Georgia Hall was employed by Searcy as sales and marketing director two months ago to help raise the profile of the company that is behind St Pancras Grand, 40/30 The Gherkin and The Pump Rooms in Bath. She ran her own advertising agency before joining Yo! Sushi in 2002 helping to grow the company from 10 to 35 sites.
Marketing and PR is so important. You can’t get anywhere without information and communication. People have to know about a company before they go and spend money there.
Changing direction every five months is the worst thing for a business in this industry. Find your USP, stick to it and be consistent. All the big players are consistent.
It was great to take Yo! Sushi from a London brand into a nationwide, and now, international restaurant chain. What they were doing was refreshing and it is a very successful company.
I worked very closely with Robin Rowland at Yo! Sushi and we’re still friends. He’s fantastic and full of energy. Yo! Sushi is definitely Robin Rowland.
I’m always visiting other restaurants and bars. There’s always new things going on and it’s really important to stay ahead of the game.
This industry depends on good food. If you haven’t got great food you can forget it. If someone has a bad experience with their meal they won’t return.
Food provenance will be very important this year. People need to know where things come from and what terms like organic and free range actually mean. Waitrose are a very good brand leader in that area, but I think more and more people will want more truth about what they are eating.
Working with the chief executive, not against them is the best tip for a sales and marketing director. Don’t go off into your marketing bubble. It’s all about sales, so always try and work to a profitable conclusion. There’s no point doing something if you’re not going to see any return.
Searcy is one of the oldest catering firms in the world. My job will be to move it away from the old worlds of catering and hospitality and into the world of retail and restaurants.
My job as a marketing person at Searcy will also be to bring consistency to the brand. Searcy has contracts at 16 different venues and they are very different operations so it will a challenge.
This year is going to be an exciting one. We're about to launch a series of Champagne bars based on the success of the bar at St Pancras. It's a brand that you will definitely see being developed this year.