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Simon Elliott

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HCC Expert - F&B Profitability

Starting in hospitality as a trainee chef and gaining professional chef qualifications, Simon then gained an HND in Hospitality Management from University College Birmingham in 1991. 
A spell in contract catering followed then in 1996 Simon landed a role with PSL (now Entegra Europe) a buying group with a major focus on improving client’s food margins, “earning his stripes” working with DeVere and Thistle Hotels on a “no savings no fee” basis.

Simon worked in various senior client focussed roles at PSL working with regional groups, iconic London 5*, independent hotels, private schools and visitor attractions.  Simon also had a brief spell in procurement at Pelican Procurement which helped cement many great wholesale supplier relationships. 

Now an independent consultant specialising in food profitability, he supports businesses by identifying and implementing savings from an operational and a supply perspective.


PSL/Entegra – Client Account Director

Pelican Procurement – Purchasing Manager

Profit Hound - Founder

specialist subjects:

  • Food Cost Management

  • Managing The Gap to Budget

  • Alternative Products 

  • Purchasing Optimisation

  • Upselling

  • Low Labour Menu Solutions

  • Menu Development

  • Menu Costing

  • Menu Engineering

  • Menu Pricing


Profit Hound - Founder


Catering Forum – Guest Speaker

Simon Elliott
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Tom mc dermott

HCC Expert - operational excellencE

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For the last few years, Tom has been the Director of Operational Effectiveness for Hilton across the whole of the EMEA region. Such a role is only possible when an expert has many years of experience in their craft.
It all started when he was told by a Career Guidance Counsellor; ‘you could work in every country in the World on land, sea and air’. Tom was hooked on the Hospitality Industry and has now accumulated over 30 years of experience in Hotels, Restaurants and Cruise Ships. Since graduating from Dublin College of Catering, Tom learned his trade at The Grand Hotel Malahide, Dobbins Wine Bistro in Dublin then onboard Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2). He has held leadership roles with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Cunard & Seabourn Cruise Line, Radisson Hotels and most recently Hilton Hotels where Tom held several General Manager positions before being appointed Director of Hiltons Continuous Improvement department in EMEA in 2012.


Hilton - Director Operational Effectiveness EMEA
Cunard & Seabourn Cruise Line - Corporate Training Specialist
QE2 - Asst. Food & Beverage Manager
Hilton - General Manager (5 Properties in London & Scotland)

specialist subjects:

  • Effective Labour Management

  • Team Empowerment

  • Continuous Improvement 

  • Lean tools to fight waste

  • Cost Mitigation


Managing Director – Agility Hospitality


Programme Validation Panel Member/ Industry Representative - Bachelor of Science (Hons) in International Tourism, Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Tom Mc Dermott
Mirelle Maunder-Brown

mirelle maunder-brown

HCC Expert - revenue growth

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Mirelle started her extensive career working at an independent hotel in Surrey. Despite working with some of the world’s largest hotel brands since, she still has that understanding of the needs and challenges of the independent sector.
She has worked with national and global brands including Thistle, IHG and Hilton as a driven and strategic sales growth leader working to improve their existing business as well as find new sales opportunities.
Within the Radisson Hotel Group she quickly moved between national sales roles through to commercial revenue and marketing management positions. In the financial crisis of 2007/8 she famously applied new Total Revenue Management Strategies covering all commercial aspects of their business including bedrooms, meetings & events, F&B and Spas. 
As Director of Brand Performance with Best Western she capitalized on her ability to provide not just strategic, but importantly, practical advice. She managed the senior commercial teams to deliver KPIs in quality, revenue management and hotel membership growth.  
As a sought-after industry expert, Mirelle is always happy to share tricks and techniques to grow revenue in hotels. She consults, coaches and trains’ independent hotels, small hotel groups and serviced accommodation providers to grow their revenues whilst also reducing cost of sales.


Best Western Hotel Group - Director Brand Performance UK
Radisson Hotel Group - Director Revenue Optimisation (UK & Ireland)
Thistle Hotels (GLH) - UK National Director Sales
Hilton - London Sales Director 

specialist subjects:

  • Price positioning

  • Yielding/Revenue Management

  • Account Management

  • Field Sales

  • M&E Conversion

  • Distribution

  • Direct Revenue

  • Content Management

  • Marketing

  • Commercial Audit

  • Customer Service

  • Commercial Efficiencies

  • Change Management

  • Budget and Business planning strategies

  • Mystery Guest & Calls

  • Interim Sales Support

  • Outsourced Revenue Management


OptimiZe - Commercial Director

IDeaS Revenue Management Software - Smart Space Trainer
Res Harmonics PMS - Affiliate


Best Western Annual Conference – Key Speaker
The Hotel Partnership Annual Conference - Key Speaker
University of Northumbria - Guest Speaker
The Apartment Conference - Key Speaker

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Alistair Sandall

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HCC Expert – Hotel & Restaurant Grading 

Alistair started his career at what is now the University of West London in Ealing, his hometown then, and took a course in hotel and restaurant operations. 
From there he joined Concord Hotels in a trainee management scheme (still in existence today) and then moved to various junior management positions in hotels from the West country to Scotland. With a desire to travel, he ‘upped sticks’ and moved to South Africa and worked for Southern Sun Hotels for four years, and then returning to the UK Alistair became F&B manager of Hotel Piccadilly Manchester where he met his wife. 
After 20 subsequent years as a hotel GM, he became “poacher turned gamekeeper” and was a senior inspector and head of consultancy and training for AA Hotel Services. 
Most recently he was Head of Professional Development for the Institute of Hospitality – the professional body for the hospitality industry.


General Manager / Cluster General Manager roles with the likes of Thistle, Jarvis, Paramount, GLH & Macdonald Hotels
AA Hotel & Hospitality Services – Senior Inspector / Key Account Manager / Commercial Manager / Head of Training & Consultancy
Institute of Hospitality – Head of Professional Development

specialist subjects:

  • Revenue management

  • Accreditation

  • Endorsement

  • Training

  • General management

  • Food & beverage

  • Food quality

  • Hospitality


Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality
Advisory Board Member of Professional Assessments Ltd
Vice Chair UK Hospitality Heart of England Committee
Member Advisory Board Moreton Morrell Hotel School
Ambassador for CTH Awards

Associate: Quality in Tourism
Associate for HACTS: Hospitality Accreditation Training Consultancy Service


Hotel Catey Awards – judge
Catey Awards - judge

Alistair Sandall

Stephen Seymour

HCC Expert - Human Resources

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Stephen’s career supporting Human Resources (HR) in Hospitality businesses is both experienced and diverse. Perhaps best known for his period as Head of HR for Jury’s Doyle/ Jury’s Inns, he has also gone on to work for a wide range of hospitality operators and suppliers.
Having always had a passion for people development, it was natural for Stephen to work in people centred roles.  From Training to Coaching to Mentoring – Stephen has the key skillsets to support Hospitality businesses in establishing and running their own successful HR operations. In high demand, he supports multiple clients having set up his own independent HR consulting business, Qogenta People Solutions, in 2018. Currently he also works with the outsourced housekeeping sector as Director of People for Lime FMS.


Jurys Hotel Group plc – Head of HR (UK)
Urquhart Partnership – Head of Consultancy
Qogenta People Solutions – Managing Director
Lime FMS Ltd – Director of People

specialist subjects:

  • Employee Absence

  • Sickness

  • Employee Relations

  • Disciplinary Management

  • Grievance Issues

  • Recruitment

  • Training & Development

  • Mentoring

  • Holiday Management


Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development


Catering Forum – Guest Speaker
Economist Conferences – Guest Speaker
Hotel & Restaurant Show – Guest Panellist
Textile Services Association – Guest Speaker
Hotel Catey Awards – Award Presentation

Stephen Seymour
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austen bushrod

HCC Expert - Purchasing

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After starting out in life working in military electronics, Austen landed in the Hospitality space in 2001 running the procurement organisation for Accor in the UK. In 2007, he turned his hand to the gaming industry and spent five successful years with The Rank Group, soon followed by almost four years with Radisson Hotels in a similar role. 
A subsequent stint as Head of Business Development at Bunzl Catering Supplies, as well as establishing the hotel cosmetics business ‘Amenity Warehouse’, has also given him a 'suppliers-eye' view.
Now a much sought-after consultant to the industry, he supports hotels to identify and implement cost reduction opportunities both from an operational and a supply perspective.


Accor Hotels – Director of Purchasing UK & Ireland

Radisson Hotel Group – Procurement Director

The Rank Group – Director of Purchasing

Bunzl Catering Supplies – Head of Business Development

specialist subjects:

  • Purchasing Management

  • Savings Programs

  • Laundry

  • Housekeeping

  • Utilities

  • Cosmetics & Amenities

  • Social Distance Signage

  • Disposables

  • Sustainability

  • Compliance

  • Strategy

  • Customer Focus


Moving Food – Associate

Amenity Warehouse – Director

Bushrod Consulting - Managing Director


Catering Forum – Guest Speaker
Economist Conferences – Guest Speaker
Hotel & Restaurant Show – Guest Panellist
Textile Services Association – Guest Speaker
Hotel Catey Awards – Award Presentation

Quality Food Awards - Judge/Chair

Austen Bushrod
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diana spellman

HCC Expert - F&B provenance

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Diana was born and brought up on grass to beef rearing farm. It’s hardly surprising that this led to becoming one of the hospitality industry’s foremost experts in food sourcing and provenance.
For over 20 years she has successfully run PARTNERS IN PURCHASING (PIP) – a purchasing agency specialising in Food & Beverage procurement - that has also carved out a niche for themselves in helping hotels and hospitality businesses develop provenance in their menus. 
As a Nuffield Agricultural Scholar for Food Supply Chain she has worked alongside key practitioners of ‘Farm-to-Fork’ strategies including Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Carlos Petrini (Slow Food Movement), Joel Salatin (You Can Farm). She has even gained the support of Princess Anne.
Diana has worked with many independent hotels such as The Cavendish in London as well as provincial hotels within groups such as Hilton, Marriot & Premier Inn.
Oh, and apart from all of that, she is a qualified cordon bleu cook!


Compass Catering – Procurement Contracts Manager
Guild of Agricultural Journalists Annual Award Ceremony – Traceable Sourcing Manager
The Loch Melfort Hotel – Sous Chef

specialist subjects:

  • Farm to Fork sourcing

  • Food & Drink Procurement

  • Supply Chain Management

  • Nutrition

  • Food Pricing

  • Food & Beverage Product value

  • Farming Husbandry Best Practices

  • Ethical trading

  • Organic

  • Fairtrade

  • Vegan and Vegetarian

  • Sustainability

  • Food safety Regulation and Compliance


Nuffield Agricultural Trust – Scholar
Springboard Charity for developing professionalism – Fundraising Friend
Friend of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts


Food Matters Live – Chair Panellist
Specialist Fine Food Show – Speaker
IFE (International Food & Drink Event) – Future Foods Trends Speaker 

Diana Spellman
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nicholas smith

HCC Expert - purchasing

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Spawned from generations of Caterers & Retailers! After a spell at Westminster Kingsway College, Nicholas trained in all F&B areas in both the UK & France. This created a sound operators business perspective, a passion for good food & drink, and an understanding of the meaning of a ‘welcoming service’.
Now specialising in procurement & supply chain, Nicholas has led teams at The Savoy Group, Sopwell House and Five Lakes Resort.
With Hartswood Purchasing Associates, Nicholas supports hospitality businesses with Cost Reduction programmes, Tendering, Ordering systems and Renovation projects.


The Savoy Group – Group Purchasing Manager
AB Hotels – Group Purchasing Manager
Rank Hotels – Unit Purchasing Manager

specialist subjects:

  • Cost Reduction Audits

  • Supplier Management

  • ProcureWizard

  • Fruit & Vegetables

  • Meat & Seafood

  • Ambient & Frozen Foods

  • Beverage Range Profitability

  • Utilities 

  • Print & Stationery

  • Golf Course Equipment

  • Cleaning & Disposable Supplies

  • Crockery, Cutlery & Glassware

  • Large Kitchen Equipment

  • FF&E

  • Procurement Strategy


Hartswood Purchasing Associates - Owner


Quality Food Awards – Judge

Nicholas Smith
Melissa Thompson
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Melissa Thompson

HCC Expert - F&B Safety

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Melissa graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with the Institute of Hospitality’s Best Student Award.  She worked in the hospitality industry for a number of years before qualifying as a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner. 

Melissa spent 13 years in enforcement for a large council (mainly in charge of a team responsible for health and safety and food hygiene). During that time, she was also a Lead Editor and legal specialist for BTEC, approving hospitality GNVQ exams. 

For the last 16 years, Melissa has worked in the private sector providing strategic food hygiene, allergen management and health and safety advice and training to hospitality businesses, large and small.


Safer Food Scores – Managing Director

Hygiene Audit Systems – Environmental Health Principal Consultant

Dacorum Borough Council – Environmental Health Manager

Holiday Inns Canada – Hotel Manager

Mitchells and Butler – General Manager 

specialist subjects:

  • Food Hygiene

  • Allergen Management

  • Health and Safety


Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health (FRSPH)
Member of the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (HSE Approved)
Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CMCIEH)


Chair of the Primary Authority Business Users Group 
(UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy) 

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quentin neville

HCC Expert - Purchasing

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Quentin started as a Food Commodity Trader, moving to Forte Hotels early in his career. 
He has more than 30 years’ experience of working across multiple hospitality sectors including 
Hotels, Pubs/Bars, Branded Restaurants, Airline Catering, Motorway Services and Contract Catering.
Perhaps his greatest achievements have been in the hotel sector, having helmed purchasing organisations for Thistle Hotels (latterly GLH) and more recently the Interstate portfolio of managed properties where he was responsible for their UK and European sites.
He has a broad depth of understanding of small boutique hotel operations through to large city centre goliaths. As a procurement consultant across numerous sectors, he now advises business on all aspects of procurement and supply chain opportunities.


Interstate Hotels Europe – VP Procurement 
GLH/Thistle Hotels – Procurement Director
Prestige Purchasing (Hospitality Purchasing Consultants) – Director
Scottish & Newcastle Retail (Pubs) – Purchasing Director

specialist subjects:

  • Purchasing Strategy

  • Local v. National Sourcing

  • E-Procurement 

  • Food & Beverage

  • Purchasing Consortiums 

  • Tendering for profit

  • Cost reduction programmes

  • Laundry

  • Housekeeping

  • Contract Cleaning

  • Utilities

  • Compliance Reporting

  • Product Rationalisation


Past member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply council
Co-owner of Phipps Northampton Micro-brewery & Distiller

Quentin Neville

Karl Mueller

HCC Expert - Property & TechnicaL Services

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With experience at all levels, Karl is a professional engineer and safety practitioner with over 25 years’ in estates management.
In 1990, he joined Accor UK as Maintenance Engineer at Novotel Birmingham Airport. In 1996, he moved to London and opened the Novotel London Waterloo and soon after, Karl was asked to join the head office team as Regional Technical Manager for the South of England.
In 1999 Karl stepped away from hotels and joined Lend Lease and opened Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, followed by Touchwood in Birmingham and Overgate in Dundee. However, the hotel industry pulled him back and he re-joined Accor UK in 2004 as Technical Services Director for their portfolio of 146 hotels within UK & Ireland.
In 2011 Karl took up the position of Director of Engineering for Maybourne Hotel Group at Claridge`s in London. In 2014 joined Jupiter Hotels as Property Director, covering all aspects of asset management, including refurbishments and life cycle replacements. 


Accor Hotels – Technical Services Director UK & Ireland
Lend Lease LLP – Health, Safety, Security & Environment Manager
Maybourne Hotel Group – Director of Engineering
Jupiter Hotels – Property Director

specialist subjects:

  • Energy Management

  • Maintenance Contracts

  • Statutory Compliance

  • Tendering

  • Asset Management

  • Project Management

  • Recruitment

  • Capital Expenditure Planning

  • Refurbishment

  • Contractor Selection

  • Toolbox Talks


MCIBSE - Member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers

MIIRSM - Member of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management

Karl Mueller
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gleb smatko

HCC Expert - social media

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Over the last 15 years, Gleb Smatko has established himself as a formidable social media specialist.
His background has been in establishing media-led growth strategies for some of the world’s largest companies. His work on thought leadership and digital marketing development for the likes of UPS and BDO established his credentials with campaigns focussed both EMEA-wide and Globally.
As a partner of WhenOnEarth, the travel adventure company, he successfully developed the company’s digital marketing strategy, including website development and digital campaign management.
He is considered one of the industries foremost experts on search-engine optimisation and marketing including pay-per-click strategies.
Currently, Gleb supports the Consultus International Group and Assured Energy, heading the group marketing team, as well as being a key member of their strategic committee. 


WhenOnEarth – Digital Marketing Manager
BDO – Global Thought Leadership Manager
Consultus International Group – Group Marketing Manager 
Assured Energy – Group Marketing Manager

specialist subjects:

  • Social Media Strategy

  • Go-to-market Strategy

  • Web Design & Programming

  • Hotel On-line Brand Development

  • Creative Development & Design

  • E-Commerce

  • SEO, SEM/PPC, E-Marketing

  • Online distribution strategy 

  • Marketing Campaigns

  • Client mix analysis 

  • Cross Selling

  • Public Relations


Niche Business Awards 2020 – Award Presentation

Gleb Smatko
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nick padgett

HCC Expert - bars

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Nick joined Diageo as a young, fresh faced salesman in June 1984. He has subsequently spent over 35 years working in the UK On Trade, primarily managing and running sales teams responsible for national and regional pubs, bars, hotels, restaurants and night clubs. In 2015, and in response to many requests for help, he set up his own consultancy business and now advise supplier companies of all shapes and sizes on how to grow the distribution, share and volume of their brands. Pivotally, this has required a deep understanding of what makes a bar successful. He is an expert in the levers, activities, initiatives or changes that can be implemented to grow profits by increasing both volume and margin. Sometimes, his support is as straightforward as advising sites on what activities to focus on and how to avoid efforts that don’t add to the bottom line.


Diageo GB – Head of Managed On Trade
Lucozade Ribena Suntory – Channel Director
Global Brands – On Trade Controller 
Nick Padgett Consultancy - Owner

specialist subjects:

  • Negotiation and sales 

  • Bar Promotions

  • Consumer insight

  • Return on investment

  • Activity implementation

  • Category management

  • Bar standards and layout

  • Creating promotional initiatives

  • Perfect serve programmes

  • Mystery shopper initiatives


Southwest Tourism Awards - Judge

BEDA/Noctis committee member

Nick Padgett
Stephen Minall

stephen minall

HCC Expert - F&B concepts

  • LinkedIn

There are few people in the hospitality industry who are more closely aligned with current food trends. Stephen writes for trade journals, presents at retail consortiums in the UK & Europe, and has been seen on BBC News as a leading expert in food related stories.
Stephen judges the Foodservice awards, The Cateys and the Quality Food Awards.
Recent hot topics have included the rise in Home Delivery, Dark Kitchens and Takeaway/Grab & Go concepts - and how both hotels and restaurants can take advantage.
Stephen not only guides and advises, but he is an entrepreneur who has his own extensive experience within retail and foodservice operations. He created the Wrapid brand of fast food outlets that he grew to 25 sites at home and abroad. As one of the owners of Moving Food, a food market development agency working with retail and catering, he has helped to launched dozens of new food concepts into the UK including the likes of Wowbutter (a no nut peanut butter!). His products can be found in locations such as Aldi, Nisa, Ocado and Holland & Barrett.
His latest project is Distinctive Foods, the developer of ‘The World’s Smallest Ice Cream Factory’. It is a mobile organic ice-cream concept featured in Cadbury World and other leisure and retail destinations across the UK.


Moving Food – Founder
Distinctive Food – Founder 
Wrapid - Founder
Queens Moat House Hotels – Procurement/F&B Director 
Holmes Place Gyms – Procurement Director
Bewley’s Ireland - Franchise Director
Pizza Hut – Director of Franchising

specialist subjects:

  • Consumer Trends

  • Food Marketing

  • Marketing

  • Food Sales Growth

  • Grab & Go Concepts

  • Food & Beverage Procurement

  • Food Retail


Quality Food Awards - Chairman of Food Service 
Tahola Systems - Share Holder
Konnekt UK- Aged Care Communications
The Outlook Foundation (Special Needs Charity) – Board Member


Hotel Catey Awards – Technology Judge
Quality Food Awards – Lead Judge
Canadian Trade Board - Brand importer


andrew staley

HCC Expert - energy

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In 2000, Andrew joined Hilton International to develop the engineering side of their new build properties as well as refurbishing existing sites. As Director of Properties & Utilities, his responsibilities included Hilton’s energy management & purchasing, waste management, environmental and maintenance functions.
Developing his knowledge in Utilities was recognised in 2004, when he became chairman of the Hospitality Energy Consortium – an industry-wide group of hoteliers and suppliers who combined their energy purchases together to form the industry’s largest energy buying group.
In 2009 Andrew joined the UK energy procurement specialist firm, ‘The Energy Brokers’ as their Managing Director and has worked with almost all of the large hotel brands advising them on their energy procurement. After growing the business, he managed an MBO and turned the company into The Consultus International Group, which has further expanded the business services and geographies.
Andrew has the benefit of being both a specialist consultant in the hotel industry and a business leader with a strong track record. 
No-one understands better the challenges of the hotel industry when it comes to utilities – and he continues to support hotels with the very best commercial solutions.


The Consultus International Group – Chief Executive Officer
The Energy Brokers – Managing Director
Hilton International – Director of Properties & Utilities

specialist subjects:

  • Energy purchasing

  • Energy management

  • Waste management

  • Engineering/Maintenance

  • Environment

  • Building refurbishment

  • New build development

Andrew Staley

Dev Anand

HCC Expert - PRoperty Broker

  • LinkedIn

Dev has spent over 40 years in the hotel industry. Originally from a family of hotel-owners, he is well-known for his work at Expotel, the first corporate-related hotel booking agency in London (and Europe!) back in 1972. This was long before the introduction of OTA’s of course and Dev has invented a number of “firsts” along the way. In 2016 he applied his years of industry knowledge to setting up The Hotel Brokerage who consistently and successfully connect hotel buyers and sellers.


The Hotel Property Team – Managing Partner
Expotel – Managing Director
Impetus Marketing – Managing Director
The Apartment Service – Co-Founder

specialist subjects:

  • Hotel acquisition and selling

  • Hotel marketing

  • Hotel positioning

  • Hotel Booking Agencies

  • Serviced apartments


A member of Buell Consulting (10-years)
Founder member of the HBAA – Hotel Booking Agents Association
Organising committee member of the Smallest Rugby Club World Cup

Dev Anand
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