Programme manager, the Service Academy, BaxterStorey (WSH Group)
Nominator Elizabeth Histed, communications manager
Proudest moment “Developing and launching the Service Academy, the newest in-house training programme in the learning and development department, and my first role since completing the BaxterStorey graduate scheme.”
Biggest inspiration “My dad, who works with wine and is my biggest cheerleader. And chef Margot Janse, a strong female role model who used food as her way of making a difference in people’s lives. I worked with her during my studies in South Africa when she was executive chef at the Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek.”
Ambition “To train and help people from a disadvantaged background to build a skill-set and help them start their hospitality career.”
Clever, committed and charitable are three attributes that sum up this Acorn winner. Even before Gabrielle Le Roux had graduated with a first in hospitality business and the 2015 Helen Trott Memorial Award for Outstanding Commitment from the University of Birmingham (UCB), she had been headhunted for BaxterStorey’s Momentum Graduate Trainee Programme.
As BaxterStorey’s Service Academy programme developer, Le Roux has led the development of its new training department with a programme that develops multi-skilled front of house teams. She also launched a 12-month apprenticeship programme and devised the first internal multi-department service auditing framework which, during the pilot, prompted a 39% lift in service standards and saves almost £300 per audit.
In 2017, she completed the WSET Level 3 Award and became the first nominated WSET educator in the UK foodservice sector accredited as an Approved Programme Provider.
As well as lecturing hospitality students at UCB, Le Roux also mentors scholarship recipients. In memory of a friend, she is developing a scholarship at the Cape Town Hotel School to cover the fees of a three-year hospitality course.