• Searcys Celebrates International Women’s Day 2020

    4 March 2020

    In the run up to this year’s International Women’s Day 2020, we are celebrating women from Searcys’ venues who are making an impact in the hospitality industry.

    Read more about our amazing female colleagues whose passion for the industry and dedication is paving the way for more women to join the hospitality sector.

    YVONNE GRAHAM, PASTRY CHEF AND WINNER OF THE INAUGURAL JOHN SEARCY AWARD

    What is your role at Searcys?

    I am the Head Pastry Chef. I manage a team of five and cover all pastry and baking aspects, working on high-profile and bespoke events. I have in Canada, Alison Price, Harrods and the Green House Restaurant, to name a few!

    Do you have a memorable Searcys moment?

    My team and I are currently making a 20 ft, four-tier Christmas cake for a Las Vegas themed Christmas party. I also won the 2020 John Searcys Award, which was certainly memorable!

    What does ‘be brilliant’ mean to you?

    To shine brilliantly and be a shining light and example.

    What is your advice for women joining hospitality?

    Be prepared to work hard, remain passionate about your love of food and stay focused. The kitchen has never been an easy place to work, especially for women, but things are slowly changing for the better.

    What are you working on at the moment?

    I am leading an exciting new John Searcys afternoon tea concept across our venues.

    Who do you admire?

    My grandmother and mother. My grandmother was a chef in the RAF and inspired me from a young age. Her and my mother are phenomenal, inspiring and strong women who have been a great influence on my life choices and career.

    Who is your favourite chef?

    Elena Arzak. Whilst on a culinary tour across France and Spain, I dined in San Sebastian at the Arzak restaurant, which Elena runs alongside her father. The food, service and entire concept was simply outstanding.

    What is your favourite dish?

    Profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate sauce. Simple but delightful!

     

    VICTORIA WATSON, GENERAL MANAGER AT THE ALNWICK GARDEN

    How long have you worked in hospitality?

    I started my hospitality career at 17 years old. After training to be a chef, I completed a hospitality management course. I worked in hotels and did contract catering for various business types including Business and Industry, Police and Prisons, MOD, Healthcare, Schools and Universities and I am now at a Visitor Attraction! I have worked for Searcys for 10 months and am currently General Manager at The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland.

    Do you have a memorable Searcys moment?

    I attended my first Searcys annual conference earlier this year and it was great to feel part of a business that is successful and cares about the people who help make it happen.

    What does ‘be brilliant’ mean to you?

    Going the extra mile every day and always doing the right thing for the right reason in the right way.

    What is your advice for women joining hospitality?

    That it will be hard work. If you’re not in the industry, hospitality can seem much simpler than it actually is, as there are so many different aspects to juggle. But it can also be very rewarding.

    What are you working on at the moment?

    I’m planning for the spring and summer seasons at The Garden.

    Who do you admire?

    My mother and grandmother. I learned to cook from a very early age and my grandmother was Maltese so the range of dishes we made was very broad. This was where my interest in cooking and hospitality started.

     

    EMILY KENDALL, HOLLY DAVIES AND AMY HYDE, EXCLUSIVE EVENTS TEAM, SEARCYS SUPPORT OFFICE

    How long have you worked at Searcys?

    ALL: We all have experience in the catering industry, selling venues and working in hospitality. Emily and Amy have been at Searcys three and a half years and Holly for three years.

    Do you have a memorable Searcys moment?

    AH: Selling and organising a variety of weddings at 30 Pavilion Road.
    EK: Selling and executing a live opera event at The Gherkin.
    HD: Contracting the largest event Searcys has held at One Moorgate Place.

    What does ‘be brilliant’ mean to you?

    EK: Working hard and succeeding brilliantly.
    AH: Trying your best and thriving in what you do.
    HD: Being consistent and always giving 100%.

    What is your advice for women joining hospitality?

    ALL: Be bold, confident and do not be afraid to give your professional opinion. Most importantly, be yourself and enjoy what you do as you spend a lot of time at work.

    What are you working on at the moment?

    ALL: The mobilisations of new venues, making proactive sales to hit targets and introducing new members of the team.

    Who do you admire?

    ALL: Marie Curie, whose research into radioactivity saved countless lives. The Marie Curie charity holds annual events at one of our venues and we are very proud to work them.

     

    NAOMI BARCLAY, DIGITAL MARKETING EXECUTIVE, SEARCYS SUPPORT OFFICE

    What brought you to Searcys?

    My professional history has always been mostly in marketing. I started as a marketing intern at a jewellery retailer and have worked my way up. Today, I am the Digital Marketing Executive at Searcys’ Head Office and I love it.

    Do you have a memorable Searcys moment

    Reaching 6,000 followers on Searcys’ LinkedIn!

    What does ‘be brilliant’ mean to you?

    To go above and beyond people’s expectations of you – to be ambitious and proactive.

    What is your advice for women joining hospitality?

    You should have a passion for the industry and love being around all sorts of people. Hospitality is fundamentally about serving people and making them feel special.

    What are you working on at the moment?

    I’m currently working on improving Searcys’ social media strategies for engagement, ROI, awareness, and want to reach 10k followers on Instagram. I’m also taking courses to upskill myself in content writing and paid social media marketing.

    Who do you admire?

    This probably sounds cheesy, but it’s definitely my mum. She’s always been a massive support to me. She’s also a businesswoman and has mentored me through my education and career, giving me guidance and inspiration.

     

    OPPORTUNITIES AT SEARCYS

    We are always looking for talented and energetic individuals to join our team. If you are passionate about excellent service, great food and want to add value for our customers, we want to hear from you: ibelong@searcys.co.uk FIND OUT MORE