North Queensland Tourism Awards
28. Young Achievers Award
Food & Beverage Manager
Question 1: Overview of the Nominee 1
Question 2: Nominees Personal Service & Examples of Activities 3
Question 3: Benefits to the Industry and Success 5
Appendix A: Proof of Age 7
Appendix B: Resume 8
Appendix C: Letters of Reference 9
Appendix D: Moulin Rouge Photographs 10
1. OVERVIEW OF THE NOMINEE
Amy Layton is a true young achiever at the tender age of 22. She is an extremely
impressive young woman that has achieved beyond her years and is well respected
by her co-workers and superiors alike.
Amy grew up on Stradbroke Island with her family where she went to school and,
from the age of 15, worked part-time for a catering company. Amy speaks fondly of
her time with the family-owned business, joking that it felt like her own family’s
business because each of her brothers and sisters worked for Catering With Flair at
some stage and in some capacity, whether it be her brothers filling in as barman or
her sisters waitressing.
This period of time, at the very beginning of Amy's career, was a pivotal point in her
life. It sparked Amy’s passion for the hospitality, tourism and leisure industry. Amy
took every opportunity and worked in every role, from cook and event manager to
waitress, and was able to see how the entire business operated and interconnected.
After finishing school and living in Pamona, Sunshine Coast, for a year, Amy moved
Townsville to be with her partner who had been posted for the army. Amy found
herself back in the hospitality industry working at a small coffee shop in Townsville. It
was then that Amy decided she wanted to make tourism and leisure her career and
applied for a position with Rydges Southbank hotel (then Quality Hotel Southbank),
in which she was successful.
Amy started working for Rydges Southbank Townsville as a trainee in the Food &
Beverage department, where she was required to wait tables, serve in the bar, assist
in food preparation as well as set up and cleaning up of events.
Amy is an extremely driven person and has a hunger for learning. She was ecstatic
when she was selected as one of the small group that could enrol in Rydges’
esteemed International Cadet Program. The two-year program would give her an
opportunity to work in each area of the hotel, gain an understanding of exactly how
they are run as well as how to manage them efficiently and profitably.
Amy also had the opportunity to present an innovative idea to the AHL Board of
Directors. Her concept was the implementation of an AHL-specific radio station to be
broadcast in the foyer of all Rydges hotels and resorts as a way to promote each
other's properties. This "thinking outside the square" approach to business is very
important to the tourism and leisure industry and was well received by the board,
whom commended her professionalism.
During the cadet program, Amy turned down the opportunity to transfer to another
hotel establishment for a year as she was offered a very rare incentive to stay in
Amy was promoted to Conference Sales Manager for Rydges Southbank before she
had even completed the cadet program. Senior management identified Amy as a key
player in the successful running of their business and it was only natural that they
offered her the challenging position despite her young age. As Conference Sales
Manager, Amy was responsible for the entire conference department, which included
the supervision of two full-time and two part-time staff members.
Amy has since (in less than 12 months) had a second promotion, and has now been
appointed the Food & Beverage Manager for the entire venue. Amy will be
responsible for the F&B operations of the entire property, which will utilize both her
sales skills as well as her knowledge of operations.
Summary of nominee overview:
• An early starter in the Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure Industry
• Selected for Rydges International Cadet Program
• Nominated as Trainee of the Year
• Innovative ideas presented to the AHL Board of Directors, Sydney
• Graduated from the Rydges Cadet Program
• Promoted to Conference Sales Manager
• Within one year, promoted to Food & Beverage Manager
2. NOMINEES PERSONAL SERVICE & EXAMPLES OF ACTIVITIES
Amy has dedicated herself to promoting Townsville as a must-see destination as well
as ensuring her property (Rydges Southbank Townsville) has a remarkable point of
difference, which is superior customer service and service delivery to its clients and
Amy has had several triumphs early in her career; being selected for the Cadet
Program, being nominated as Trainee of the Year, as well as having had two
substantial promotions in a short space of time. Amy is, however, extremely humble,
and attributes her success to hard work, pride in her delivery and a calm and
collected approach to difficult tasks.
Whilst in her role as Conference Sales Manager at Rydges, Amy has increased the
annual revenue from $1.6 million to just over $2 million. Amy believes she has been
a successful manager because she spent so much of her early career working in the
different roles that she now oversees as a manager. When Amy makes a
management decision, she understands firsthand how it is going to affect each key
player, which she believes has allowed her to make good management decisions.
Amy also explains that her entire working career (see resume, Appendix 1) has been
customer service-focused and she believes this has attributed to her financial
success as Conference Sales Manager. All of her decisions are made with the
provision of superior customer service in mind.
Amy has an amazing ability to problem solve! To demonstrate this, she uses the
example of when the hotel experienced a black out due to weather conditions while
they had a hotel and restaurant full of guests, as well as a conference and a wedding
in progress at the venue. She was required to locate the wedding party, mid-event.
She managed to do it calmly and efficiently, whilst managing the guests involved as
well as the panicking staff members. Amy explains that she believes she excels in
this industry because she doesn't get frustrated; she just takes issues in her stride.
One of the first things Amy did when accepting her promotion as Conference Sales
Manager was to restructure the conference department. She allocated roles
efficiently, giving each of her staff particular areas of responsibility and strict KPIs
(Key Performance Indicators). The restructure meant hiring two additional staff, one
being solely dedicated to their wedding functions, which brought in approximately
$400,000 for the year. Amy felt a person dedicated to this role would ensure it is
given the attention it deserves, allowing her department to grow this lucrative
business function. Amy also created new policy and procedures for her staff to
adhere to as well as templates and systems to support their roles while giving them
the tools to exceed in their positions.
Amy has created several new concept events, to capture business from identified
sales opportunities. For example, during the V8 Supercars race week, Amy created
the Moulin Rouge spectacular (please see Appendix 2). The event was a party held
inside the Rydges Convention Centre. Amy was responsible for project managing
every aspect of this event. The event creation included staff costumes, decoration of
the venue, entertainment and budget management. This new concept is now a new
product that will be sold to clients.
Amy is a leader in her field and works every day to guide her staff to achieve goals
and targets, which inherently adds value to the entire industry.
Summary of personal service and examples of activities:
• Within 1 year, increased revenue from 1.6 million – 2 million
• Superior management skills, having worked in all aspects of the business
• Quality customer service delivery to clients
• Problem solving skills
• Restructured Conference Department - efficient and profitable
• Created new concept events for the region
3. BENEFITS TO THE INDUSTRY AND SUCCESS
Amy has engaged in activities that will develop her skills and add value to the
contribution she makes to the hospitality, tourism & leisure industry.
Amy has identified the local media as key stakeholders and has actively engaged
with the group. She initiated the first annual Media Dinner, which was a unique
concept event, whereby selected media personalities were invited to join Paul Burke,
General Manager of Southbank, and herself for a unique dinner on the Savoy
balcony, where they enjoyed a seven course meal and matched wines in order to
showcase their new grill menu and the venue. Amy has a genuine and demonstrated
understanding of the key role the media has on the hospitality, tourism and leisure
Amy sees the value in networking with other business and industry-specific
professionals. She is a member of business groups such as the Townsville Business
Women's Network and Townsville Chamber of Commerce as well as hospitality,
tourism & leisure industry groups such as Townsville Enterprise and the Convention
Townsville Enterprise and Rydges Southbank Townsville partnered to exhibit at the
AIME Tradeshow, which was an extremely successful lead generator for tourism,
both in Townsville and for the venue itself. Amy promoted both the region and the
venue alongside members of her team and the TEL Team. Amy speaks of how we
all need to band together to promote Townsville and North Queensland as a must-
see destination, and at the same time, we (Rydges Southbank Townsville) need to
ensure we have a unique point of difference from our competitors.
As a young achiever in the industry, a long-standing employee at Rydges and a
generally easily approachable person, Amy has become a mentor to all junior staff
members, providing support and direction. She has particular responsibility for the
two cadets at the property. This contribution will add value to the industry as she
passes on her knowledge to new upcoming industry professionals.
Amy herself is a long-term benefit to the industry. She is an investment made by
Rydges Southbank Townsville. They took a girl who had a lot of passion, drive and
motivation and they have moulded her into a brilliant manager, as it appears she has
run with the tools she has been given and has become a true leader for the industry.
Summary of the benefits to the industry and success:
• Attended the AIME Tradeshow, Melbourne
• Hosted media dinner
• Member for various business and industry groups
• Mentor to junior staff members
Appendix A – Proof of Age
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