The Caterer

Acorn winners 2016: Gregory Hall, 29

01 July 2016
Acorn winners 2016: Gregory Hall, 29

Operations manager London B&I, Elior, London

Nominated by Mike Sunley, chief executive officer, Lexington

Proudest moment "Becoming an operations manager at the age of 28, after only 12 years in the industry, and working with some incredible co-workers, managers and clients."

Greatest inspiration "Working in the business and industry (B&I) contract catering industry, which is constantly evolving."

Ambition "My medium-term goal is to become an operations director with a view to become a managing director and perhaps chief executive."

Gregory Hall has achieved a lot in a short space of time. By 28, he had become operations manager London B&I at contract caterer Lexington, responsible for 13 London-based sites, a team of 120 and annual turnover of £6.3m.

And to prove his commitment, within just three months of taking the role he had added new business and mobilised two sites, generating a turnover of £400,000-plus.

Hall always wanted a career in foodservice. He took a calculated risk early on and left college during A Levels to join West Ham Football Club's catering trainee scheme. He mapped out what he needed to do to make the most of the opportunity and hasn't looked back.

Not afraid to stand up for what he believes in, Hall helped create a Straight Allies programme with the LGBT Foundation, which he launched across Merrill Lynch and Linklaters. In fact, Merrill Lynch's chief executive awarded him the Global Diversity & Inclusion Award. He also led his staff to the Team of the Year awards, and last year his team were finalists at the Foodservice Cateys.

At Lexington, Hall is considered a role model, mentoring graduates and trainees to help them integrate into the business. His own self-development includes taking courses in subjects such as finance for non-finance managers and contract-related law.

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