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April 15, 2023

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Rudy’s Pizza Academy will launch alongside the group’s latest pizzeria on Portland Street in Manchester in the spring.

It will be the group’s 6th​ location in its Manchester hometown, and its 18th site in total across the UK.

The new 8,000sq ft site will be split over two floors with the Pizza Academy taking up just over half the space.

Designed to provide a dedicated training space for Rudy’s pizzaiolos, the academy will offer a structured training programme and be open to both experienced pizza chefs and those totally new to making pizza.

Rudy’s Pizza Academy is set to welcome more than 100 chefs in its first year, with every new Rudy’s back of house team member starting their journey there.

The space has also been earmarked to be used as a base for Rudy’s owner Mission Mars’s own hospitality academy, which will provide management training and development for employees across the group.

Alongside this, the Portland Street site will be the HQ for the brand’s nationwide pizza-at-home arm, Rudy’s Bake at Home, which is set to relaunch in the coming months having originally been developed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are delighted to be bringing our dream of having our own Academies for training and developing our teams to life at Portland Street,” says Jo Branney, people and culture director of Mission Mars.

“Rudy’s Pizza Academy will be our very own pizza school – and we look forward to growing the academy into a world-class and leading training space for Neapolitan pizza making.”

The impact of ongoing recruitment struggles across the sector has led to many restaurant groups developing their own training academies to help nurture the next generation of hospitality talent.

They include casual dining operator Rosa’s Thai, which last year launched its own Wok School training kitchen at its Warren Street restaurant in London​; and fast food giant KFC, whose new employability programme Hatch aims to help young people build their work skills and confidence​, with an interview at KFC guaranteed on graduation.

“The hospitality sector is facing many challenges, and we firmly believe that investing in developing our managers and future leaders is key to retention and engagement,” continues Branney.

“In 2022 we delivered over 50 days of hospitality management training courses and workshops, and we have big plans to take that to the next level at our Mission Mars Hospitality Academy. Our managers can learn expertise in management and leadership including how to be a great trainer, coaching, and engaging teams.

“We are currently building upon our existing training programmes and have new courses in development for 2024. Our people are the key to our success, so we are really excited to welcome them to our academy this summer.”

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