Searcys outlines ‘significant’ investment in service and team development

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Searcys has bolstered its leadership team as it prepares for 2020 with a focus on upskilling staff and promoting internally via its School of Service initiative.

Specifically, as part of its ongoing hospitality strategy, the company has sought to strengthen its meetings and events business, which it says experienced significant growth over 2018 and 2019.

As such, it has appointed Allan Heard as Searcy Group Account Director. Allan has worked his way up through the Searcys ranks previously serving as General Manager at 30 Euston Square. Previous to this, he was Head of Catering at Chatsworth and Devonshire Group. 

Another promotion is Valerie Lalenkova to Proactive Sales Manager at Searcys at The Gherkin. She will be responsible for conversion of bookings, managing exhibitions and in-house showcases, event sales and FAM trips. 

Luiz Mazzari has been promoted to General Manager at 30 Euston Square with the executive chef Daniel Broughton leaving the venue to take up a new position as Searcys Group Development Chef. 

Other new appointments include Vytaute Vegyte as Sales and Events Manager at The Gherkin, who will be responsible for driving sales from weddings and repeat clients. 

As s whole, 2019 saw over 50 internal promotions across the business encompassing Operations, Culinary, Sales, People Team, Support Services.

Searcys says a focus on recognising and rewarding team excellence is at the heart of its 2020 vision, evoking founder John Searcy’s dedication to the world of hospitality and his ongoing commitment to supporting his employees. This year, the company is encouraging its teams to ‘Be Brilliant’, supported by its recently launched School of Service.

The School is built on over 170 years of hospitality experience and focuses on three core training modules: The Customer Journey, Service Essentials and a Masterclass as well as several e-learning and on-the-job learning interventions.

Searcys’ says the course will drive excellence and consistency throughout venues and will upskill and empower all teams, giving them an enhanced understanding of exceptional service.

Searcys’ Head of Learning and Development Daniel Rowlinson, said: “Our motto for this year is ‘Be Brilliant’ and, fundamentally, we want our team to aspire to excellence across the board, whether it’s folding linen or pouring the perfect glass of Champagne. The School of Service aims to achieve this. 

:It is our intention for over 550 front of house team to complete the School of Service modules in 2020. We have selected and trained over 35 champions and trainers to deliver these sessions at their own venue. They will be our ambassadors, demonstrating how any experience at a Searcys venue is an unrivalled one, from the food on the table to the quality of service for each and every visitor.” 

All Searcys team are eligible to apply for the School of Service and the programme is free of charge. For more information visit:

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    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien