It is a well-documented truth that the Covid-19 lockdown period in the UK dealt a significant blow to the nation’s hospitality sector, and those woes intensified last week as prime minister Boris Johnson announced the introduction of newer national restrictions, forcing industry operators to close between the hours of 22:00 and 05:00.
Yet, one hospitality business, Becketts Southsea, which has been making quite the impression in its home city of Portsmouth since being able to reopen over the summer, is determined to remain undeterred by the sector’s latest setback and continue to succeed.
After it reopened following the initial lockdown, Becketts has thrived despite having to operate under Covid-secure guidelines. The business enjoyed a bumper first weekend after reopening with its six-room hotel fully booked and has since earned 32 five-star reviews out of 34 on Tripadvisor, with the remaining two being four stars.
General manager Terence Carvalho believes that the rave reviews are a sign of just how far the business has come since he took over the running of Becketts in October 2019, and since incumbent head chef Jack Sencherey-Evans - who has experience working in Michelin Star restaurants in Denmark and London under his belt- arrived last August.
Over the course of the last year under the tenure of Carvalho and armed with Sencherey-Evans’ cosmopolitan culinary expertise, the Becketts team has transformed the customer experience, food and drink at its hotel and restaurant, thanks to the craft and know-how of the management team and the dedication of staff.
Often, Becketts has found itself the talk of the town, with Portsmouth’s The News featuring the business’ exploits twice on its front page over the last year, including scooping an award for the restoration of the Becketts hotel.
Paying tribute to his team for the effort that they have put in to make Becketts’ recent successes possible, Carvalho told the Leaders Council: "The hard work and dedication of this team since the return after lockdown has been truly remarkable. The camaraderie between the front and back of house is incredible and the work ethic and teamwork is some of best I have had the privilege to be a part of.
“The most remarkable aspect of what we've achieved since coming back from lockdown is that this is the same team I walked into last year, to see staff members improving continuously is the biggest privilege you can have as a manager.”
Despite all of the hurdles that the Covid-19 pandemic has thrust before Becketts, Carvalho remains determined that the business will continue to rise to the challenge facing the sector.
“I have absolutely no doubt that we'll continue to thrive despite all the barriers which Covid has thrown at us and the hospitality industry.”