Owner and landlord of the Rose and Thistle pub in Rockbourne, Hampshire, and managing director of CCS Hospitality
Nominator Chris Sprague, client relationship director, Elior
Proudest moment "Purchasing the Rose and Thistle in 2014 at the age of 21."
Biggest inspiration "Lucie Ward, my first manager and trainer, who inspired, pushed and motivated me through three promotions in three years, from hotel trainee to trainee manager to front of house manager."
Ambition "To add accommodation to the Rose and Thistle, with completion this summer. By 2024, I aim to open two further businesses on the same model. Longer-term, to operate and own a group of boutique hotels."
Some 24-year-olds are just starting out, but Christopher Chester-Sterne has already given 29 people jobs at his pub the Rose and Thistle. Since buying the freehold pub in Rockbourne in 2014, he has also driven consistent revenue growth year-on-year from £346,844 in 2015/16 to a predicted £430,000 in 2017/18. The Rose and Thistle is established as a top 10 pub in the New Forest on TripAdvisor, as well as having notched up four years in The Good Pub Guide.
Chester-Sterne has a vision for the modern, rural pub, investing £40,000 to sensitively modernise the ancient property, while ensuring the locals are on board. He has also sought their input when applying for planning permission for three shepherds' huts for guest accommodation at the back of the pub. Indeed, he has worked hard to integrate with the community, hosting 14 events and raising £3,500 for local initiatives.
He has also offered work experience to local school children, supported apprenticeships, and spoken at schools to promote hospitality.
In his early career, Chester-Sterne showed consistent progress, with three promotions between 2010 and 2013, which saw him rise from hotel trainee to front of house manager at Stanwell House hotel, Lymington, before taking the postition of duty manager at the Montagu Arms, Beaulieu, where he was awarded Employee of the Month for exemplary customer service.
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