Employee wellbeing is increasingly on the agenda in the hospitality industry. For the second year running, 5-star central London Marriott Hotel County Hall has offered its employees nutrition workshops and screening as part of its Associate Appreciation Week.

The sessions, provided on-site by SuperWellness, fit within County Hall’s shift towards associate wellness and the Marriott group’s wider ‘Take Care’ initiative. The company’s strong wellbeing ethos promotes wellbeing on a variety of levels, from financial to mental and physical.

The Human Resources department commented: “We know we need to add more value than just a job and a pay check at the end of the month. We want to make a difference to people and how they feel, and our wellness programmes are part of that. It’s how we got involved with SuperWellness.”

The sessions, which ran in April 2017, and again in April 2018, focused on boosting energy and performance through daily diet and lifestyle habits. Workshops were complemented by body composition testing clinics, measuring individuals’ metabolic age, muscle mass, body and visceral fat percentages among other statistics. Nutritionists provided coaching and advice appropriate to everyone.

According to County Hall’s HR team, “It’s about knowing your numbers, understanding what they are, what makes up our bodies, and how what we eat can affect how we feel. That’s a hugely important part and it’s informed our strategy going forward as to how we look after the staff.”

One participant was Executive Sous-Chef Budiono Sukim, who took the advice he received to heart and recently shared his progress in a video interview. Over the course of 12 months, Mr Sukim’s weight dropped by 18.5Kg and he lost 4 inches around his waist. The number he is most proud of is his metabolic age, which came down from 58 to 39, the metabolic equivalent of being 19 years younger.

Seeing his body composition statistics was a wakeup call, which spurred on Mr Sukim there and then to make changes. He cut out added sugar and fizzy drinks and with the support of his team, took up a new exercise routine. His determination and success have in turn given motivation to his colleagues in the kitchen and the wider hotel staff.

Mr Sukim describes the moment he found out his results on his second session with SuperWellness: “I couldn’t hide my joy. I was jumping around! I immediately went to share my results with my HR Manager, who’s been a big support on my wellness. It’s given me confidence, I have more energy, and I can see myself when I’m much older, travelling the world with my healthy body.”

Mr Sukim is now training for his first Marathon, set to take place in London 2019.

“We’re absolutely delighted with how it’s going,” said County Hall’s HR team, “and we’re really committed to helping associate wellbeing and driving that in the hospitality industry. We’re in an industry that puts up a lot of barriers to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, whether that’s long shifts, stressful environments, the kitchen being one of them, working in the heat and being around food every day. It can be very tempting.”

As well as offering staff free access to the hotel’s large leisure facility, County Hall has upgraded its associate food offering in the canteen since SuperWellness’s first visit and plans to maintain the momentum already gained with further nutrition sessions in future.