Mancunian Johnny Smith – founder of The Clove Club in London – one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, will be part of the Bruntwood Northern Restaurant and Bar (NRB) debate panel discussing how technology is disrupting hospitality, providing both challenges and opportunities. And Fred Sirieix, general manager at Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows and French maître d’ on Channel 4’s First Dates is to headline…
SMITH started his career as a waiter in Croma on Manchester’s Clarence St before relocating to London and launching the critically acclaimed Clove Club and modern Italian Luca with business partners Issac McHale and Daniel Willis. He is passionate about technology that he attributes to being key to their success.
“The Clove Club itself was launched using crowdfunding, a route which simply didn’t exist 10 years ago,” he said.
“We have always kept up with technological changes throughout our venues. It doesn’t detract from our commitment to food and service but it simply allows us to deliver our diners’ experience more efficiently.”
NRB’s annual Bruntwood NRB Debate, taking place on Tuesday 20 March, will feature a panel of operators and commentators discussing how technology is turning hospitality on its head, from customer acquisition and retention to visitor experience and operational systems and maybe even robots!
It will be chaired by Jamie Campbell, Retail Business Unit director at CGA.
Other panalists include Gavin Adair, managing director of Rosa’s Thai Café, another operator famed for embracing new technology. They are also due to open another site in Liverpool shortly; Nadia el Hadery, Founder of Y Food which organises the respected London Food Tech Week; and Laurence McCarthy, managing director of global hospitality consultancy The Russell Partnership, which has worked on food and drink operations around the world.
Fred Sirieix to headline…
The Bruntwood NRB Debate will be headlined by Fred Sirieix, general manager at Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows and maître d’ on Channel 4’s First Dates. Sirieix will address how whilst technology is important, hospitality is fundamentally a people-led business and human interaction, particularly front of house, will always remain key. Fred is no stranger to the North of England restaurant scene, having recently finished filming ‘The Million Pound Menu’ in Manchester.
Sirieix will talk openly with NRB CEO Thom Hetherington about his vision for front of house and how human interaction can make or break a restaurant experience for diners.
“The restaurant industry is in a time of huge change, not least from technological disruption”, says Thom, “but I think that makes it all the more important to remember that the fundamentals of hospitality are timeless. This is a very human business, and the basics of the way you deal with customers will ultimately shape your business. There is no one better to address this hot topic than Fred Sirieix, he is the standard-bearer for service.”
Sirieix will also be signing copies of his book Secret Service in which he shares his hilarious and hair-raising tales of life front-of-house, divulging his philosophy about how to ensure a first-class restaurant experience, and showing who’s ultimately in control in the dining room.
The Bruntwood NRB Debate starts at 12:00 and includes a buffet lunch. Tickets are priced £55+VAT. Book online at nrbdebate.co.uk
Northern Restaurant & Bar is the North’s hospitality exhibition. Returning to Manchester Central on 20 & 21 March, NRB18 hosts 275 exhibitors providing every product and service a hospitality business needs, delivers 65 exciting live food & drink demos, and brings the entire Northern hospitality industry together for two days of networking, discovery and inspiration.
Free trade only tickets are available now at northernrestaurantandbar.co.uk