How SEND workers powered 'bed and burger' chain


Employing neurodivergent staff at Mollie's Motel and Diner was eased with the guidance of community partnerships and the faith of the People team...

Employing neurodivergent employees at Mollie's Motel and Diner was eased with the guidance of community partnerships and the faith of the People team.

The matching of SEND workers at Mollie’s Motel and Diner, is key to their talent pipeline and the success of their community partnerships. Carving out roles that suit the hours and abilities of their neurodivergent staff together with throwing away the rulebook on interviews has eased the path. Here, the People team talk why it works and the power of inclusivity.

All day dining and roadside motel with a splash of difference

Cokes and shakes, sundaes and burgers, the classic American diner has been the mainstay of the teen hangout from Lou’s Café in Back to the Future and Frosty Palace where Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta look dreamy eyed at each other. It’s the place where ‘stuff’ transpires, love matches, feuds, the hatching of escape plans – it all happens over a soda and a double whopper.

We wanted to make sure that our people are looked after, nurtured and cared for

Trudi Parr | Head of People Development, Mollie's Motel and Diner

Enter centre stage, Mollie’s Motel and Diner, less Five Guys more Soho House, it’s a quirk in itself, an anomaly on the burger scene because there’s nothing plain about this eatery. Dreamed up by Nick Jones, founder of Soho House, Mollie’s is turning a vintage American classic diner into a one-stop shop that offers a ‘burger and a bed.’ As a roadside motel, the twin location of Bristol and Oxfordshire seem unlikely, yet work. Manchester opens this summer.

The rooms offer a night of recovery from the carb load - the difference to the competition is there is very much the splash of Soho house in the design, yet it’s twinned with prices that make this brand accessible. Conran furniture and comfortable beds offer guests a taste of the ‘upmarket.’ It is, as the marketing PR labels it, ‘The classic American motel-diner brought bang up to date.’

Trudi Parr


Head of People Development

Rebecca Lester


People and Development Business Partner

Stay different

Doing things differently is an ethos that seeps into their resourcing strategy too because a business is only as good as its staff. I talk to Trudi Parr, Head of People Development, and Rebecca Lester, People and Development Business Partner. Parr says that they are very much driven by their customer demographics which range from the ‘transient’ base to corporate customers. It is expectedly ‘diverse.’ “What we started to do was make sure that our people are aligned with that.”

Parr adds that together with Lester, the duo have been in hospitality ‘forever’ and that they are very much driven by a desire to build a brand that could start to change the perception of hospitality through their own ‘little’ contribution. “We wanted to make sure that our people are looked after, nurtured and cared for,” she explains.

Our community partners will come to us with a suggested person, and we find out about them, what their desires are and their capabilities, we then consider how we can carve out a role for them

Rebecca Lester | People and Development Business Partner, Mollie's Motel and Diner

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