Russell Norman offers advice to would-be restaurateurs

24 January 2014 by
Russell Norman offers advice to would-be restaurateurs

Russell Norman has told would-be restaurateurs that if they love going to restaurants, they shouldn't open one.

The co-founder of the Polpo Group, alongside Richard Beatty, made the comment in an interview about his new BBC television programme the Restaurant Man, which began on Wednesday.

The series sees Norman, who has opened seven restaurants in four and a half years, offer advice to novices looking to open their own restaurant.

"A lot of people fantasise about opening their own restaurant, thinking it is going to be a bit like a dinner party but with a till," he said, in the" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Times. "It's a big fallacy. The idea of a restaurant is intangibly wonderful, they want a part of it. If they were running the show they would be there 18 hours a day, they'd be tired and they'd be miserable."

Norman outlined some of the advice that he offers in the new six-part series, but maintained that they don't offer a guarantee of success.

His tips included:

•The idea can come from your heart, but you have to start a business and run it with your head -"In business terms it needs to be solid."

•Only start a project if there is a clear gap in the market - "It doesn't have to be a restaurant that nobody has done before, but it does have to fit in terms of the location, the competition, the community."

•Stick to what you know - "There's no point thinking, 'Japanese food is popular, I am going to open a Japanese restaurant', if you have no knowledge of Japanese food."

•Remember that service is more important than the food because top service can save an evening in a restaurant if the food fails - "Restaurants are about people. They are about the interaction between staff and customers and the way that you leave the place feeling better about yourself and the world than when you arrived at the place."

\ Read the full interview with Russell Norman in the Times*.

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