retaining-talent/




RAI Conference – Upskilling & Retention Session ‘Overcoming Challenges: Embracing a New Era for Hospitality’

By | Blog, News | No Comments

The Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet will be hosting a EU Year of Skills session at the Restaurants Association of Ireland Annual Conference. The session’s focus is on Upskilling & Retention  and the topic is ‘Overcoming Challenges: Embracing a New Era for Hospitality’.

The event will take place on Monday 13th November from 10am -4:30pm in Carton House, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, Co. Kildare. The event is aimed at Restaurant and hospitality business owners, managers, supervisors and front of house staff.

The Key Objectives of the Session:

  1. To present the findings of the Industry Insights study by Restaurant and Hospitality Skillnet, providing attendees with detailed insights into the current generations working in Irish Hospitality.
  2. Enable businesses in the Irish Hospitality sector to identify and understand the specific training needs of their workforce.
  3. Empower attendees with the knowledge and tools required to strategically upskill their existing employees and train new staff, ensuring they acquire the necessary competencies to deliver high-quality products and customer service.
  4. Provide attendees with insights into creating positive work environments, fostering employee motivation, and implementing effective retention strategies.
  5. Discuss the importance of learning and development in the workplace. Highlight current trends in the field, emphasizing the need for continuous learning.
  6. Showcase the support available through Skillnet Ireland networks and explore the future of learning and development in the context of evolving industry demands and technological advancements.
  7. Raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing in the workplace and educate businesses about the importance of mental health support programs.
  8. Encourage the implementation of supportive policies and practices.
  9. Share exemplary human resource and learning and development practices. Present real-life examples from successful businesses, such as Baxter Storey Ireland, detailing their strategies, sources of inspiration, and actionable steps taken to enhance their human resource practices.
  10. Inspire attendees with success stories and practical examples. Encourage businesses to initiate positive changes in their training, employee management, and mental health support practices.
  11. Facilitate networking opportunities among attendees, fostering collaboration and the exchange of ideas within the industry.

Planned Outcomes of the Session:

  • Strategic Workforce Upskilling: Businesses will be equipped with valuable information to strategically upskill their workforce. They will be provided with practical insights into areas needing development, allowing businesses to invest in targeted training programs for their employees, ensuring they remain competent and competitive in the market.
  • Effective Employee Management: Businesses will gain practical techniques to help reduce staff turnover, foster a motivated workforce, and enhance overall productivity.
  • Insights into Learning and Development Trends: It will enable businesses to stay ahead of industry changes and prepare their workforce for future challenges.
  • Networking and Collaboration: The event will facilitate networking opportunities among industry professionals, allowing attendees to connect, collaborate, and share ideas. These connections can lead to future partnerships, collaborations, and knowledge exchanges, fostering a supportive and collaborative industry community.

Conference Agenda

  • 10.00 am Registration & Tea/Coffees
  • 10.45 am – 11.45 am Stream 1: Upskilling & Retention
  • 11.45 am – 12.45 pm Stream 2: Running a Restaurant in Ireland Today
  • 12.45 pm – 2.00 pm Networking Lunch
  • 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm Stream 3: Digitisation of the Irish Hospitality Industry
  • 3.00 pm – 3:30 pm Tea/Coffee Break
  • 3:30pm – 4:30pm Stream 4: Future of Irish Food Tourism

Ticket Information

Want to attend? You can book your place today by clicking the button below or by clicking HERE.

RAI Member? Contact events@rai.ie to avail of RAI Member Discount Rate.




Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet launches ‘VR Resolve’ Virtual Reality Customer Complaints upskilling solution

By | Membership, News | No Comments

(L-R) Michelle Guthrie, Development Advisor, Skillnet Ireland, Camille Donegan, Adaptas Training, Niamh O’Malley, Network Manager Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet, Angelika Bryniak, Training & Events Executive, and Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive, Restaurants Association of Ireland.

Thursday 5th October 2023: Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet, one of 70 Skillnet Ireland Business Networks nationwide, has launched a revolutionary customer service upskilling solution which harnesses the power and ingenuity of Virtual Reality (VR).

Tailored specifically for the hospitality industry, VR Resolve is an innovative VR customer complaints training programme. The hospitality industry has always recognised the critical importance of exceptional customer service and VR Resolve takes this commitment to the next level by offering a unique and engaging upskilling experience. This programme enables employees at all levels to hone their skills in handling customer complaints effectively, leading to improved guest satisfaction and loyalty.

Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet’s mission is to grow Ireland’s world-renowned hospitality sector, by ensuring the skills and training needs of member businesses are adequately resourced. The network develops and delivers bespoke upskilling solutions for business owners, managers, chefs and front of house staff.

Skillnet Ireland is the national talent development agency of the Government of Ireland, responsible for advancing the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led talent development. In 2022, Skillnet Ireland delivered upskilling and training programmes, worth €70.2 million, to almost 25,000 businesses and over 92,000 workers through its 70 Business Networks, across most sectors and all regions in Ireland.

VR Resolve allows participants to step into realistic scenarios and work through various customer complaints that could occur in a restaurant setting. Participants practice responding to complaints, making decisions, and seeing the direct consequences of their actions in a risk-free virtual setting.

Niamh O’Malley, Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet Network Manager, expressed her excitement about these new programmes, stating: “We are thrilled to introduce VR Resolve, which marks a transformative leap forward in customer service training, providing hospitality professionals with an immersive and effective tool to master the art of addressing customer complaints with finesse and empathy. VR Resolve is a game-changer for the hospitality industry.”

Skillnet Ireland Development Advisor, Michelle Guthrie, said: “Skillnet Ireland is committed to addressing the skills needs of Irish businesses through cutting-edge, bespoke and flexible subsidised upskilling solutions. VR Resolve is a prime example of the Skillnet Ireland mission in action. By providing a safe space for learning and honing skills, this programme empowers staff to exceed guest expectations.”

Further information about VR Resolve and details about how to sign up for the programme are available on the Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet website: https://www.rhskillnet.ie/training/vr-resolve/

The Restaurant and Hospitality Skillnet is funded by Skillnet Ireland and member companies. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and Co-funded by the European Union. For further information on Skillnet Ireland please visit: https://www.skillnetireland.ie/




Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet launches new e-learning programmes designed to make businesses more efficient and profitable

By | Membership | No Comments

(L-R) Michelle Guthrie, Development Advisor, Skillnet Ireland, Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive, Restaurants Association of Ireland, Niamh O’Malley, Network Manager Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet and Angelika Bryniak, Training & Events Executive, Restaurants Association of Ireland.

Monday 25th September 2023: Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet, one of 70 Skillnet Ireland Business Network’s nationwide, has launched two new online training programmes designed to help hospitality businesses become more efficient and profitable.
The new Creating Continuous Improvements and Labour Forecasting and Scheduling programmes will help hospitality businesses to improve their processes, labour forecasting and scheduling methods, while reducing costs. The self-paced, e-learning programmes were developed alongside industry expert Agility Hospitality and offer restaurant and hospitality managers and supervisors the opportunity to upskill digitally, at a time that suits their busy schedules.

Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet’s mission is to grow Ireland’s world-renowned hospitality sector, by ensuring the skills and training needs of member businesses are adequately resourced. The network develops and delivers bespoke upskilling solutions for business owners, managers, chefs and front of house staff. Skillnet Ireland is the national talent development agency of the Government of Ireland, responsible for advancing the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led talent development. In 2022, Skillnet Ireland delivered upskilling and training programmes, worth €70.2 million, to almost 25,000 businesses and over 92,000 workers through its 70 Business Networks, across most sectors and all regions in Ireland.

Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet’s new online programmes are accessible anytime, anywhere. They include microlearning multimedia modules that are designed to be completed in just a few minutes. The modules include trainer led videos, images, text and downloadable documents. The programmes offer comprehensive curriculums that cover the core principles of Creating Continuous Improvements – including project selection, process monitoring, data analysis and installing changes – and the fundamentals of Labour Forecasting and Scheduling, including how to track productivity and manage a schedule forecast.

Niamh O’Malley, Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet Network Manager, expressed her excitement about these new programmes, stating: “We are excited to announce the launch of our two new e-learning programmes Creating Continuous Improvements and Labour Forecasting and Scheduling, designed to help individuals and organisations master business operations and labour scheduling principles in bite-sized, easily digestible lessons. This innovative approach to upskilling is set to change the way industry acquire essential skills for process optimisation and efficiency improvement.”

Skillnet Ireland Development Advisor, Michelle Guthrie, said: “Skillnet Ireland is committed to supporting businesses across the Irish economy, including those operating the highly competitive domestic hospitality sector, through the provision of subsidised upskilling programmes. Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet plays a key role in meeting the growing demand within the sector for concise, focused, and accessible learning solutions. The Business Network’s new e-learning programmes will allow hospitality businesses to remain competitive and grow.”

Further information about the programmes and registration details can be found online here:

Labour Forecasting & Scheduling: https://www.rhskillnet.ie/training/labour-forecasting-scheduling-elearning-programme/
Creating Continuous Improvements: https://www.rhskillnet.ie/training/bite-size-lean-modules/

The Restaurant and Hospitality Skillnet is funded by Skillnet Ireland and member companies. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and Co-funded by the European Union. For further information on Skillnet Ireland please visit: https://www.skillnetireland.ie/




Chef Academy Level 2 Graduation

By | Membership | No Comments

The final day of BaxterStorey /Brook Foods Chef Academy Level 2 took place last Friday 1st September. We were delighted to co-fund the development and pilot of this programme through out FD Co Creation funding.

Congratulations to the students who graduated! 🎓

🎓Alexander Melayil John

🎓Fernando Medeiros

🎓Humberto Santos

🎓Isabella Recchia

🎓Javkhlan Jamsran

🎓Patrick Fidelis

🎓Peter Nolan

🎓Paula Barrett

🎓Rachel Betts

🎓Shane Dowling

With Special Congratulations to Paula for winning ‘Chef of Year’!

They worked incredibly hard over the last 12 months, and demonstrated great proficiency and dedication in their learning and upskilling.

This programme focused on the following key topics: Basic Cookery, Supplier/Producer Visit, Bakery, Finance, Nutrition, Health & Safety, Practical Cookery, Foraging, Menu Design & Marketing.

The Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet wishes all the graduates the very best in their future career development.

Click button below to view short video!




Restaurant & Hospitality Skills for the Unemployed Killarney 2023

By | Blog, News | No Comments

This Monday, was the final day of our Restaurant & Hospitality Skills programme. This programme was delivered as part of the Skills Connect Initiative.

The programme ran over 15 days from 19th June to 11th July and was delivered by our expert industry trainer, Fiona Dunne of Hospitality Skills Ireland.

Upon completion of this course all learners are now able to:

✅Demonstrate the daily tasks of restaurant and hospitality staff
✅Greet a guest and respond to their needs
✅Apply food hygiene standards in the workplace
✅Apply manual handling standards in the workplace
✅List basic food and beverage terminology
✅Perform the daily tasks of restaurant and hospitality staff including serving food and drink and handling customer complaints

At the final session, participants were presented with Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet Certificates of Completion. Check out photos below of participants receiving their certs!

Congratulations to the participants! Best wishes for your future!

Special thanks to Randles Hotel Killarney for hosting our training sessions and Bernadette Cahill, Intreo Killarney & Marie Harte, Intreo Cork for their collaboration. 

Our next Restaurant & Hospitality Skills for the Unemployed course will be taking place in Kilkenny this September! 




Customers Want to Connect – Best Ways for You to Communicate with Your Customers

By | Blog, News | No Comments

Customers are a key part to having a successful business, therefore you want to be able to communicate efficiently with them to build relationships, resolve conflicts and identify needs. This blog will discuss different methods to connect with your customers and the many benefits of doing so.

Image: Craft Business Magazine

Keep It Personal

Making your communication more personal is a great way to build relationships with your customers. Make them feel that they are more than just another customer/sale by asking them their names, remembering repeat customers orders, asking how their days going and give them a friendly complement. This can help customers to feel more connected to your company and may increase repeat custom. It will also create a more friendly and welcoming atmosphere for your customers and you! (10 Effective Ways to Connect with Your Customers – businessnewsdaily.com)

Social Media

Although it may seem like the obvious one, its important to remember its not enough to just have a social media account, you need to be actively engaging with it. You can start simple with this! Choose someone within your organization (you or someone else) to start sharing posts from your workday once or twice a week. If you work in a restaurant, you can post videos of the chefs or baristas in action. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple post, some videos of people making coffee on TikTok have millions of views.

Social media can help you better your organizations customer service and connect with your customers in a quick and informal way. By responding to messages, questions and resolving any issues here quickly it shows your customers you care about what they have to say and are listening to them.

Social media can also help you to give your business more of a personality. By sharing posts, you think are funny and match your brand, you can remind customers its more than just a company, it’s a place with real people involved. This can make customers feel more connected to your business.

Image: Pizza Marketplace.com

Communicating With the Rude Customer

This is something that’s unavoidable in every customer orientated business. No matter how much hard work you put in, somethings will go wrong and that’s okay! Not every customer is going to be a happy customer so as long as you know how to communicate and connect with an unhappy customer, you’re doing a good job.
Let them talk, its important to let them communicate their issue to you and makes them feel heard, show your invested in what they are saying and apologise if necessary. Resolve their issue to the best of your ability and once that’s done remind yourself you have done everything you can do and take a moment to clear your head as to not let it impact your mood or your other customers experiences with your business.

Ask For Feedback

Asking your customers for their feedback shows them that you value their opinions and that you want to keep on making continuous improvements for your business. Asking for feedback can happen in 2 ways, informally or formally/structured.

To receive some quick informal feedback, for example in a café/restaurant, ask your customers how their experience was and if they have enjoyed their food/coffee. This shows your customers you are taking an interest in them and their experience and may make them feel more valued.

For a more structured type of feedback, reach out to your customers after their experience with you has ended. You can post polls or questioners to your social media accounts or reach out to your customers directly if their contact information is something you have obtained from their experience. This type of feedback may offer you a more in dept insight into their experience, issues, opinions, and suggestions.

Most importantly don’t forget to act on the feedback you receive! There may not be a need to make drastic changes to your company based on customer feedback, but implementing small changes could possibly help your business for the better and show your customers you value them and their opinions.

Image: Smith.ai

Useful Skillnet Training Courses, Podcasts, Videos & Links:

Restaurant and Hospitality Skillnet Courses:

Helpful Podcasts:

  • Ethan at BombBomb: The Customer Experience Podcast (On Spotify)
  • Customer Success Talks: Real Challenges, Expert Advice (On Spotify)

Quick Reading Links:

Helpful Videos: