Two-Michelin-starred London restaurant Le Gavroche could move to Claridge's under plans being drawn up by the hotel's owner, the Savoy Group, to bring in an outside operator.
Le Gavroche is one of four on the group's shortlist to run the 100-seat restaurant. At least one overseas restaurateur is believed to be in the running.
An announcement of the chosen restaurant will be made in the next four to six weeks, said Geraldine McKenna, director of marketing at the Savoy Group. "We have invested £50m in Claridge's over the past couple of years and we wanted to do something with the restaurant," she said.
The operator would take over the main restaurant at Claridge's during the first quarter of 2001, probably following a refurbishment of the room.
The hotel would still use the restaurant to serve breakfast for its guests, as is the case at La Tante Claire in the Berkeley hotel.
Claridge's restaurant, which has two AA rosettes, is currently overseen by head chef John Williams. "Claridge's has lots of private dining rooms and a huge banqueting operation that equals the dining room. John will remain an integral part of the operation," said McKenna.
Williams declined to comment.
Le Gavroche chef-proprietor Michel Roux confirmed he and his family were considering the proposition, adding: "I would be a fool not to."