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Hotel Cateys 2011 – Front of House Team of the Year

08 December 2011
Hotel Cateys 2011 – Front of House Team of the Year

Hotel Cateys 2011 - Front of House Team of the Year
Sponsored by Merchant Cash Express

WINNER: The Cavendish, London

The motto of the front-of-house team at the Cavendish is "We are one team pulling together" and this is borne out by the high standards each employee demonstrates.

No request is too large for head concierge Richard Jenkins and his team, who pride themselves on never saying no. Leading by example in this regard, Jenkins once drove to Newbury on his day off to return items to a guest. Meanwhile, front of office assistant Aziz accompanied an elderly guest who could speak no English to the airport to ensure he checked in safely.

In fact, the entire front-of-house team is equipped to anticipate guests' needs and those of their colleagues. Each team member undergoes cross training in each department and they also enjoy a local bus tour to familiarise themselves with the surroundings of the hotel.

To ensure it is delivering on the investment in its people, the hotel uses a guest satisfaction survey to assess front-of-house performance. With the target set at 90%, the team is given a real incentive to excel. And it clearly does. All areas improved during the first three months of 2011 by at least 2%, while reception service saw a 4.5% uplift.

The survey also means that any issues that arise are dealt with immediately. Any score below a seven is followed up directly with the guest to gain first-hand feedback and address the problem. Where there is praise of particular staff members, they are rewarded.

Having already been recognised in the Sunday Times Best Small Companies to work for list, where it leapt from 99th place to 35th this year, the hotel is no stranger to accolades.

What the judges said…

"Front office manager Katarina Burikova and general manager Ciaran Fahy have demonstrated that the front-of-house team provide exceptional service but also a caring and nurturing training environment."
Philip Newman-Hall, director/general manager, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

"Irrespective of the star rating and locale of the hotel, I was impressed with the overall positive attitude of the front-of-house team. This included very good innovations regarding guest care and indeed good innovations regarding the team members."
Alistair Sandall, key accounts manager - senior inspector, AA Hotel Services

THE JUDGES
Philip Newman-Hall
, director/general manager, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Alistair Sandall, key accounts manager - senior inspector, AA Hotel Services
Ben Seager, rooms division manager, the Montague on the Gardens, Red Carnation Hotels
Annabel Shaw, hotel manager, Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane
Andrew Toole, general manager, Jurys Inn Manchester
Robert Walton, director, Trunkwell Mansion House/president of the Restaurant Association


THE SHORTLIST
Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London
Park Plaza Victoria, London
Rocco Forte's Brown's hotel, London
The Cavendish, London

FORMER WINNERS
2010
Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
2009 Malmaison Hotel, Leeds
2008 Jurys Inn Manchester
2007 Rudding Park

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