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The judges described Eleanor Bristow of Adam Reid at the French as an "all-round superstar" who has shown "true leadership in challenging times".
She is a restaurant manager that takes the initiative and leads by example, expanding her role to encompass bookings and customer relations management as well as business management.
Working with chef patron Adam Reid, Bristow has developed a business model with a focus on lower covers and higher spend, allowing the business to operate with a smaller team with more training and development for less experienced employees.
In building her team Bristow worked to recognise their individual strengths and tailor their roles to allow them to shine and deliver the best experience for the guest. She has fully embraced the mantra that attitude and enthusiasm will allow a team to be built from the bottom up. This can be seen in the hiring of an 18-year-old chef de rang on the basis of personality and attitude. The chef is now managing his own section and wine flight as well as training new team members.
The restaurant's assistant manager had very little experience when joining Adam Reid at the French, but is now assisting with managing the cellar and has taken charge of the wine service, thanks to Bristow's guidance and support.
She has also developed a shorter, more accessible menu to attract guests mid-week, leading to an increase in bookings on Wednesdays and Thursdays and an uptick in mid-week sales of a staggering 87%.
The flexibility to introduce new initiatives to drive profitability can also be seen in Bristow's management of the booking system and she will open extra bookings in busier periods when staffing allows to elongate a service.
She has also developed a bespoke procurement system for the restaurant outside of the Midland Manchester hotel where it resides, which allows the restaurant to be more agile in its own cost management and ordering. Her commitment to the restaurant and team also saw her voluntarily establishing of Menubox by Adam Reid, a home delivery operation, during the pandemic, co-ordinating the delivery service and developing a website, artwork and branding.
Her team said she goes above and beyond for both colleagues and guests, who she ensures receive a world-class welcome. She is recognised as ‘the face' of Adam Reid at the French and has helped the restaurant maintain four AA rosettes and a Michelin recommendation.
What the judges said
"The entry shouted out ‘all-round superstar!' Fantastic performance for evolving the role that has an impact on every aspect of the business."
"Eleanor has shown true leadership in these challenging times, creating solutions to both the industry staffing shortage and increased costs."
"Eleanor seems to be a multi-tasking individual with a great understanding of the business and real passion for the industry. She is an amazing asset to the restaurant."
Eleanor Bristow, Adam Reid at the French, the Midland Manchester
Antonino Forte, Galvin at Windows
Paul Popescu Radisson Hotel Group
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