A message from Simon Crowe

Without a doubt one of the most common questions I get asked is “What’s it like to work at Grill’d?”

The answer will differ for each person but, broadly speaking it’s a question that takes me to very core of who we are as a company and what we stand for. Without a doubt one of the key ingredients in this success is our people. Whether you're a newly minted Team Member starting at one of our many new restaurants or you're one of our longest serving Restaurant Managers, everyone carries a pivotal role in delivering or aiding the delivery of our product to our guests in the best possible way.

Our mission, to be the most fun and respected brand in every local community, is something we feel deeply passionate about. Making Grill’d a place where our team can be brave, stand by their convictions and become good leaders is critical to the future of Grill’d. In fact, the very reason Grill’d has become successful is because of the calibre of our people. All of us deliver the unique Grill’d experience that makes us famous.

Our people are our brand. That's why, when our commitment to our people is under question, we believe in doing what’s right, not what’s easy. And that is why we've chosen to engage with the media and relevant stakeholders and speak to the issues that are being raised in both mainstream and social media, regarding how we develop our people and in particular, our traineeship program at Grill’d.

A story is being aired on Channel Nine’s A Current Affair in relation to a number of allegations about traineeships at Grill’d. It originated from an online petition started by the Young Worker Centre (YWC) in Victoria following a concern raised by a Team Member at one of our restaurants. The claims are that Grill’d are deliberately delaying training to prolong trainee wages being paid. Since this allegation was made some weeks ago a number of things have happened:

Firstly, we have worked with the team member in question and resolved each of her concerns, including the completion of her Certificate III in Hospitality last week, and not only is the team-member happy, she is very positive about the outcome.

Secondly, we met with the Young Workers Centre (YWC) where we have outlined our Grill’d Training Program. The YWC has acknowledged the work already undertaken in the management and application of our traineeship program and identified some areas that they believe can improve our procedures and we will work with them between now and Christmas to further enhance this program.

Finally, we met with Brady Halls from A Current Affair at our Galeries restaurant in Sydney on Monday to provide context and balance to a story where we feel we have a lot of positive messages to be heard.

What are the key facts?

Grill’d has modernised our Enterprise Agreements (EA) for both company restaurants and relevant Franchise Partners. An overwhelming 95% of our people voted for our new company agreement in late 2015, and this was ratified by the Fair Work Commission. It has now been embedded into the business.

Training and traineeships have been and remain a core commitment of Grill’d in the development of team members and this is communicated through both recruitment and induction. Grill’d trainees can walk away with a nationally recognised qualification.

• 1400 employees across Grill’d are paid as non-trainees
• We have a very strong partnership with our registered training organisation (RTO) Sarina Russo Institute (SRI) after they partnered with Grill’d in January 2016 after our previous training provider Vocation went into liquidation through no fault of Grill’d.
• Sarina Russo Institute is a reputable organisation who meets all legislative requirements as evidenced by recent state authority audits.
• 111 workshops have been scheduled nationally in 2016 with a further 34 scheduled for December. SRI, from a standing start, have built significant momentum to our program which now includes 19 dedicated trainers across Australia working on our program.
• 366 team-members from both company and franchise restaurants were invited to participate in a fast track program in August 2016 with the express purpose of bringing these traineeships to completion, recognising experience on the job.
• All our Grill’d trainees, throughout their Certificate III in Hospitality at Grill’d, receive both their Responsible Service of Alcohol and Food Handlers Certificate at no cost, and we encourage our team to complete the requirements of the traineeship with a $400 bonus being paid upon completion.
• And finally, Grill’d invests around $500,000 annually in running our traineeship program. We do so as a fee for service model with SRI, we do not make a profit from any government funding received for trainees.

I am incredibly proud of the business we have built together at Grill’d and the standard of quality and consistency of experience our guests have come to enjoy when they visit Grill’d.