Ei Group has partnered with University College Birmingham (UCB) for an inaugural food strategy immersion day for regional managers and divisional directors.

Held at the UCB campus, the training day focused on informing and upskilling key members of the group’s field-based teams. Participants will now be able to share best practice and top tips with publicans, enabling them to improve their food offer and boost sales.

Paul Farr, head of food at Ei Group, said: “An important part of the business is about educating our operational teams and creating a learning organisation, whereby they can go out to the field and work closely with our publicans to grow their businesses.”

This year Ei Group has introduced two new food and drink offers across its Ei Publican Partnerships portfolio, including Barrel Top Pizza and the Beerista coffee offer. The partnership with UCB is the first of its kind and focuses on the training and development of the central teams.

Concentrating on building knowledge on the group’s latest food strategy, the day was anchored around training seminars hosted by Farr, as well as a number of workshops from suppliers such as Booker and an immersive session on how Barrel Top Pizza can benefit publicans’ business.

Mark Lewis, regional manager, Ei Publican Partnerships, said: “With any new strategy, training is key and its fantastic opportunity to get everyone in the same room. It’s great to be involved in these internal training sessions to ensure we’re all up to speed with the food offers. With the insights received, we’re able to share our knowledge with our publicans across the UK to help them grow their businesses.”

Farr added: “We are thrilled to have partnered with UCB, a major player in terms of higher education for the hospitality industry. By linking our organisations, we are able to use their state-of-the-art facilities, to enhance our training and development. By doing so, we also hope to inspire students along the way, who want to explore the pub sector and get a taste for pubs as fun, exciting, demanding businesses. With that in mind, we hope to inspire them to add our sector to their career choices.”

Amy Hollier, director of teaching and learning enhancement at UCB, said: “We are delighted to have developed such an excellent partnership with Ei Group, a company that shares the same values in developing our people into industry leading superstars.

“Having established links to a huge business such as Ei Group offers an insight and inspirational platform for our students and allows the University the opportunity to better understand and meet the needs of the hospitality industry.”