Oakman started out in Tring, Herts, with founding pub restaurant The Akeman.
It has grown exponentially and Oakman Inns now owns and operates 24 pubs across East of England, South-East England and the Midlands (see list at the bottom of this article).
The year has started well for the popular pub group after it picked up two accolades in one night recently.
At the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For List 2020 ceremony, the Best Companies three star rated company learnt they were ranked for a fifth year in the Top 30 and are this year’s highest rated multi-site pub company on the List.
Oakman Inns, which employs over 1,000 people who work across its 24, is a progressive, people-oriented company that truly believes in team engagement and has a strong desire to allow each team member to be the best they can be. At the heart of their development programme is 'Oakmanology', an award-winning learning and skills hub which was designed in-house by Oakman’s HR team, led by HR Director, Jill Scatchard. Oakmanology takes employees through both craft and leadership development, using a mix of online micro-learning opportunities including fact sheets, quizzes, eLearning, face to face training, videos and assessments.
Oakman Inns’ CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, said: “I get very emotional when I consider just how important a recognition this is of our relatively small company. We are amongst the Top 30 companies in the UK that people enjoy working for and it’s a huge honour and privilege to work with them all. They are the reasons that this company, which is only just over twelve years old, has grown and developed. We don’t stop trying, we don’t stop caring and we’ll never stop trying to please.”
The awards continued to flow at the annual The Casual Dining Awards, where Oakman won the annual Sustainable Operator Award for their non-stop effort to become environmentally better in everything they do. The company was also Highly Recommended in The Best Pub or Bar Brand of the Year, a recognition of the results of an effective, well-trained, and highly motivated team and a desire to be the best can have on a business.
Peter added: “Winning the Sustainable Operator Award underlines a fundamental and core belief that we can only work and live together, if we all pull together. We recently started working with the charity, CleanConscience, in Maidenhead, which recycles and repurposes our leftover guest soaps and toiletries. The idea to help CleanConscience was entirely a staff initiative and shows that it only requires us to make a little extra effort, to have a potentially enormous impact – lowering landfill, creating employment and training, providing overseas aid and support. I would recommend all our industry colleagues who have the capability and practical multiples of bedrooms to investigate this.”
Peter Borg-Neal is also pleading with Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to reconsider her opinion of staff in the hospitality industry. “These are highly skilled people with a high degree of responsibility. If they didn’t shoulder that responsibility, there would be no need for a Food Standards Agency, or guidelines and instructions on Allergens management. There would be no MasterChef or Sommelier of The Year. There would be no incentive to work in the industry or to see it as an aspirational career path – all because Priti Patel has this rather strange view of the people who serve her whenever she goes out.”
Oakman Inns is shortlisted in two awards (Pub Employer of the Year & Best Managed Pub Group) at this year’s Publican Awards, the industry’s ‘Oscars’, which take place on 4th March.
OAKMAN RUNS THE FOLLOWING VENUES IN OUR AREAS:
White Hart, Ampthill
Beech House, Amersham
Beech House, Beaconsfield
Cherry Tree, Olney
Dog & Badger, Medmenham
The Akeman Inn, Kingswood
Betsey Wynne, Swanbourne
The Polecat Inn, Prestwood
King’s Arms, Berkhamsted
Banyers House, Royston
Beech House, St Albans
The Red Lion, Water End
The Akeman, Tring
The Navigation at Thrupp Wharf, Cosgrove
The Crown & Thistle, Abingdon
The Old Post Office, Wallingford
Blue Boar, Witney
The Globe, Warwick
The Four Alls, Welford-on-Avon