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Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Mark Sainsbury, the Zetter Group

06 December 2012
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Mark Sainsbury, the Zetter Group

Overall ranking: 72 (NEW ENTRY)
Hotelier ranking: 14 (NEW ENTRY)

Mark Sainsbury - Snapshot
Mark Sainsbury is the co-owner of the Zetter Group and one of the founding directors of the Sustainable Restaurant Association. The Zetter Group has two hotels in Clerkenwell, an area of London which Sainsbury has made his own, although forthcoming projects in Kings Cross and Marylebone could see him extending his stamping ground.

Mark Sainsbury - Career guide
Hotelier and restaurateur Mark Sainsbury is a co-owner of the Zetter Group with his business partner Michael Benyan. He is a director of Draft House Holdings, a founding director of The Sustainable Restaurant Association and a trustee for the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. Founder of the multi award-winning Clerkenwell restaurant, Moro, (alongside chefs Sam and Sam Clark), Sainsbury's early restaurant experience included the Roux brothers and the Union Cafe.

The Zetter Group comprises the highly acclaimed Zetter Hotel, Bistrot Bruno Loubet and most recently the Zetter Townhouse. The Zetter Hotel is a 59-room property based in a Victorian warehouse the site of a football pools company of the same name. The eco-conscious property opened in 2004 to wide acclaim, and was voted one of the world's '50 coolest hotels' by industry bible Conde Nast Traveller.

In early 2010, Sainsbury and Benyan went into partnership with celebrated French chef Bruno Loubet to open a modern French bistrot on the ground floor of The Zetter Hotel. Bistrot Bruno Loubet was named in the top three restaurants in the UK at the National Restaurant Awards 2010.

In 2011 he opened The Zetter Townhouse. The 13-bedroom Georgian boutique hotel with destination cocktail lounge (cocktails by Tony Conigliaro and food devised by Bruno Loubet) and two private dining rooms was named London Hotel of the Year 2012 and Hotel Bar of the Year 2012 within eight months of opening.

Mark and The Zetter Group are currently working on two new projects. The first is a restaurant and bar concept in Kings Cross and the second is another independent boutique hotel in Marylebone.

Mark Sainsbury - What we think
Mark Sainsbury has been ahead of the trends, perhaps even influenced their inception, for the past decade. In terms of location he saw the potential of the Clerkenwell area, and in terms of sustainability he made tangible commitments to a greener hospitality industry when many others were just giving it lip-service.

The SRA founding director practices what he preaches. The Zetter, which has a host of sustainable features including its own borehole and an energy loop system which helps to cool fridges as the rooms are heated, is one of a handful of hotels in the capital to receive a Gold Award from Green Tourism.

Meanwhile the SRA, which Sainsbury founded with restaurateur Henry Dimbleby and consultants Giles Gibbons and Simon Heppner, is building influence, having recently been joint organisers with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, of the No Opportunity Wasted conference which looked at pan- European issues of food security and influence.

Back at Zetter, the involvement of Bruno Loubet, who returned from working in Australia, was also a master stroke and brought great acclaim from the consumer and national press. This relationship looks to strengthen when Sainsbury, Benyan and Loubet open Granary Square Kitchen in King's Cross in early 2013. The restaurant, with outside dining, will showcase international influences, with a focus on vegetables.

The Zetter Group's other project is another independent boutique hotel in Marylebone, due to open in 2014. It looks like Sainsbury will keep people talking.

The Zetter to open a townhouse hotel >>

Zetter hotel trio to open London restaurant next year >>

Sustainable Restaurant Association launches at Hotelympia >>

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