An innovative app has recently launched here in Manchester, and it’s already shaping the future of freelance working in the city’s bustling hospitality sector.
Manchester is a city known for its resilience and community spirit, and that has never been more evident than in this post-COVID world as we bounce-back and recover from one of the most significant challenges we’ve had to face, but it’s true that the hospitality industry has had to overcome a lot more than other sectors.
Which is why Brigad could not have come at a more perfect time.
With the staffing crisis within the hospitality industry said to be reaching points of over 3,000 ongoing open vacancies, Brigad is all about end-to-end collaboration between hospitality businesses and qualified self-employed professionals.
Having launched back in 2016, and having already made a name for itself both here in the UK and with our overseas neighbours in France, Brigad allows businesses to be put in touch with verified self-employed professionals in just a few clicks, which ultimately saves precious time as the entire administrative process is automated, and then on the other end, for freelance workers, it allows them to choose work freely every day from a large number of well-paid assignments that work ideally for their needs and time constraints.
Brigad prides itself on being a company with a mission, and its goal is simple – “to make work attractive and accessible to all”.
But what was it that made Brigad make the move to launch in Manchester? How is it looking to make positive change to an industry that provides so much to our proud city? And how can it benefit businesses?
With Brigad having already connected around 4,000 freelance workers with work opportunities across London, the company is adamant that there is no time to waste in applying these resources to the great city of Manchester.
Brigad says its decision to provide services to Manchester is vital to “ensure efficient post-pandemic recovery” of the city’s hospitality industry, as it’s a company that works within the framework of social responsibility and is all about empowering hospitality workers by connecting them to temporary freelance shifts with a decent and fair minimum hourly payment.
“The city itself has provided some of the most innovative people-based solutions to encourage the individual to be better valued when the greater industry does not provide this,” Brigad says.
“This is why we are launching Manchester.”
Manchester is said to be the first in “the long line of cities” the company wants to begin operating in, as it believes “the city’s values reflect our values perfectly.”
Brigad allows businesses to be put in touch with verified self-employed professionals in just a few clicks / Credit: Arnaud Caillou
How does Brigad work? And how can it help businesses?
To sum Brigad up simply and how it helps businesses fill staffing vacancies, businesses offer their vacant shifts on their rotas to the app, and the workers will then accept those that best suit their timetable, lifestyle, career path, and income.
Brigad knows that as a restaurant owner or manager, sometimes you need qualified staff to fill in, which is why it aims to stop them from wasting time by looking for suitable casual staff as the profiles on the platform are the best freelancers in hospitality, and their skills and experience are rigorously checked and approved by the Brigad team.
The innovative app works in three simple steps:
Post a request – Create your request in a few seconds from your account page, and personalise it with specific requirements (dress code, equipment needed, etc).
Offer accepted by Brigad – Minutes later, you will receive the details of the freelancer who has accepted your mission, and they will call to introduce themselves and ask any questions to fully understand the task at hand.
Contracts and payments are automatically managed – Contracting, invoicing, and payment is taken care of at the end of each mission, and businesses don’t have to do anything.
How is Brigad “pioneering the new future” of Manchester hospitality?
Brigad says it holds “a hearty commitment and respect” towards those who work in the hospitality industry, and with such a vast network of innovative, progressive, and pioneering businesses and workers, Manchester makes “complete sense” for its next step.
The company says it supports the future of hospitality in Manchester as a tech solution for those looking for security, freedom, independence and financial prosperity.
“A city with an independent spirit deserves hospitality staff of the same mindset,” Brigad says.
What are the founders saying?
“Brigad is on a mission to make work attractive and accessible to all,” explains Florent Malbranche, CEO and co-founder of Brigad.
“We are excited to be expanding into the vibrant city of Manchester and confident we will enable thousands of hospitality workers change their professional life for the better.”
Brigad says its decision to provide services to Manchester is vital to “ensure efficient post-pandemic recovery” / Credit: Arnaud Caillou | Brooke Cagle (via Unsplash)The company’s goal is simple – “to make work attractive and accessible to all” / Credit: Arnaud Caillou
Keen to find out more?
To help meet and connect with more local businesses, and to show just how much of a benefit the app can be to the city’s hospitality industry, Brigad is hosting a two-day open day event here in Manchester city centre next Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 May, which is free to attend, and you can find out more information and sign up here.
There will also be an evening event with Team Brigad and businesses which use the app, and you can pose any questions you may have to them over some drinks and great food.
To find out more information and see how Brigad can help your business, head over to the company’s website here.
Peaky Blinders Manchester gains official TV show license — and they’re having a big party to celebrate
Peaky Blinders Manchester site has been officially licensed by the much-loved British TV series and they’re throwing a big ol’ party in full 1920s fashionto toast the occasion.
Originally set up as a separate entity from the show back in 2018, the popular bottomless brunch spot, restaurant and bar has become a familiar face on the hospitality and late-night scene, spawning many, but it’s only until now that the flagship Manchester venue has officially partnered with the show.
Just in time to mark the iconic franchise’s 10th anniversary this year, the group agreed on a deal with Peaky Blinders‘ media company Banijay Rights to provide proper licensing to the bar right here in the city centre.
There are multiple spin-offs all over the UK but it’s only the Manchester location that can now claim to be the officially licensed Peaky Blinders bar, so why not have a big bash to celebrate? We’ll cheers a glass of whiskey or two to that.
For anyone who’s never been, situated on Peter Street in the heart of the busy Deansgate strip. Peaky Blinders Manchesteris a real destination venue for any big fan of the show who might also fancy some good food, a cheeky tipple and live entertainment while they’re at it.
All done in a roaring 1920s twist — flappers girls and men dressed like gangsters straight out of the hit show — it’s all about immersing yourself in the spirit of the place and there’s no better way than getting involved with their big anniversary knees-up on Friday, March 1.
Complete with actors who stay in character, as well as an extensive range of Peaky Blinders-themed cocktails like the ‘Monaghan Boy’, ‘Solomon’s Silence’ and ‘Dirty Ada’; plenty of live music and all the glitz and glamour you’d hope for, it’s going to be a ball.
As for scran, the menu includes classic homemade dishes with a Peaky Blinders twist and, for one night only, you can even book on to their two-hour bottomless brunch deal beforehand.
The interiorPeaky Blinders’ bottomless brunch is a local faveCredit: Supplied/The Manc Eats
Speaking on the newly-forged official partnership, Group Director of Licensing and Merchandising for Banijay, David Christopher, said:“We love to offer fans the chance to inhabit the incredible world of Peaky Blinders, and a venue like this, which is enjoyed by so many people, complements our portfolio of immersive entertainment.
Bringing Peaky Blinders Manchesteron board as an official licensee ensures customers can enjoy an experience synonymous with the integrity, quality and character of the series.”
A great way not only to round off the month but kick into March with a drink in hand and a swing in your step, there are still tickets left for the Peaky Blinders 10th anniversary party at their Peter Street venue and you can grab yours HERE and general admission is completely free.
The thousands of hours it takes to perfect making some of the best sushi in Manchester
We’d wager if you took a survey of people on the street in Manchester and asked them what food they find most intimidating, a very big chunk of the answers would be sushi and raw fish.
But then again, most of them haven’t been to MUSU yet.
Listen, we get it, even tasting menus sometimes sound a touch upmarket and a bit out of their wheelhouse to some people, but this two AA Rosette-winning Japanese restaurant is helping make fine-dining and seafood experiences more accessible whilst delivering a truly unforgettable meal.
We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Head Sushi Chef André Aguiar after he served us MUSU’s ‘omakase’ tasting menu straight from the counter, which features some of the most amazing sushi, nigiri and all-round high-end produce we’ve ever come across. This guy knows his stuff.
Can you give us a brief overview of your background/journey as a chef?
I started my career in Brazil which was my home country. I was in the army and met a captain who was passionate about Japanese cuisine. After he introduced me to the world of Japanese culture and cuisine, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
I then opened a Japanese restaurant in 2010 in Brazil and stayed there for two years before selling the restaurant in order to move to Ireland in order to learn English.
I met a Japanese master at Taste by Dylan McGrath in Dublin who wanted to retire and move back to Japan but the deal that he had with the owner of the restaurant was that he had to find a new head chef before he left so I started to train with him, he was very strict and it was really tough but I persevered for three years until I was ready to take over the head sushi chef position and was there for 4 years.
After Taste, I moved to Italy for 6 months to open a restaurant and train the staff then came back to Dublin in 2019 and continued to work there but then Covid hit and unfortunately they closed down due to the pandemic.
After the pandemic, I went to Portugal to open another restaurant and to train staff and when working there I was approached by the directors of MUSU who were on holiday there and were looking for a head sushi chef to join the team.
After they tried my tasting menu at the restaurant in Portugal, they offered me the position immediately, so I moved to the UK the next month and I’ve been here ever since.
Amazing. What was it that drew you to MUSU and the ‘omakase’ concept specifically?
The fact I was able to build a team from the ground up, develop a menu from scratch and work with the finest ingredients in the world.
At the end of the day, that’s what every chef wants.
Simple as that. What about your favourite sushi creation?
During the development of the menu at MUSU I was able to experiment with lots of different ingredients. While I can’t name one favourite creation the three stand-outs are the Chu-toro seared with Japanese charcoal; the carabinero prawn with miso butter and then the salmon with foie gras.
During development, I was able to create a selection of ‘Edomae’ nigiri that really pushes the boundaries of traditional Edo-style sushi — if you visit I’d recommend trying a few of them.
Yep, we can vouch for all three of those dishes. What advice would you give people new to sushi/seafood/tasting menus?
Most of the people who come here and say they are afraid to try raw fish or have usually had a bad experience with sushi due to low-quality ingredients. When they try it here, we always get asked why it is so different and why it is so good.
I always tell them the details behind the sushi we create including the ageing and curing process to improve flavour and texture as well as the rice quality, temperature and seasoning.
We use the best ingredients in all of our sushi, including the best sushi rice, nori seaweed; A5 wagyū beef; aged soy, aged vinegar and the freshest wasabi on the market shipped directly from Japan.
I always recommend that people just be open-minded when it comes to trying new things. Sometimes people have one bad experience and never venture into it again, whereas when people are open to new textures and flavours they have the best experience.
Absolutely. And if you had to describe the omakase experience in three words what would they be?
Literally translating to, “I’ll leave the details up to you”, that’s how we’d sum up the whole omakase experience: you get to watch a craftsman carefully examining every minute detail as he builds some of the most incredible seafood courses we’ve ever had the pleasure of eating right in front of your eyes.
Chef Andre is a master in every sense of the word and not only do you get to see his skills on show but his knowledge of the cuisine and pure passion come across as he explains each and every dish.
Every incredible ingredient is lovingly presented and you get to witness the clean, military-level precision and almost surgery-like operation unfold up close as the freshest of produce is turned into little plates of art. It’s quite fascinating to watch.
So if you’re guilty of being nervous try sushi and seafood in this kind of setting, there aren’t many better places to push the boat out and dip your toes in. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed — and better still, if you sign up for the MUSU Rewards scheme, you can get 30% off your food bill this March and even more throughout the year.