Position: Senior general manager, Simply Heathcotes
Career to date… Buckley has been with Heathcotes for the past five years, after starting as a trainee, learning the basics and disciplines of front of house at Simply Heathcotes, Preston, Lancashire. He was later promoted to head waiter before moving to assistant manager.
In 2003, he became general manager at the Olive Press in Manchester, where he helped open the restaurant. As senior general manager, he now runs Simply Heathcotes in Manchester.
Why is he a winner? Buckley is a trained mentor and has had four success stories to date, each of whom has become a manager in their own right. He has been involved with new site openings and with developing and trialling new initiatives. He also regularly helps with Heathcotes Outside catering, which includes running restaurants and hospitality at Chester Racecourse. He firmly believes in customer care.
In Buckley's first year as general manager of the Olive Press in Manchester, he turned over more than £800,000. At Simply Heathcotes, where he is responsible for a 40-plus staff and a turnover in excess of £1m, he regularly hosts cookery classes and demonstrations for local schools, where children as young as five come to learn how to cook and see how meals are prepared using fresh ingredients.
According to Buckley's nominator, Max Gnoyke: "Chris's ethos of not relying just on the food quality but also exceptional and unrivalled service has resulted in his making the Olive Press Manchester a success. The company is now reaping the same benefits across all the Heathcotes brands, as they are influenced by the standards he has personally set."