In April 2022, Ben Berry took up the mantle of Managing Director of English Lakes Hotels from his father, Simon Berry. Ben represents the fourth generation of the Berry family to manage the business. Whilst Simon is still very much involved in the company, he will take the role of Executive Chairman, leaving Ben to oversee the operational side of the business.
Ben tells us a little about himself and his aspirations for the business.
I was born in 1988 and grew up in the Lake District. My wife, Katie, and I have two children, Florence who is four and Bertie who is two. Our home is in Holme, a pretty village just outside the Lake District National Park. Completing the family are Wilma and Bettie, our beloved dogs.
English Lakes Hotels is our family business, and I am very proud to be at the helm to take it forward into the future.
Making my kids laugh and going to the cinema.
I’ve been with the business for 34 years! That includes living at Low Wood as a child, which was fantastic! Prior to becoming MD, I was the Director looking after Purchasing and Sales. Although I am sad to relinquish these roles, I know they are in very good hands. Prior to that I have done almost everything there is to do in a Hotel.
I have to say that my most enjoyable roles have been Pot Wash (now called Kitchen Porter) and Director of Sales and Purchasing!
I have two moments that are tied as my favourites:
Firstly, we used to have secret shoppers test our ability to accurately and efficiently take bookings and explain all the benefits of staying with English Lakes. Whilst working in our Reservations Department I was called, unbeknownst to me. My secret shopper gave me the highest score ever given, and it has never been beaten! As a member of the family there is sometimes a worry that people might think you don’t deserve your position. The reality is that I have to work even harder to make sure I earn my place.
My second favourite moment was when I first became a Director of the business. I’d worked for many years inside and outside of the business and to be given a chance to direct change is an honour and a fantastic opportunity.
My Great Great Uncle Norman brought hotels to the family. My Grandad Michael turned them into successful hospitality businesses. My father Simon introduced Marketing and raised standards. These are some tough acts to follow! That said there are some areas to which I have turned my focus to in the short term, namely Capital investment (investments in refurbishments and expansions across the group) with a particular focus on making best use of our real estate. This is no more important than how we can improve and expand our Staff Accommodation.
I love to see how our +1 Culture really motivates people coming into the business. When it clicks and they realise they can use their initiative to improve things for guests, for colleagues, and ultimately for themselves. It’s an absolute no brainer, but not every company thinks like that!
English Lakes Board of Directors
In April 2022 I promoted three people onto the Board of the English Lakes group of companies. Each one of these people started on the ground floor of the Hospitality business. Each of our general managers worked their way up. At English Lakes we don’t want it to be a job for the summer; rather, we want you to have a career that is rewarding, fun and is going somewhere.