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Rising stars

The Beds & Bars Rising Stars Programme

Our Rising Stars programme was born out of three questions – how do we build resilience? How can we change our own weaknesses into strengths? And where is our breaking point, and what happens when we hit it? Every year our HR team carries out a rigorous application and interview process to select 12 employees to invite to the programme, which covers leadership and self reflection, sales and marketing, public speaking and finance over a five month period. The four modules last one week each, and once each applicant has completed the course, they must deliver a 20 minute presentation on a new business idea or strategy with Q&A to a panel of senior leaders. The best presentation is moved forward to the board of directors, and implemented in conjunction with the winning applicant.

During the course of our Rising Stars programme, the 12 selected candidates become part of the navy, public speakers in Barcelona, high-level financiers in Berlin and pilots in London. Every single Rising Star has the opportunity to mould the future of Beds & Bars with an idea they present to the board – and every applicant, successful or unsuccessful receives a detailed progression plan with the business. The programme, following a hiatus due to Covid-19, is back with a vengeance in 2023, and has been as successful as ever.

Week One

A group of colleagues on a leadership course plunge into cold water.

Week one of Rising Stars challenges our candidates mentally, physically and emotionally. We join the Royal Navy in Dartmouth for a series of leadership tasks in difficult – often cold and wet – conditions. Our Rising Stars are quite literally thrown in at the deep end in week one, and live as Naval recruits in a working base. The 12 candidates are assessed throughout on their abilities to lead, follow and support groups of people they have mostly just met. Week One is left mostly as a mystery to new Rising Stars applicants – so this is as much as we’ll let on!

“Week one of Rising Stars is a tough but very, very rewarding experience. A lot of the team were pushed well out of our comfort zones, and we all had to lean on each other for help at some points. I personally had only met a couple of the other Rising Stars before week one, but left feeling really close to the entire group.” – Hal, Rising Star 2023

Week Two

From the Navy to Barcelona – week two of Rising Stars is slightly more relaxed, and much warmer! Candidates stay in our award-winning venue at the top of Las Ramblas to explore their public speaking and presenting skills, whilst they refine their ideas which will be pitched to the board at the end of week four. Unlike week one in Dartmouth, there’s plenty of time for the Rising Stars to relax in true Barca style and find out more about each other’s innovations for the business – but it’s by no means easy, as this year’s Rising Stars team found out;

“I had an idea that week 2 would be easier, but once again I was surprised; not only by the schedule of activities but also by the amount of tasks that he completed and how much we learned in just few days. The public speaking training was challenging, even for me, who myself consider good at it.” – Cibele, Rising Stars 2023

Week Three

A group of colleagues on a Rising Stars 2023 trip outside in Barcelona.

Week three in Berlin takes the Rising Stars on a crash course in finance and reporting, and gives candidates the tools they need to run their own business effectively. This week is also another opportunity to refine and test their ideas with other team members, and prepare data to share with the board.

“The Rising Stars programme is an amazing opportunity to receive a training that fits all types of roles within the company. From bar staff, to sales agents and general managers,  this program pushes your limits in ways you never imagined whilst also having fun and making some great friends that will support you along the way! I am excited to be part of this journey and look forward to see how it ends!” – Rocio, Rising Stars 2023

Week Four

The final week of Rising Stars in London is preparation and practice time for the candidates, culminating in a final day of presentations to the industry expert Beds & Bars board. The winning idea selected at the end of the fourth week receives backing and funding from business leaders, and each finalist receives a progression plan for their time at Beds & Bars. All 12 Rising Stars by this point have earned a night off – or a night out!

“Rising Stars was an incredibly formative experience for me and my career at Beds & Bars. I have no doubt it helped me grow hugely both personally and professionally, and I was lucky enough to have my idea integrated into the wider business. I’m now the Head of People and in charge of organising the programme, and the four weeks I spend with the candidates each year is one my favourite aspects of my role. Seeing people grow, change and get over mental obstacles throughout the course is very special.” – Chance Fisher, Head of People, Beds & Bars