This year will mark 20 years since Richard Young took the helm at luxury Grade-I listed property Great Fosters in Surrey. During his management the hospitality industry has experienced more than its fair share of challenges, dealing with a financial crisis, overcoming technology hurdles and striving to keep up with the ever-changing demands from the consumer.
But Richard has managed to keep Great Fosters right at the top of its game. Having elbowed its way among the elite all those years ago, the hotel remains one of the most respected properties in the region. Richard first started out in hospitality at Great Fosters in the 1980s, and then went on to manage other properties such as Lords of the Manor and South Lodge Hotel before returning to Great Fosters in 1998. 2013 marked a significant year for the property as it went on to open two new restaurants in a bid to keep up with the way the F&B market was heading. The Estate Grill and The Tudor Room, which gained a Michelin star in October 2016 and stills hold it today, are both now thriving segments of the business.
The new development also saw Great Fosters utilise its 50 acres of gardens and parkland to rear livestock such as Gloucester Old Spot pigs, Longhorn cattle and Badger Face sheep, to be used at the two restaurants. Last year, the published accounts for Great Fosters highlighted a 1.71% rise in turnover, with the main driver of business credited to the weddings market, and growth continuing to come from the F&B departments.