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Rebecca Galland, the Vineyard
Rebecca Galland started her career at Mike Robinson's the Pot Kiln gastropub in Yattendon, Berkshire. She began as bar manager, working up to become restaurant manager in just 10 months. After almost two years working at the pub, Galland moved to the Vineyard. Since then, she has worked in a number of roles, including restaurant host and assistant restaurant manager, before being promoted to restaurant manager in 2012.
In this role, Galland is responsible for overseeing the running of the 70-cover fine dining restaurant and a 20-cover brasserie. She ensures that the food and beverage services are executed to a five-star standard, while assisting the conference and banqueting team in carrying out private dinners and banquets.
In addition to this, Galland has developed the Vineyard's afternoon tea offerings by introducing a wine-matching and tea-matching service, which has seen an increase in covers, as well as a 5.4% rise in sales over the last year. She has also been working with the hotel's online booking service to better advertise what's on offer. This has seen a rise in upselling from the à la carte to tasting menus.
As time has gone on, Galland has taken on even more responsibilities. One thing that impressed the judges was her passion for training and development. Her team are encouraged to gain qualifications via NVQs and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), and take part in off-site training.
Galland also pushes her staff to have a 100% completion rate for the in-house WSET course at level one, with anticipation for level two. This personal investment has resulted in a low staff turnover with many still with her after three years or more.
Not only has Galland taken pride in training her team, she has also achieved creditable qualifications herself this year, including the Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma, and the WSET Diploma.
Andrew McKenzie, managing director of the Vineyard, who nominated Galland for the award, said: "Rebecca has an intelligent charm and an irreverent manner that stays on the right side of cheeky! This lightness of approach, coupled with a hunger for knowledge, has allowed her to build a truly motivated team who aspire to be like her.
She has de-formalised service at the Vineyard, without taking away the slickness and polish, much to the benefit of our guests and our business."
What the judges said
"Rebecca has transformed the hotel's approach to service by adding new offerings to the menu. She has an incredibly strong focus on developing both herself and her people. She has motivated and supported her team to attend courses and gain more product knowledge."
Simon Girling, the Ritz London
Sarah Holden, the Pig near Bath
"Rebecca has grown and managed a great team and also encouraged them to develop. She is passionate about her job and very loyal. She demonstrates amazing commitment to the hospitality industry."
Helle Jensen, Covent Garden hotel
Gregory Eldin Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
Rebecca Galland The Vineyard, Stockcross, Berkshire
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