A luxurious private venue in the heart of Knightsbridge, Searcys at 30 Pavilion Road has been the epitome of understated grandeur since its doors were first opened in the 1920s. Full of charm and splendour, the historic house played host to the EP Chairmans Luncheon last Thursday, at which Searcys Chairman Edward Griffiths CVO extolled the virtues of excellent service and understanding the customer.
Having departed from his tenure serving as Deputy Master of the Royal Household, Edward took up the position of Chairman of Searcys and Portico earlier this year. Now well entrenched within the WSH business, he brings a passion for service and an appreciation of the importance of the minutiae.
For all those in the room, our businesses and lives thrive in the pursuit of service excellence. For me, the ingredients of this revolve mainly around ones enthusiasm and the ambition to achieve excellence in service.
We need to care passionately about it continuously review our performance and look for ways to constantly improve. Attention to detail is key, as is our commitment to training, not just of the individual skills or tasks, but of the understanding of the whole experience.
Edward explained how standards have moved forward immeasurably in the last decade, however, the public is now more and more discerning. Part of the art of service is to listen carefully to the customer, and it is for us to discern their ever increasing and changing expectations.
Service as a calling and not a stop-gap on the way to something else is also an idea close to Edwards heart. Noting the difference in attitude towards professional service staff on the Continent or the US compared to the UK, Edwards observation that the sector needs to do more to promote the professional opportunities in the hospitality sector was approved of by those at the table.
Responding to a question on the difficulty of finding quality staff, Edward explained that the onus lay with all employers to train their teams. He also referred to initiatives such as the Gold Service Scholarship, of which he is a Trustee and Chairman of the Judges, which was launched to encourage more young people into the profession, recognise strengths, and develop careers of the growing talent that exists in service.
Edward Griffiths CVO, Chairman Searcys & Portico
The Scholarship is receiving wide Industry acclaim and it is supported by other Trustees, all leaders in the industry, including Alastair Storey (Chairman and key sponsor), Willy Bauer, Silvano Giraldin, Sergio Ribecchi, Sara Jayne-Staines, Thomas Kochs and John Davey. He urged more business leaders to encourage their front-of-house teams to enter this years competition.
Enjoying a special menu of Pheasant & Foie Gras terrine, followed by Beef Wellington then finished off with peach crumble and pink peppercorn ice cream, guests enjoyed hospitality as only the Searcys team can provide in a venue not hitherto explored by many at the table.
A stunning period property full of original features including marble fire places, stone floor and antique wood panelling reclaimed from historic locations, Searcys at 30 Pavilion Road offer a truly unique and luxurious venue, available for private hire and bespoke events.
EP regularly hosts a series of events throughout the year, affording operators and professionals to come together discuss business issues and agendas and to learn from one another. For more information please contact Arlene McCaffrey