• Searcys Celebrates 2019

    31 December 2019

    As 2019 draws to a close, we would like to thank all our customers, clients and partners for their continued support. As we welcome in 2020, we send our warmest wishes to you all.

    This year we have unveiled new venue partnerships with The HAC, Saatchi Gallery Café, Weston Park in Shropshire and most recently, with 11 Cavendish Square. 2019 also saw Searcys come home to The Alnwick Garden, where Searcys’ founder, John Searcy worked as a confectioner to the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, before setting his own catering business in 1847.

    We are also thrilled to have received a number of industry accolades – two prestigious Foodservice Cateys – Event Caterer and People and Training Award; 30 Euston Square was awarded Silver for the Best Event Venue at London Venue Awards, and the Gherkin was voted the COOLest restaurant venue at Prestige Venue Awards.

    Our restaurants Osteria, Helix at The Gherkin, The Treehouse at Alnwick Garden, The Pump Room and Roman Baths Kitchen have all received Open Table Diners Choice awards. St Pancras Brasserie has been shortlisted as the Best Restaurant for the prestigious London Lifestyle Awards. Gaining industry recognition is a testament to the hard work of the Searcys teams across the business.

    We were thrilled to gain a mention in the Parliamentary Review, a bastion of political insight, which serves as an indispensable guide to industry best practice. The co-chairman of The Parliamentary Review, Lord Pickles, commented that as Britain undergoes changes, it is “essential that politicians have a firm understanding of the challenges with which British organisations must contend”. Read our case study here Searcys – Parliamentary Review.

    Sustainability

    Over the past 12 months, we have focused on creating sustainable menus which adhere to our 24 pledges and have launched our first zero-waste events menus. These include ensuring that up to 90% of all fruit and vegetables is grown in the UK. We only use UK-reared meat, flour milled in England, free-range eggs and milk from Red Tractor-certified farms. All tea and coffee are Fairtrade or Direct Impact sourced, with coffee beans coming from family-run farms in South America. The Sustainable Restaurants Associations’ top Three Star Rating is a testament to this work.

     

     

    Championing English Sparkling

    We have been particularly proud of the company-wide focus on educating and celebrating English Sparkling wines, as part of our pledge to support local producers. Activations have included English sparkling wine masterclasses, seasonal promotions as well as focused events that have all raised the profile. This approach has been reflected in the sales of English Sparkling wine at Searcys bars. We saw a growth In British fizz sales of 8% in 2019, up from 4% in 2018.
    Bakeries

    The Bakery by John Searcy is a new concept launched at visitor attractions in recognition of the prominent role a quality coffee and grab-and-go concept plays. Named after the company’s founder, John Searcy, the bakery’s menu includes coffee by Extract Coffee, freshly-baked bread, sandwiches and cakes.

     

     

    Beyond Food Apprenticeship Scheme

    Expanding our partnership with Beyond Food in 2019 has been at the forefront of our fundraising efforts. Beyond Food is a social enterprise that helps those who are most at risk of homelessness to gain employment in hospitality. Searcys not only raised funds for the charity during ‘A Very Searcys Christmas’ campaign but has been working with the charity to place its apprentices in its venues.

     

     

    Partnerships

    Over the year, we have established a number of new partnerships. Collaborations with Matt Tebbutt, Mark Hix and the award-winning British chocolatier William Curley were the highlights of Searcys’ calendar. In January, Searcys at The Gherkin partnered with Great British Bake-Off finalist Ruby Bhogal, leading nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert and yoga company Yogasphere for a month of wellness-related events.

     


     

    Searcys School of Service

    Searcys learning and development programme is a fundamental tool in the retention of employees. The 400+ different courses in which employees can enrol aim to stimulate attendees as well as creating an environment in which relationships can form across the business.

    2019 also saw Searcys’ first ever ‘Mixologist of the Year’ and ‘Barista of the Year’ competition with our winners Alessio Aufiero and Dimitrious Gkremos respectively. Searcys partnered with London-based gin producer, Sipsmith, and our coffee supplier and roaster, Extract Coffee. The competitions looked to shine a light on the talented individuals creating cocktails and beverages in our venues, as well as provide our participants with an opportunity to develop their craft.

    With standards of service and hospitality product knowledge continuing to be a priority in the hospitality and events industry, we have taken a lead with the introduction of a new School of Service. The school is built on over 170 years of hospitality experience and includes three training modules – the Searcys customer journey, School of Service essentials and School of Service masterclass. Each training course is aimed to drive consistency throughout venues, ensuring all teams understand the care and hospitality needed to provide exceptional service.

    All in all, this year we saw Searcys host 15,000 events across our venue portfolio and over 302,000 guests across our restaurants and bars. We thank each and every one of you and look forward to seeing you all again in 2020.