Acorns 2021: Joshua Jay-Bates, 29

28 July 2021
Acorns 2021: Joshua Jay-Bates, 29

Hotel operations manager, the Headland hotel, Fistral Beach, Cornwall

Nominator Veryan Palmer, director, the Headland hotel

Joshua Jay-Bates started his career as a waiter in 2013, rising to catering manager in a three-star hotel by 2016. A year later, he joined the Headland hotel as a duty manager.

In the past four years he has moved from a role in reception leading a team of 15, to becoming operations manager, overseeing 85 employees and an £11m turnover operation, including hotel, cottages, spa and Aqua Club.

During summer 2020, in the absence of a general manager, Jay-Bates reopened the hotel, compliant with the new regulations, which led the business to record a profits result of 59%.

He was also instrumental in helping the hotel achieve an five-AA-star rating in 2019. In 2018, he worked with to reposition the town as a family holiday destination, rather than a stag and hen haven, by helping local businesses with their marketing.

His career progression is a model for younger team members. He has mentored junior employees, with one becoming front office manager and another joining the hotel's placement scheme. In 2019, he worked with Truro College to offer front of house placements for people with learning difficulties, including soft skills training. One placement now has a permanent position at the hotel.

When not busy with his day job, he has completed an APM project management qualification so he can manage renovations at the hotel, as well as achieving a Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma.

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

"That hybrid working patterns will remain in place and department heads can manage administration from home. Productivity increases when there are fewer distractions, and with remote systems such as Microsoft Teams, staff are still on-hand for communication and engagement."

Photography: Hospitality Media/Adrian Franklin

Back to the 2021 Acorn Award winners >>

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