Dual-site hotel manager, Premier Inn, Whitbread
Nominated by Rikki Quinlan, area manager
Proudest moment "Running five hotels at the age of 25 as cluster manager, improving the overall balanced score and being promoted to manager of a flagship site at London Euston."
Greatest inspiration "My late grandfather, Ernest, who had been captured during World War II but went on to build a successful building company and told me I could achieve whatever I put my mind to. Also my parents, who whipped me into shape and supported me."
Ambition "To become chief operating officer of a successful, innovative and bold hospitality business that has a specific CSR agenda."
Paul Hunter's career started as a wedding co-ordinator at Rowley Manor, Yorkshire, aged 19. Since then, his career has taken a meteoric rise. By 21, he was a restaurant manager at PizzaExpress with £1.2m revenue. At 23, he joined Premier Inn as F&B manager at the newly opened Waterloo hotel, where he helped to deliver a 100% balanced scorecard.
In less than five years with the company, Hunter has achieved five promotions and is now responsible for two hotels under Premier Inn's new hub concept, opening a third, 300-bedroom property in October.
He has also delivered exceptional results by introducing cost controls that have generated savings of £27,000. His leadership saw staff engagement targets improve by 22% at Premier Inn Earls Court in 2015/16 and by 13% at London Euston in 2016/17. He increased the overall balanced scorecard at Earl's Court by 45% and at Euston by 35%.