Another year, another Coaching Inn Group Awards!
With 2023 in full swing it was time for our teams to get out the glad-rags and dust off the dancing shoes ready for a night of dining, dancing and delight.
Our teams have something that makes them stand out – they really care about their roles. From housekeeping, to head office, to general managers and those who take part in project work – they are all dedicated to providing the best possible service. This truly gives a meaning to Hospitality from the Heart, and each year to show our appreciation and recognition of this hard work, we hold the infamous Coaching Inn Awards!
A selection of the team from each hotel, as well as any nominees are asked to attend the even, this time hosted by DoubleTree in Lincoln. Opened by the evenings host, a Mr Mat Charity, the awards began with a few words not only by the CEO Kevin Charity, but also the chairman of RedCat, Rooney Anand. This was followed by a scrumptious 2 course dinner and then the awards began, scroll down to find out more…
The Coaching Inn Group Award Winners Revealed
Front of House Person of the Year – Lauren Galley
The Front of House Person of the Year award is for person that has shown excellent product knowledge, a commitment to delighting our guests and helps deliver fantastic secret shopper scores. Lauren is fantastic when looking after guests, takes leadership in running a busy restaurant and never fails to go above and beyond, going out of her way to deliver magical moments to everyone who visits The Rutland Arms.
Night Porter of the Year – Ruth Codren
The role of a night porter is a tough one, working alone and through the dark hours of the night. This award recognises the night porter that has gone out of their way to support the operations of the hotel by using the time overnight to help their daytime counterparts. At The Admiral Rodney Hotel, Ruth has worked tirelessly through the night to aide the daytime operations, is a friendly person, greeting every guest with a smile and conversation, and is a true advocate for the Coaching Inn Group.
Kitchen Team Member of the Year – Dinu Popovic
Working in a kitchen is not an easy job and this award recognises any team member from Kitchen Porter, Commis Chef, Chef de Partie and Sous Chef that has supported the smooth operation of our kitchens and the delivery of fantastic food to our guests. Dinu supports the kitchen team at The White Hart Royal and steps up when needed, has been committed to pushing himself to be an integral part of the kitchen and has progressed and developed their skills to become a core part of the team.
Sous Chef of the Year – Jerzy Mikalek
This award is for the sous chef that has been a rock for their head chef to rely on, supporting the success of the kitchen and always ready to take the lead when the head chef isn’t there. Jerzy has been a stable and reassuring presence in The Bell Stilton has been an asset to the kitchen and their hotel, a key player in the success of their business and always provides reliable support to the head chef and has had to step up to lead the kitchen for significant parts of the last year.
Bar Person of the Year – Barbara Anena
This award is for a team member that primarily works on the bar and has shown excellent product knowledge, guest service and the ability to drive wet sales. Barbara at The Swan Hotel has improved standards and the product offering of the bar, helped implement new initiatives and ideas, and has taken our drinks menus, especially cocktails, to the next level.
Newcomer of the Year – Russel Carley
The Newcomer of the Year award recognises the person that is new to The Coaching Inn Group family and has hit the ground running in driving success at their hotel. Russel had an immediate impact in the company, having stepped down from manager at Forest Park, he then became General Manager at The White Horse and has connected with the team to drive engagement, as well as showing tremendous commitment and drive to support the hotel.
Maintenance of the Year – Danny Butler
Behind the scenes of every hotel there is someone making sure all is running as it should be. Our maintenance employees really do keep the wheels turning and are always on hand to fix any problems that come their way – and wow are there often some unlikely issues! Danny is always on hand to lend a hand, and never fails to help in a pinch, so this rewards is well deserved indeed.
Housekeeper of the Year – Danielle Dale
This award is for the housekeeper that drives exceptional standards, shows attention to detail and is committed to delivering a high level of room standards for all of our guests. Danielle from The Kings Arms & Royal has met the very high standards of cleanliness expected. Setting a standard, Danielle has mad an impression with not only guests but with her team too.
Receptionist of the Year – Emma Goulding
Often the first point of contact with our guests, either through email, phone or face to face, our receptionists give a great first impression and then further deliver on this through the guest experience when they are with us. This award recognises the person that embodies this for each and every guest. Emma is organised and efficient, ensuring the smooth running of the reception operation at The Rutland Arms, has been a consistent and valued member of the reception team, embracing and leading change.
Supporting Chef of the Year – Stuart Morris
With so many hotels now in our Coaching Inn Group family, sometimes the need arises for a little helping hand to cover holidays and/or just an extra pair of hands on deck to keep the ship afloat. Our supporting chefs are always there to answer the call! Traveling far and near, these team members connect and build relationships with many teams and communities in the hotels, making them key members of the company. Stuart Morris has really shone through as a pivotal member of this team, and has proven time and time again to be a skilled chef to say the least!
Supporting Person of the Year – Dan Hollis
With such a diverse spread of locations, every hotel benefits from people within the group supporting them, be it through working on site, offering advice or helping drive initiatives. With many hotels joining the Coaching Inn Group last year, a team of dedicated and capable employees are tasked with supporting these sites and the changes that take place. Dan has been a lifeline to many of the Coaching Inn Group hotels, has been happy to step in at short notice to provide much needed support and has maintained and driven high standards across multiple hotels within the group.
Hospitality from the Heart Award – Greg Dover
A new award to the roster this year is the Hospitality from the Heart award which encapsulates the true meaning of going the extra mile. Greg took on the challenge of leading the newly re-opened Manor Coastal Hotel and Inn, a flagship site for our signature hotels. Rising to this challenge, Greg has ensure the re-opening was a roaring success with the hotel going from strength to strength since.
Duty Manager of the Year – Tom Trigg
This award recognises the Duty Manager that has led their team and the operation of the hotel, delivering success in sales and guest service and has shown responsibility in leading the shifts that they are the on duty manager for. Tom has grown and developed to become a truly dependable manager at The White Hart, as well as aiding with supporting newly re-opened sites such as The Manor Coastal Hotel & Inn has been on a constant path of development and progression and delivers a consistently high standards that is well known within their team and with guests.
The Unlocking Potential Award 2022 – Jason Missen
This award recognises the person that embodies our philosophy of ‘Unlocking Potential’. This is for the person that has embraced career development and truly unlocked their potential by progressing through the ranks at their hotel. Jason has grown year on year to develop his career and is now a fundamental part of their hotel becoming an invaluable member of the management team at The Golden Lion, St Ives.
Embracing Culture Award – The Jamaica Inn
Another new award this year and a fitting one indeed to go to The Jamaica Inn in Cornwall! Joining a new company is never easy, when faced with many changes and new processes, it can be very daunting. The team at the famous Jamaica Inn have taken it all within their stride and have faced the challenges head on from the get go!
Deputy General Manager of the Year – Phil McNally
A deputy manager needs to be ready in all situations, prepared to take the lead when their GM isn’t there, and be able to step in and take on the function of the GM, whilst also being a cohesive link between management and departmental teams. This award is for the deputy that has used this position to contribute to the success of their hotel. Phil always leads from the front, with a ‘walk the walk’ attitude and has delivered exceptional results for their hotel, being a consistent leader in the business. Phil has stepped in without falter every time their GM isn’t there, always giving The White Hart Royal a safe pair of hands.
Central Office Person of the Year – Lynsay Carnell
The team at central office work tirelessly every day to support each and every hotel. Each department is integral to complimenting the work done on the floor around the group. This award is nominated by our teams, for the person that they felt had the most impact in supporting all hotels. Central Reservations is the first point of contact for our guests, always lending a friendly voice on the end of the phone and nothing is ever too much, however they also support the hotels in day to day tasks without a second thought. Unsung hero’s of the group, our reservations team have faced many challenges this past year – especially over the Christmas period! Lynsay has shone through as being a beacon of positivity, even when things seemed a little tough, and it has not gone unnoticed by guests and teams alike. A well deserved recognition for a real example of fantastic support!
Team Spirit of the Year – The Swan, Stafford
We all know the challenges of working in hospitality, and the true secret to succeeding is the spirit of teamwork. This award recognises the team that pulls together in the good times and the tough times, and the team that gives off an aura of warmth whenever anyone walks through the door, not necessarily because of anything they are doing, but just by the atmosphere their team spirit creates. The Swan Hotel has a clear philosophy of working together that comes naturally to each and every team member, they deliver consistent results driven by the cohesion between the team and they embody the Coaching Inn Group culture and create an environment that is joyful to work in.
Group Hero of the Year – Karen Somerwill
Every month our teams nominate the person that has stood out in your hotel as being a hero. This was always meant as more than an employee of the month award, it was for the person that goes out of their way to make a real difference. This has evolved to highlight one person at each hotel that becomes their ‘hero of the year’ and from these people, we recognise the group ‘hero of the year’. It was a really tough decision to pick one overall winner, but Karen stood out for her compassion and care and will enjoy an stunning trip to Florida to celebrate!
Head Chef of the Year – Suzie Isaacs
The award recognises the head chef that has successfully led their team, is constantly adapting their menu with the latest food trends and maintains excellent food quality and kitchen management. Suzie has built a stable team around them when there is a well publicised industry chef shortage, is constantly innovating and developing their menu to be able to display the best food in their area and has driven the standard of their food to an exceptionally high level and stabilised the kitchen at The Feathers, Ledbury.
New Hotel of the Year – Forest Park Country Hotel & Inn
With so many new editions to the Coaching Inn group family last year, we felt the need to add this award to showcase the wonderful efforts of our newest family members. A change of pace for the group, this hotel has offered an entirely new pallet for our guests to enjoy! A stunning location, dedicated staff and wonderous atmosphere make Forest Park a credit to our company.
General Manager of the Year – Jim Lewis
The highly coveted General Manager of the year is hotly sought after by every GM within the group. The past winners reads like a who’s who of remarkable managers – Mark Chapman, Joe Lavin, Tracy Marper, Tom Reeve It is no easy task to win this award, it requires consistent performance over the whole year, delivering on all of the core metrics, and fundamentally developing and leading a team that will embody the culture of the Coaching Inn Group. Jim has delivered fantastic results this year. Although this award focuses solely on this past years performance, they have achieved it consistently over a number of years as well, he has gone above and beyond his role.
General Hotel of the Year – The Feathers, Helmsley
The hotel of the year recognises the hotel with the best all round performance. It is a consideration of all factors from financials, to premium standards and team cohesiveness. After yet another fantastic year, it takes a lot for one hotel to really stand out, and this award really is a mark of excellence, driven by great people in all departments. The Feathers in Helmsley won this award as they have shown fantastic standards in every department, raising their game and offering excellence in service, have delivered phenomenal results consistently throughout the year, beating like for likes and budgets one of the standout performers of the group and have performed exceptionally across every department. Supported by an outstanding senior team, they have had a remarkable year and are truly a worthy winner of this award.
Thank you to all the people who made the Coaching Inn Group Awards 2023 possible, including: the team at DoubleTree and AudioAllstars!