Kieran McLoughlin named UK Restaurant Manager of the Year 2018

9 January 2018Kieran

Kieran McLoughlin of Gravetye Manor Hotel was named the UK's Restaurant Manager of the Year during a prize-giving ceremony at the Royal Garden Hotel, London yesterday (8 January).

The UK Restaurant Manager of the Year competition, now in its ninth year, is run by the Academy of Food and Wine Service (AFWS), which was acquired by the Institute of Hospitality last year.

McLoughlin was one of four finalists who performed management role-playing scenarios in front of a live audience as well as being interviewed by industry leaders. He said: "This really validates what I have been doing with my life and it's a lovely payback to the people that I have worked with. The competition was very tough and represented the creme-de-la-creme of the industry and I’m very proud to be mentioned in the same breath as the other finalists."

finalThe runner-up award went to Jennifter Santner, Sketch, London (far right), and the other two finalists were Nick Emmott, English's of Brighton and Rebecca Galland, The Vineyard Hotel, Berkshire.

Tasks were observed and assessed by a prestigious panel of judges, including Roy Sommer, chairman of The Food & Beverage Manager Association, who commented: "This award is about the overall package. To be an award-winning restaurant manager, you need to have everything under control, remain calm, guide your team through service and ensure that guests have the best possible experience. And if they don't, it's how restaurant managers deal with the situation that makes them stand out."  

Another judge, Alper Zan, operations manager and hospitality consultant, won the title in 2014 and so he has seen this competition from both sides. He said: “This is a really special award for our industry because it provides an opportunity to recognise, learn and celebrate the success of front of house managers. I believe we need to do more to champion front of house service and restaurant managers in our country. It is a privilege to support, learn and influence people who have devoted their life to serve others.”

Kieran will attend Spring or Summer School at The École hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland to study modules of his choice and enjoy the opportunity to network with other professionals on the course. The prize covers tuition, flights and accommodation. Kieran also wins a one-week stage at the stunning Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo, plus a magnum of Rueda wine and a magnum of Grand Cru Champagne André Jacquart. All finalists are given the opportunity to be mentored throughout the year post-event by leading industry figures.

The judges were:
Roy Sommer, chairman of The Food & Beverage Manager Association
Alper Zan, operations manager and hospitality consultant (Restaurant Manager of the Year 2014) Johanna Wimmer, training and development manager, The Ivy Collection
Rory Kelly-Naughton, hotel recruitment manager, Evolve Hospitality
Ian Sturrock, restaurant manager, The Arts Club (Restaurant Manager of the Year 2015)
Stephane Davaine Chantelle Nicholson, group operations director, Marcus Wareing Restaurants Matthew Mawtus, restaurant manager, 85 Piccadilly (Restaurant Manager of the Year 2016)
Romain Pottier, director of restaurants, Rhubarb
Ludovic Solmi, restaurant manager, Skylon
The Restaurant Manager of the Year 2018 event was generously supported by the following organisations. 
Royal Garden Hotel
Spayse International
Savoy Educational Trust
Rueda Spanish Wines
André Jacquart Champagne
Top Selection Wines & Spirits
Tchibo Coffee Service