Acorns 2018: Rachael Henley, F&B Manager, the Idle Rocks Hotel

01 June 2018 by
Acorns 2018: Rachael Henley, F&B Manager, the Idle Rocks Hotel

F&B manager, the Idle Rocks hotel

Nominator Paul Goodwin, hotel manager

Proudest moment "The opening ceremony of the Kigali Convention Centre in Rwanda prior to the African Union Summit, because of the quality of service delivered by my team."

Biggest inspiration "It is hard to look past my parents, but professionally I am inspired by my hotel manager Paul Goodwin, head chef Guy Owen and general manager Nick Hanson, who have given me the tools to grow in my role."

Ambition "I'd like to run my own boutique hotel."

Rachael Henley joined the Idle Rocks in St Mawes, Cornwall, in 2016. She was promoted to F&B manager last year with a brief to develop the professionalism of the team. She is succeeding, with the implementation of an online training platform called Lobster Ink as well as cross-training across the hotel and sister hotel, St Mawes.

The result is that engagement is up, recruitment spend is down and turnover is at 50% of what it was before her arrival. Another knock-on effect is that service and quality has improved: the restaurant is a finalist for Best Wines List in 2018 in Food Magazine, and F&B average spend has increased by 12%.

Certainly, Henley is driven. In her early 20s, she moved to Rwanda as F&B management trainee at a Kempinski hotel. Moving up to outlet manager, she re-positioned, re-branded and developed the outlet, exceeding previous year-to-date revenue. She then moved to the Radisson Blu Kigali Convention Centre as assistant venue manager, where she recruited and managed 200 staff and wrote and delivered training modules.

No doubt that experience inspired her to provide on-site training for students from Truro College and internships for students with the International Hospitality Management School, Vatel. Henley also helps new hotel staff settle in by organising English lessons and sailing tuition, and she is working with Falmouth University to develop a hospitality management degree.

Her managers clearly expect even greater things of her, as they have created a bespoke training plan to help her become general manager within seven years.

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