Acorns 2018: Darryl Harris, restaurant manager, Home Grown Hotels, the Pig near Bath

01 June 2018 by
Acorns 2018: Darryl Harris, restaurant manager, Home Grown Hotels, the Pig near Bath

Restaurant manager, the Pig near Bath (Home Grown Hotels)

Nominator Sarah Holden, hotel director

Proudest achievement "Helping the students of Bath College to run a Pop-up Pig restaurant. It was rewarding to see the next generation so excited."

Biggest inspiration "Hotel director Sarah Holden, who has been my mentor since I started. Everything I have achieved is down to her."

Ambition "To keep progressing and learning. But if we are talking big dreams… Watch out Robin Hutson, I'm coming for your job."

Darryl Harris' flair and ambition have seen him promoted three times in three years. He joined the Pig near Bath as chef de rang in 2014 from Jamie Oliver's Deli in Bath. Within months he had applied for the restaurant supervisor role, followed by the assistant manager job. In 2017, he was promoted to his current role and has already achieved the strongest average spend per head to date, increasing it by £1.80 on 2016, notching up three extra covers a day last year and serving almost 60,000 covers this year. The result is F&B revenue of more than £2.5m.

Clearly, Harris can generate business, but he is equally talented in managing his 25-strong team. As well as mentoring them through the internal departmental training programme, he looks at the bigger picture. For instance, he arranged for one of his strongest chef de rangs to spend three months on reception, followed by experience at a sister property in Courcheval, France, because he knew it would develop her potential.

In another incentive, he divided the team into four groups and put them through a series of knowledge, practical and menu-tasting tests that rewarded the winning team with dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Staff turnover has dropped from 41% to less than 35% in Harris' first year as manager.

And there have been personal triumphs, too, such as completing a leadership and management course at ILM.

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