Jessica Cain, assistant manager for Compass division Milburns at the Clifton Pavilion at Bristol Zoological Gardens, has scooped Springboard's Olive Barnett award.
At the awards ceremony held last night at Claridge's hotel in London, the 23-year-old said she wasn't sure what she would do with the £3,000 grant paid over three years, but was "delighted and thrilled" to win.
Her prize will also see her sit a week-long summer course at Switzerland's Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne.
First runner-up in the annual award was Katja Hagenbucher, front office manager at the Victoria Plaza hotel, London. She receives a three-year career development grant of £750.
Paul Nixon, discovery centre manager at the Scottish Seabird Centre in East Lothian, placed third and gets a grant of £500.
Award contestants had to develop a business and pinpoint its top five priorities.
Tony Elliot, Savoy Gastronome and Olive Barnett judge, said: "Jessica demonstrated an excellent grasp of the needs of a business idea and how it could be made successful."
The accord, set up by the Savoy Gastronomes in 1975, is sponsored by the Savoy Gastronomes and Chess Partnership, and organised by industry body Springboard.
By James Garner