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Acorn winners 2017: Paul Hunter

Written by:
Written by:
Acorn winners 2017: Paul Hunter

Dual-site hotel manager, Premier Inn, Whitbread

Nominated by Rikki Quinlan, area manager

Proudest moment “Running five hotels at the age of 25 as cluster manager, improving the overall balanced score and being promoted to manager of a flagship site at London Euston.”

Greatest inspiration “My late grandfather, Ernest, who had been captured during World War II but went on to build a successful building company and told me I could achieve whatever I put my mind to. Also my parents, who whipped me into shape and supported me.”

Ambition “To become chief operating officer of a successful, innovative and bold hospitality business that has a specific CSR agenda.”

Paul Hunter’s career started as a wedding co-ordinator at Rowley Manor, Yorkshire, aged 19. Since then, his career has taken a meteoric rise. By 21, he was a restaurant manager at PizzaExpress with £1.2m revenue. At 23, he joined Premier Inn as F&B manager at the newly opened Waterloo hotel, where he helped to deliver a 100% balanced scorecard.

In less than five years with the company, Hunter has achieved five promotions and is now responsible for two hotels under Premier Inn’s new hub concept, opening a third, 300-bedroom property in October.

He has also delivered exceptional results by introducing cost controls that have generated savings of £27,000. His leadership saw staff engagement targets improve by 22% at Premier Inn Earls Court in 2015/16 and by 13% at London Euston in 2016/17. He increased the overall balanced scorecard at Earl’s Court by 45% and at Euston by 35%.

However, what has set Hunter apart from the crowd is his quest to be a role model. Not only has he overseen the promotion of 23 managers since 2012, but he has also been instrumental in creating links between Premier Inn and charities that support young people, such as Springboard, Camden Society, Inspired Youth – London and Action on Disability. In 2016, he co-ordinated more than 150 work placements across London with an 85% completion rate.

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