The Caterer

Hotel Cateys 2016: Conference and Banqueting Team of the Year

30 November 2016 by
Hotel Cateys 2016: Conference and Banqueting Team of the Year

Sponsored by Reynolds

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

In charge of those 32 function rooms, and the Ballroom, is Park Plaza Westminster Bridge's meetings and events team. Split into three divisions, each arm handles a different area - sales, planning and operations. In 2015, the team served 11,171 guests over 842 events. Despite dealing with so many events and such a large number of people (the biggest events can see the operational team swell to 250 people when casual and agency staff are included), the hotel still manages to ensure that team members are nurtured and constantly trained, which has had beneficial effects on the performance of the business.

The meetings and events team at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge has encouraged its members to be prepared and ready for the transition into their next role internally, and this has helped lead to increased levels of development and retention. In fact, Marian Dodu, who originally started as part of the construction team for the hotel, has been supported by management in his progression to his current post as logistics manager within the meetings and events team.

In the past year, focus has gone into enhancing the guest experience for key accounts in a venue that sees a large amount of repeat business. The initiatives the team has taken on include a sweet shop offering over 100 different varieties of sweets, complete with old-fashioned scales and tuck shop-style paper bags; and an outside catering partnership that provided picnic hampers at Blenheim Palace for a four-day music festival - a first for the hotel.

The team also demonstrated plenty of examples of how it has gone the extra mile to support its customers, once sourcing replacement and correctly engraved awards after a client accidentally broke the originals hours before a client's ceremony was due to begin. Luckily, it's pretty hard to smash a Hotel Catey, but no doubt this team should be well placed to look after one!

What the judges said

"Park Plaza demonstrated how an investment in people can pay dividends in the future. This was shown by the way the team pulled together to grow revenue, plus the way in which they would go over and above their job spec to make the client happy."

Paul Southern, Central Hall Westminster

"It is a real pleasure to see how the team is developed in a large, fast-paced environment. There is a clear passion for customer service in everything they do, which has obvious revenue benefits."

Gareth Bush, Wales Millennium Centre

"Park Plaza Westminster Bridge demonstrated real team developments. They had recognised the faults of their previous submissions and really thought about their entry. They showed how the team had gone above and beyond in customer care, and gave very succinct and relevant back-up information."

Lorraine Jarvie, Hotel du Vin


Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

Wotton House Dorking, Surrey

Hotel Cateys 2016 Conference and Banqueting Team of the Year
Hotel Cateys 2016 Conference and Banqueting Team of the Year

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