Searcys starts 2020 with significant investment in service & team development


Searcys, one of the UK’s most renowned event caterers and restaurateurs, begins a new decade with a significant internal investment in its people. This reflects the company’s 170+ years of commitment to unrivalled client service and demonstrates a historic focus on upskilling its team and promoting internally.

As part of its ongoing hospitality strategy, Searcys has strengthened its meetings and events business, which experienced significant growth over 2018 and 2019. One of these is the appointment of 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. Hard work and hunger for new business in her previous role as events manager secured her the role. 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.

2019 saw over 50 internal promotions across the business encompassing operations, culinary, sales, people team, and support services.

A focus on recognising and rewarding team excellence is at the heart of Searcys’ 2020 vision. This evokes the 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. The latter will see school students learning all those special touches and flourishes which make a Searcys experience unique.

Each course is an investment in the Searcys’ team, driving excellence and consistency throughout venues. It will upskill and empower all teams, giving them an enhanced understanding of truly exceptional service.

Searcys’ head of learning and development, Daniel Rowlinson, commented: “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 teams 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.”

Pictured: Allan Heard
Molly Hookings
Author: Molly Hookings

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: