Being awarded an Acorn Award 2017, as one of the 30 under 30, from all the talented people working in the hospitality industry was an incredible honour and one of my highlights of the year. I was initially nervous about the winner’s weekend but the time at Cliveden is a memory I will never forget.  It was action packed from start to finish and was an absolute privilege to spend time with hugely talented people from across the industry.  I would urge everyone to spend some time to nominate an entrant for this life changing award.

Benjamin Veale Reservations Manager The Ritz London

Winning an Acorn Award is to date my greatest career achievement. It was a real honour to be presented with this accolade, and to experience an unforgettable weekend at Cliveden House. The Caterer and ACT cleaning team are simply fantastic hosts who really bring everyone together, and continue to do so well after the Winners weekend is over. At 27 winning an Acorn was career defining, over night it opened doors for me to build new connections across the industry. In September 2017, I opened a 339 bedroom hotel in Westminster for hub hotels, I am now looking forward to the next chapter in my career, and supporting the future Acorn Winners. 

Paul Hunter Hotel Manager hub by Premier Inn Westminster Abbey

I’ve been reading The Caterer since I started out in the catering industry aged sixteen. I knew about the Acorn Awards but it was one of those things that other people won. To think you could be in the top 30 under 30 in the whole of the UK; it seemed an impossible dream. But last year, I just went for it! Winning was a complete honour; not only has it raised my profile but the buzz it creates has been great for my pub too. It really has been a highlight of my career so far.

Gordon Stott Landlord and Head Chef The Sun Inn

The award of an Acorn was the standout moment in my career. I am exceptionally proud and humbled not only to be nominated but also to win. To be recognised for my hard work and dedication to my hotel, the great people I work with as well as the industry as a whole.  The winners weekend was memorable and I am sure I speak for the entire group when I say we all had a fantastic time from start to finish. The 29 other winners are an eclectic bunch and it was fascinating to meet passionate people from various aspects of the industry. It is truly inspiring to be amongst such a great bunch of likeminded individuals and I am sure I have developed lasting network and relationships.

I hope the award will help he to enhance my career, and I can go onto achieve my goals and help those around me to achieve theirs.

Mark Surguy Hotel Operations Manager Exclusive Hotels and Venues

Recognising rising stars is an important part of securing the talent pipeline for the future hospitality industry. The Acorn Awards provide an important platform for doing so, and being chosen this year was great, not only for me personally but also for my employer. The process itself provided a useful opportunity to network with industry peers and begin to build relationships with others who aspire to progress in the sector. The Acorn Awards are a positive initiative for UK Hospitality and long may they continue.

Ben McEwen Sales Executive BaxterStorey

Winning an Acorn Award means you become part of an exclusive club within the hospitality industry. It’s incredibly well recognised throughout the sector, and genuinely helps propel your career onto a new platform- and it’s always nice to be recognised for the hard work you do. The winners weekend is so much fun; getting to know like-minded people in a stunning location with great food and drinks is definitely one the highlights of the year.

Sam Gardner Operations Manager Purple Cubed

I am exceptionally proud to have been one of the chosen few to have won this amazing award. I have had career highlights but this one blows all others out the water. Specially to be surrounded by so many familiar faces it has made a great year turn in to one of the best years of my life. Not only winning the award, but being able to meet and spend time with the future stars of the industry, but also meeting past winners who have gone on to even greater things. All in all the whole experience from start to finish has been epic.

Owain Llwyd Jones General Manager The Fishes