Craig Bancroft Awarded Hotelier of the Year 2016
Craig Bancroft, managing director of luxury Lancashire country house hotel, Northcote, has been named The Caterer’s Hotelier of the Year at the 2016 Cateys sponsored by Casna Group. This award celebrates the UK’s most exceptional hotelkeepers and winning it represents the pinnacle of a career in hotelkeeping. Now in its 33rd year, the award is given to an individual displaying the management, leadership and communications skills required to manage a hotel at the highest levels of excellence, along with a commitment to employees and the industry at large.
Craig Bancroft founded Northcote in 1983 with Chef Patron and Managing Director, Nigel Haworth, with the aim of creating an “Oasis of Food and wine Excellence with Outstanding and Genuine Hospitality.” Over their 33 year history, Northcote has gone from a six bedroom hotel to a 26 bedroom hotel, which included a £7m redevelopment and refurbishment completed in 2014.
2016 has been a hugely successful year for Northcote and its team, having retained their Michelin star for the 20th consecutive year and being named Hotel of the Year: England in the 2016 AA Hospitality Awards and Lancashire Tourism Awards Hotel of the Year. The hotel team is now looking forward to the future including setting goals such as two Michelin stars, achieving 8-10 points in the Food Food Guide and 5 AA Rosettes. They are also focusing on continuing to improve staff welfare and training to further champion the brilliant industry beyond our own business for the greater good of all. And making the gardens a biodynamic organic environment by 2018.
Craig Bancroft, managing director of Northcote, said: “This is an incredible honour to receive this amazing recognition for all the hard work that we have put in over the years of creating Northcote. It is, in my eyes, an award for the whole Northcote Family over the 33 years of its journey and everyone past and present who has contributed to our overall success especially my business partner Nigel Haworth and our investors Lynda and Richard Matthewman (Chairman), who had faith in us to help create the new Northcote over the last 3 years. I’d also like to say a huge thanks to my wife Helen for her unrelenting support over the years.
I hope to be able to use the profile that this accolade creates to inspire an industry to help fuel a serious campaign to get people into Hospitality. We have an amazing business in the UK which is so exciting everyday but we are short of young and mature people alike who have the skills and appetite for this amazing business of Hospitality. It will be a serious and challenging mission but one I hope collectively we will resolve over time if we work together as an industry with a united front.”
The Caterer explained on its website that hoteliers are multi-talented, but they also take on each and every task with enthusiasm and inspirational zeal, no matter how taxing the challenge. That’s why previous winners of the Hotelier of the Year award are elite operators, able to turn their hand to any aspect of a hotel’s smooth operation. They are men and women at the pinnacle of their profession, capable of managing the smooth and successful running of a hotel with a smile for guests and support for staff. Past winners of the Cateys Hotelier of the Year, include: Nick Jones, Soho House (2015); Danny Pecorelli, Exclusive Hotels and Venues (2014); Stuart Bowery, Grosvenor House A JW Marriott Hotel (2013); and Stuart Johnson, Brown’s Hotel London (2012).
The Cateys state that the 2016 Hotelier of the Year is likely to display many of the following skills and qualities:
• Total commitment and dedication to the hospitality industry
• Demonstrates fair and decisive leadership skills
• Excellent communicator
• Well respected in the industry
• Exemplary business track record
• Innovative and creative
• Strong attention to detail
• Manages by example
• Runs well-maintained hotel that consistently surpasses its competitors
• Consistency of delivery: ensures all guest stays exceed expectations
• A personal touch with guests
• Offers value for money
• Develops and introduces new services to enhance customer experience
Commitment to employees
• Focuses on developing employees’ careers and maximising potential
• Willing to impart knowledge to employees
• Organises staff surveys and acts on them
• Empathic and approachable
Commitment to industry
• Supports government initiatives to promote hospitality as career of choice and raise standards of training
• Engages with local community to promote industry
• Supports hospitality organisations and events both personally and with his/her hotel/business resources
• Contributes personally, and with hotel resources, to help charitable initiatives; involves staff in charitable/community events
• Has well communicated and effective environment policy.