2019 winner: Devid Isabella, the Goring
Sponsored by Tchibo Coffee International
Raised in the south of Italy, Devid Isabella has an inbuilt passion for hospitality. He is responsible for running the Michelin-starred Dining Room at the Goring hotel, looking after a team of 45 colleagues.
Since joining the hotel in October 2017, Isabella has never missed his budgeted revenue or costs. In fact, thanks to daily meetings with the general manager and open communication with his team – along with tight control of bookings and focusing on upselling training – he has increased F&B revenues by an average of 30% per month.
In the past year Isabella has introduced several promotions that have produced a growth in revenues of 22%. He has also focused hard on controlling costs through a detailed induction for new employees and the introduction of new storage systems, reducing china and glassware breakages by 30%, better stock control of employee uniform and better management of linen, which has cut costs by 32%.
Isabella nurtures talent and strives to retain the team he has developed by coaching and promoting within his department. He works beyond his department to help other teams and organises cross-training programmes to give his team an insight into all areas of the hotel.
Isabella plays an important role in the Goring's management training scheme. One success story is Max Coates, who joined the hotel as a management trainee and is now an assistant manager in the hotel's new Siren restaurant.
In addition, Isabella takes five students from the hotel's 12-month placement scheme and prepares their training programme so that they are exposed to all areas of the departments for which he is responsible, meeting them on a weekly basis to keep on top of their progress.
Isabella has promoted 13 team members within his department over the past 12 month while others have transferred into other departments within the hotel. As his nominator says: "He is a manager who is not frightened to let go of good team members in his department to ensure their own personal development."
He works with students outside the hotel too, through the Hotel School set up by Jeremy Goring and the Passage charity. Isabella conducts workshops and offers support to homeless and vulnerable people on the course, who are matched to sustainable employment.
Isabella has helped the sustainability team, promoting ideas such as recycled cups in the staff dining area and the introduction of sensors in rooms so that lights aren't left on. He has built a culture of trust among his team, given them the space to grow and delivered some outstanding results.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
"Devid has been able to demonstrate care and attention to detail in achieving the highest standards of service. A true team-focused leader who has the pedigree to deliver great and consistent service."
Julien Foussadier, assistant director of F&B, Rosewood London
"A well-rounded and established restaurant manager who demonstrates great attention to detail, product knowledge and exceptional training methods."
Simon Girling, director of F&B, the Ritz London
- Mariano Bianchino L'oscar, London
- Devid Isabella The Goring, London
- 2018 Leni Miras, Colony Grill Room at the Beaumont, London
- 2017 Luigi Cagnin, the Ritz London
- 2016 Rebecca Galland, the Vineyard, Stockcross, Berkshire
- 2015 Sarah Holden, the Pig near Bath
- 2014 Davide Durante, the Bingham, Richmond
- 2013 Andrew Sicklin, Galvin at Windows, London
- 2012 Michele Caggianese, Jumeirah Carlton Tower London
- 2011 Mark Bevan, the Chester Grosvenor, Chester
- 2010 Diana Gailiunaite, Docklands Bar and Grill, London
- 2009 Marc Whitley, the River Bar and Restaurant at the Lowry, Salford
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