F&B manager, the Ritz London
Nominator Katrina Brandt, learning and development manager, the Ritz London
Koula Michaelides' love of learning has seen her develop every role she has had far beyond what was originally planned for it. She joined the Ritz London as a hostess in 2012, but her innate leadership qualities and ability to deliver impeccable service saw her promoted to restaurant co-ordinator in no time.
She has continued to develop herself both through formal learning, such as gaining a Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma, and on-the-job learning, showing a particular strength for developing her team and planning. These skills have led to a string of promotions, from F&B co-ordinator in 2015 through to her current role as F&B manager in 2019. She now oversees the entire F&B business front of house, plus room service, the staff restaurant, private dining and events.
Among her achievements, Michaelides helped to design bespoke on-boarding for the department, leading to increased productivity and a significant reduction in staff attrition of 18.5%.
Throughout the pandemic, she has gone the extra mile to safeguard the mental health and wellbeing of the team. Notably, when a colleague left hospital after a severe case of coronavirus, she ensured that his home was clean and his fridge was stocked, and she collected messages of support from the team so that he felt valued.
What is the most positive people change you see for your sector post-restrictions?
"There's been a positive change in how we communicate with one another at work, as well as how much care and attention we give to people's wellbeing, both physical and mental. There's been a substantial increase in mental health awareness in the industry and I foresee it remaining."
Photography: Hospitality Media/Adrian Franklin