London Magazine (May 2009)
Bring it on! While the credit crunch munches it's way through most company profits, others arn't just surviving but thriving. Jo Mackertich talks to the businesses bucking the trend.
In the last quarter of 2008, more than 140 UK restaurants went out of business. When asked in a recent survey, consumers said that eating out would be the first thing they scaled back on if they had to cut spending. So what do restaurants have to do to stay in the black?
Christian Mouysset believes he has the answer: "Focus." This startlingly young co-owner and co-founder of Hummus Bros says that small restaurants need to carve out a niche for themselves, concentrating on what they can do well. Christian practises what he preaches. Currently consisting of two stylish, modest-sized premises in Soho and Holborn, Hummus Bros offers a brief but varied menu solely consisting of hummus-based dishes. "Other small chains are too diverse. We know that when people feel like hummus they come to us." And come they do. Hummus Bros' profit margin has continued to grow unabated throughout the recession. According to Christian, the four key ingredients of his business are, "the food, the service, the price and the environment. If you want people to come back and spend their money again, give them a special experience. I think that English businesses, not just restaurants, have a lot to learn about service culture."
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