Searcys, an events caterer and restaurateur, has begun the new decade with an internal investment in its people.

As part of its ongoing hospitality strategy, Searcys has strengthened its meetings and events business, which experienced significant growth throughout 2018 and 2019, by appointing Allan Heard as Searcy Group account director.

Heard has worked previously worked for Searcys as general manager at 30 Euston Square. Prior to this, he was head of catering at Chatsworth and Devonshire Group.

Another promotion is Valerie Lalenkova to proactive sales manager at Searcys at The Gherkin, where she will be responsible for conversion of bookings, managing exhibitions and in-house showcases, event sales and FAM trips.

Luiz Mazzari has been promoted to general manager at 30 Euston Square, with the executive chef Daniel Broughton leaving the venue to take up a new position as Searcys Group development chef.

Other new appointments include Vytaute Vegyte as sales and events manager at The Gherkin, who will be responsible for driving sales from weddings and repeat clients.

The business saw over 50 internal promotions within 2019, including operations, culinary, sales, people team, support services.

Searcys’ vision for 2020 focuses on ‘recognising and rewarding team excellence’. The company is encouraging its teams to ‘Be Brilliant’, supported by its recently launched School of Service.

The School is built on over 170 years of hospitality experience and focuses on three core training modules: The Customer Journey, Service Essentials and a Masterclass as well as several e-learning and on-the-job learning interventions.

Searcys’ head of learning and development, Daniel Rowlinson, said: “Our motto for this year is ‘Be Brilliant’ and, fundamentally, we want our team to aspire to excellence across the board, whether it’s folding linen or pouring the perfect glass of Champagne. The School of Service aims to achieve this.

It is our intention for over 550 front of house team to complete the School of Service modules in 2020. We have selected and trained over 35 champions and trainers to deliver these sessions at their own venue. They will be our ambassadors, demonstrating how any experience at a Searcys venue is an unrivalled one, from the food on the table to the quality of service for each and every visitor.”