Hospitality and Leisure

Hospitality and Leisure

This is a huge, global and intensely vibrant sector. It encompasses Hotels, Resorts, Travel and Tourism, Private Member Clubs, Entertainment, Student Accommodation, Restaurants, Convenience Food, Pubs, Bars, Breweries, Gyms and Health Clubs, Catering, Conferencing, and Facilities Management. Our clients range from luxury, iconic 5* hotels through to high street coffee chains and everything in between, and are located everywhere from Asia to the USA. We work for independent boutiques, large international chains, private equity firms, and property development and asset management companies. Our experience covers Head of Department (HoD), Executive Committee (ExCom), and corporate Head Office recruitment.

Retained executive search is something that the Hospitality and Leisure sector has historically been quite resistant to, but we have found ways of delivering results quickly and cost-effectively, in order to meet our clients’ needs. This is borne out by the high levels of repeat business that we have found ourselves undertaking. Our team also has first-hand experience of working in the sector, and so understands the vital importance of service and quality in all things. We try to keep continually up-to-date with new openings, current F&B trends, and cutting-edge technological and revenue-generating innovations. We occasionally also undertake salary surveys of people in key gateway cities around the world, so that we can advise clients about where to pitch particular roles, and even how to approach internal restructuring challenges. 

Recent Case Study


Society handled the appointment of Michael Ammiano as Director of Human Resources at The Peninsula New York.

For over 25 years, The Peninsula New York has been a landmark on New York’s Fifth Avenue, operating as Peninsula’s flagship property in the US. Peninsula is a living legend; the name synonymous with luxurious comfort and impeccable service. Established in 1928, and operated by the Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, The Peninsula Hotels now own and operate prestigious, luxury properties in ten major cities with further properties under development. Society have had the pleasure of working with The Peninsula Hotels on a number of senior appointments over the past few years.

We found Michael Ammiano at Jean-Georges Management, where he was responsible for all aspects of Human Resources for their six New York restaurants – three of which are Michelin starred – and over 1,000 staff.   Before joining Jean-George in 2014, Michael was at the Mandarin Oriental New York, where he worked his way up the ranks to the position of Assistant Director of Human Resources.

For this role, Society conducted a search across the United States of America, within the luxury hospitality and leisure sector, heavily focucsing on candidates with strong union and employee relations experience.

When asked about his experience, Michael said:

“The Hospitality industry has been in my blood since I was a child. I have been in and out of hotels since the young age of three years old; hotels being the career of choice for my family. When James Lea approached me with the possibility of being considered for a role with Peninsula, I knew it was something worth pursuing, even if I was content with my current placement. I have worked with many Executive Search firms during my 14 years in this industry and have never come across a more professional group with so much in-depth knowledge and scope of the position at hand. James was not only a “recruiter”, he was a coach during the whole process; going above and beyond his duties and always available for any questions or concerns. It was an absolute pleasure working with James, and I would highly recommend Society for any Candidate or Employer needs.”

Other Sample Appointments

Contact Our Team

Our work in the Hospitality and Leisure sector is led by James Lea.  He can be contacted on


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