The awards 2019

Learn from others in your industry

Hospitality firms from all over Cornwall came together through the Hospitality Hacks Cornwall Awards 2019 programme to learn from experts on subjects ranging from Instagram to marketing, as well as sharing their efforts to improve overall competitiveness.

The Hospitality Hacks Awards Cornwall road show double-decker bus rolled into town at the end of January 2019 with a series of thematic workshops helping local businesses get ahead and improve operations.The bus visited town centres in St Ives, Falmouth, Newquay and Padstow and encouraged decision makers from restaurants, pubs, hotels, guesthouses and others in the hospitality space to begin dialogues aimed at sharing some of the innovative ways certain companies are implementing small, but incrementally powerful changes.

Visitors to the bus were encouraged to share a “hack”, a change, large or small, that has been made in the business to improve efficiency, competitiveness or productivity. It could be something as simple as taking orders from queuing customers before the kitchen opens.

It was all part of an awards programme that culminated on 26 February at an event hosted at Nancarrow Farm. There, the best hacks across categories such as customer service, digitisation and operations were celebrated after being judged by industry professionals. Dukes Collection MD Deborah Dhugga, Longleat Safari Park & Cheddar Gorge head of operations Simon Townsend and Western Morning News editor-at-large Martin Hesp selected the winners. 


Here are some of the best that were shared on the bus:

  • “Reply to email enquiries as fast as possible – ideally within one hour – even if it’s just to acknowledge the email and say you’ll reply later. If someone has sent out a load of email enquiries your quick reply could be the difference between them booking with you or not.”
  • “Most of our staff are trained to work both front of house and in the kitchen. This means we can always offer them shifts and are also provide training for future opportunities.”
  • “We provide doggy bags for all customers that bring dogs. These include biodegradable poop bags, a toy, treats, directions to local, dog-friendly beaches and information about vets.”

To get local businesses inspired, the road show hosted a series of intimate workshops on the top deck of the bus.

One of the business leaders to attend the workshop was Patrick Langmaid from Mother Ivey’s Holiday Park. “We are very lucky here in Cornwall that Be the Business has chosen us as one of the areas in which it is focusing,” he said. “They are looking at the little things you can do to make a big difference to your business.”

Touching on the kind of thinking he’s taking back into his business, he added: “My top tip is collaboration – you are far stronger together. Yes, we are all competing, but we’re far stronger together.”

The four-day road show also attracted the attention of BBC Spotlight which visited the bus when parked up outside The Headland Hotel in Newquay.

Described as “no ordinary double-decker tour in Cornwall” by BBC Spotlight host Johnny Rutherford, the evening news feature saw Rutherford join a workshop led by Al Alaway. He asked Rupert Cooper from Philleigh Cookery School why he was getting involved. “I think it is a fantastic opportunity for any small Cornish business to get some pearls of wisdom,” Cooper explained.

“As a business we need to be more accessible to media sources, which always looking for content. Having something on your website that is accessible to them so they can contract you is important.”