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Tue 16th Oct 2018 - UKHospitality names industry’s top operations managers, SI Leisure plans to double five-strong estate
UKHospitality names industry’s top operations managers: UKHospitality has announced the winners of its 2018 Operations Managers Awards at a celebratory ceremony in central London. The Operations Managers Awards are the only awards of its kind in the eating and drinking out sector and puts the finalists through a rigorous process that lasts seven months. The winners were announced at a standalone ceremony at the Pullman Hotel in Euston following a comprehensive mentoring process and a three-day masterclass. The 2018 winners were Business Development Manager of the Year: Anna Clissold, Admiral Taverns; Area Manager of the Year: Paul Dutnall, ETM Group; and Rising Star: Kyle Gunn, Mitchells & Butlers. The judges also awarded a highly commended to Lorna Willoughby, of Star Pubs & Bars. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The hospitality sector is a hotbed of ingenuity and passion and we are home to some of the most ambitious and creative leaders in the UK. The Operations Managers Awards are a fantastic way to showcase the immense talent within the sector and recognise the crucial work under way across the UK.” Operations Managers Awards founder Nick Bish added: “The 2018 Operations Managers Awards was, as ever, fiercely contested. The standard among our finalists was extremely high and our winners have proven their dedication, skill and passion for hospitality.”

SI Leisure plans to double estate by next year as it takes on fifth venue and second with Star Pubs & Bars: Multiple operator SI Leisure, run by Ian Ellis and Sefa Memetovic, is planning to double its estate by the end of next year after taking on its fifth site and second with Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars. A joint £280,000 refurbishment is being undertaken at The Fox in Steventon, Oxfordshire, to turn it into a family-friendly gastro-pub with rooms. The pub will have three distinct areas – a snug, a dining area and a bar. The dining capacity is being increased by a third. A new heated covered terrace is being introduced while a children’s play area will be installed. The pub’s six bedrooms are also being transformed. The food menu will feature “home-cooked” dishes such as Fox Gourmet Burgers, while the drinks range will include wine, beer, 12 gins and ten signature cocktails. Ellis said: “The Fox will be the only gastro-pub in the immediate area to have dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients and to offer premium-quality rooms. There is a real demand in the area for this calibre of offer. Our intention is to double the size of our operation by the end of next year. The new sites, some of which we’ve already identified, will all have a premium food offer and sizeable gardens, while most will have accommodation.” Neil Convery, regional operations director at Star Pubs & Bars, added: “We look forward to seeing the transformation at The Fox and wish SI Leisure success in achieving its ambition to be one of the best food pubs in the area.” SI Leisure currently runs Star Pubs & Bars’ The Bear Hotel in Chippenham as well as two venues on the south coast.

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