Alastair Storey, chairman and CEO of Westbury Street Holdings (WSH), and president of the Institute of Hospitality, has taken the top spot in The Caterer Top 100 Most Powerful People in Hospitality list.
Back for the first time since 2012, The Caterer Top 100 Most Powerful People in Hospitality recognises key players on a criteria ranging from direct power, proven record of financial success, innovation, future potential and their wider influence across the sector.
The 2018 list marks the second time Alastair has clinched the top spot, beating JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin and global restaurateur Gordon Ramsay to number one. Hotel icon Nick Jones of Soho House & Co and Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand follow the top three in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
With organic growth among the group’s subsidiaries delivering more than £800m in turnover, WSH has expanded its public dining offer thanks to collaborations and joint ventures with chefs John Campbell (The Woodspeen restaurant and cookery school), Mark Hix (Restaurants Etc) and Le Gavroche alumni Monica and David Galetti (Mere).
It also follows Alastair’s appointment as an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2017, a year after being named president of the Institute of Hospitality. In 2016 he became the first foodservice operator to be inducted into the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame, organised by The Caterer in partnership with its sister brand Travel Weekly. The accolade recognises his commercial success and extra-curricular work, which includes chairman of the trustees of the Gold Service Scholarship and Patron of the Edge Hotel School.
Commenting on his position at the top of the list, Alastair said: “It is a tremendous honour to be recognised by one’s peers, but I am indebted to the teams around me at WSH, as well the organisations that I work with on a broader scale, and the great work that they do day in, day out.”
“The power list sends a strong message to people, and especially mums and dads, that this is a solid and vibrant industry that’s worth joining for a colourful and varied career.”
“The UK hospitality sector is now in a really great position globally to really offer people incredible roles and career paths. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a degree, but if you like people, you like dealing with people and you like looking after people, it’s the place for you.”
Chris Gamm, editor of The Caterer, said: “As well as heading the UK’s largest independent foodservice business, Alastair Storey has overseen the expansion of WSH into the public dining arena and played and inspirational role in raising the profile of front of house staff through the Gold Service Scholarship.”
“Alastair is an inspirational business leader who has remained at the top of his game since The Caterer last compiled its Top 100 Most Powerful People in Hospitality list in 2012 and is a worthy recipient of the number one position.”
BaxteStorey co-chief executives Noel Mahony and John Bennett were also recognised for their contribution to the industry, retaining their joint position as third on the list of most influential foodservice operators.