Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

FRANCK HARDY

02 October 2003 by
FRANCK HARDY

I get up at 9am on the five days a week that I work. I have a short walk to Vauxhall station from my home and a Tube journey to Green Park. From there I jump on a bus and jump off again (illegally) right outside the restaurant. I don't eat breakfast until 11am, when I arrive at One-O-One and enjoy my liquid breakfast of double espresso.

A restaurant manager must love his customers, the food, the wine, his team and love working long hours. I'm totally hands-on. My morning routine includes a set-up check at 11.45am and a daily briefing.

When I first arrived here the front-of-house team were serving the food with no understanding of it. They had little knowledge of the ingredients or what was involved in the preparation. Pascal Proyart, the executive chef, and I were determined to change this. We've really developed as a team in the last year and the briefings are a perfect training opportunity for us all.

We start lunch service at noon during the week and, as the fish is delivered fresh every day, we need to keep on top of our quantities. I'm always on hand during service and particularly enjoy serving our whole sea bass baked in a crust of Brittany rock sea salt. It's carved at the customer's table and it gives me an opportunity to interact with them.

After the lunch service, I usually grab a sandwich and eat at my desk. In the afternoon I get on with project work. This has included redesigning the front of One-O-One. Pascal and I have updated the menus, we've launched a lounge area that has become a popular meeting place, and we've recently enhanced the interior with some unique pieces of art from the 2003 Hunting Art Prize exhibition.

We've also had to step up our bookings process in the last seven months or so, as back in February we appeared on the ITV food programme Dinner Dates. As a result of this one show alone we've taken more than 300 covers in five months.

I grab my third and final double espresso at 5pm and then it's back to the floor for dinner service at 7pm. My day usually draws to a close at 1am. I make sure my computer and office lights are off. Then it's back to the restaurant to run through the figures for the day and a final security check.

Interview by Lisa Jenkins

Factfile

One-O-One 101 Knightsbridge,
London SW1X 7RN
Tel: 020 7290 7101

Seats: 60
Covers: lunch 20-30; dinner 40-60
Prices: lunch £21 for two courses, £25 for three courses; dinner £45 for a six-course tasting menu, £50 per person for a three-course à la carte menu

Just a minute…

Tell us a secret
Well, it's a major one. I used to be a model. I've appeared in several TV commercials, including one with Ruud Gullit, and have worked in Italy, France, Japan, London and Kuwait.

Do you have a hobby?
Well, I don't get much spare time, but I'm absolutely hooked on computer card games - one in particular, called Spades, which is a live interactive worldwide game. I am, I might add, a bad loser.

What's your favourite restaurant?
In London, Nobu. I love the atmosphere.

And your best meal?
My best meal was at El Bulli. Ferran Adrià is a crazy chef, an alchemist.

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

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