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Hotel Cateys 2015: Revenue Manager Award

02 December 2015
Hotel Cateys 2015: Revenue Manager Award

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Catherine Bernard, Lancaster London

Described by our judges as incredibly dedicated, Bernard is responsible for a combined revenue target of £43.1m, with year-on-year targets at Lancaster London and K West most recently stretched by 3.6% and 4.2% respectively. When it comes to maximising revenue per available room (revpar) and profit through the management of room inventories, market mix and pricing strategies, the buck stops with Bernard, but it is her recognition of the team effort required that is crucial to her success.

Lancaster London general manager Sally Beck says that Bernard ensures business is optimised in all areas by asserting her authority and publicising her high expectations, thus motivating her staff to achieve the best possible outcome in every situation. It's clear that arming her team with knowledge and skills empowers them to do just that.

Examples include the introduction of a groups and events bedroom rate guide that clearly defines the expected minimum rate and the number of rooms available to be booked that day, as well as bringing as many managers as she can to forecast delivery meetings to give staff a strong understanding of wider revenue targets, as well as how their personal performance can have a positive impact.

Bernard's innovative approach to problem solving was also noted by our judges, who were impressed by her efforts to constantly re-evaluate all hotel packages to maximise revenue potential at typically quieter periods, thus driving an 8% year-on-year increase in the food and beverage and family markets.

Forward planning around the refurbishment of Lancaster London has enabled Bernard to ensure her teams can perform during the frequent planned - and sometimes unexpected - power cuts while works take place. Meanwhile, a recent reduction in the number of people on the revenue team saw Bernard take the decision not to replace them all in order to avoid making redundancies when 416 bedrooms drop to 200 during the renovation.

On top of these and countless other achievements, Bernard is a committed corporate social responsibility champion, supporting Lancaster London's rooftop bees by investing in a beehive at home, and buying rooms at the hotel with her own money to donate as auction prizes to a dog charity.

What the judges said

"Catherine is very passionate about her hotels and increasing the revenue in all areas of the business. She goes above and beyond the traditional role of the revenue manager."

Tara Ridgway, finance director, the Ritz London

"Catherine has achieved exceptional results in a property undergoing a refurbishment while taking on a second property where she has also produced great numbers. She continues to build a team and develop her people."

Neil Braude, general manager, the Cavendish London

"I want to employ this person! Catherine has obviously inspired her team and taken them with her on an exciting and successful journey."

David Morgan-Hewitt, managing director, the Goring

Shortlisted

  • Catherine Bernard, Lancaster London

  • Kirsten Cameron, Crowne Plaza London Docklands

  • Oliver Milne-Watson, The Beaumont, London

Past winner

  • 2014 Helle NÁ¸rgaard Beattie, Hyatt Regency London - the Churchill

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