Acorns 2021: Christopher Bancroft, 29

28 July 2021
Acorns 2021: Christopher Bancroft, 29

Front of house manager, the Newt in Somerset

Nominator Andrew Foulkes, general manager, the Newt in Somerset

Christopher Bancroft's CV is a name-dropper's paradise. His first taste of hospitality was as a student, working at Northcote in Lancashire as a general assistant. After a brief flirtation with an architecture degree, he returned to hospitality and undertook the Ten Out Of Ten management trainee programme, during which he honed his skills across front and back of house departments at Chewton Glen, the Rick Stein group, the Vineyard, Lucknam Park and Calcot Manor.

He then returned to Lucknam Park, working up from assistant manager to assistant front office manager, and completed a Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma.

Promotion came quickly. Christopher started at the Newt in March 2019 as head of reception and was promoted to front of house manager two months later. His contribution is evident in the fact the hotel's average daily rate has grown from £250 to £330 in the 12 months since opening in September 2019, with £420 forecast for June.

Self-motivated and diligent, he embraced senior management duties during each of the national lockdowns and was instrumental in developing the hotel restaurant's new click-and-collect business. He now leads operational planning for the hotel's latest offering, the Farmyard at the Newt.

In the future he hopes to champion the Hoteliers' Charter, and recently he has been supporting future talent through the Newt's graduate programme.

What is the most positive people change you see for your sector post-restrictions?

"The heart-breaking periods of closure have given us an opportunity to show how much we care about each other, with businesses engaging their teams through everything from virtual wine tastings and cook-along clubs to encouraging staff to engage with nature. I hope this will continue, as it has had such a positive effect on team morale and mental health."

Photography: Hospitality Media/Adrian Franklin

Back to the 2021 Acorn Award winners >>

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