There is no doubt that Jonathan Raggett has made an impression on the hospitality industry since he started out almost 30 years ago, and he is as passionate today as he was on day one.
Since 2000, he has been managing director of Red Carnation Hotels, a family-run group of four and five-star boutique hotels, that ‘fights the big chains for business’. During his 15-year stint, he has been responsible for overseeing the rapid expansion of the group, which has now grown to 17 award-winning luxury hotels and country inns spanning the UK, US, Ireland and South Africa.
The experience Jonathan gained prior to his role as MD was impressive, specifically as general manager at The Rubens Hotel – his first experience with Red Carnation Hotels – where he oversaw a £8m refurb and then later opening London’s first all-inclusive hotel, Hotel 41. Since then he has transformed the fortunes of the brand and developed a strong well-rounded group comprising top hotels that take customer service seriously.
In 2012, every hotel in the collection – 15 properties at the time – was awarded a TripAdvisor nod of excellence, while Hotel 41 and The Milestone Hotel were listed as numbers 1 and 2 in the US Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards for Hotels in the British Isles.
Jonathan is well aware that RCH cannot compete with the big boys in terms of sales and marketing spend, but this drives him to ensure that every single guest experiences a stay that goes above and beyond their expectations. And he knows a crucial part of this is the friendliness of the staff they encounter during their visit.
The brand scooped the Excellence in Recruitment and Retention award at the HR in Hospitality four years ago and has been dedicated to nurturing and developing young talent ever since, also making an appearance at number 8 in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For in 2014.