Acorn winners 2012 – Charles Williams

28 September 2012
Acorn winners 2012 – Charles Williams

Age 27

Position Private dining manager, the Lanesborough

Nominator Geoffrey Gelardi

Proudest career moment Meeting the Queen and managing a private luncheon for her and her closest staff.

Greatest inspiration Geoffrey Gelardi, managing director at the Lanesborough, whom I met when I was 17. When I asked him for advice on where to start, he told me to "start from the bottom and work my way up". Another fabulous mentor is David Morgan Hewitt, managing director at the Goring. He taught me that the most important thing about working in a five-star luxury hotel is "service, service, and service".

Ambition I'd like to run one of the finest hotels or luxury collections in the world.

Having studied international hospitality management at Oxford Brookes, Charles Williams joined London's Goring hotel in 2005 as a management trainee, spending three months in each of its three F&B departments.

Nine months later he was promoted to assistant night manager and over the next two years worked up to assistant bar manager and then private dining manager, overseeing an operation that was generating revenues of over £1m.

Just 18 months later, Charles was promoted to reservation and revenue manager, generating revenue of more than £6m across a number of market segments. He joined the Lanesborough in May 2011 as private dining manager and manages a team of 20, including operational staff, in a department generating annual turnover of more than £2m.

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