Success in the management of your restaurant related to guest experience
‘I drive culture, staff wellness and training whilst focusing on the guest experience’ Andy Downton.
Andy Downton is an accomplished F&B consultant and director with a long experience in the dynamic and exciting restaurants scene of London and the Middle East. As an expert in luxury management, Andy has worked as a restaurant director for brands such as Gordon Ramsay, Park Chinois and Theo Randall.
Troubleshooting and staying calm is what Andy does, he leads from the front and always tackles problems head on as I believe that this leads to better results & helps growth in the businesses. This involves creating a positive and engaging environment for both customers and employees alike, where everyone feels valued and supported. Andy understands that by prioritizing staff well-being and training, he can foster a positive company culture that will ultimately benefit the business
Andy, a valued member of the Cooking Europe team, has graciously shared with us today his insights on successful restaurant management. One of the key points he emphasizes is the necessity of staying current with industry trends and consistently innovating in order to stay ahead of competitors. This is crucial to ensuring the continued success and growth of any restaurant. His dedication to his craft and his team have made him an invaluable asset to the restaurant, and his insights are a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the restaurant industry.
How did you develop yourself in hospitality?
I developed myself in the hospitality industry by always being professional, hardworking & by putting myself out of my comfort zone. When I was at the start of my career, I had a clear plan to always work in places that would test me both personally and professionally.
I have worked on Cruise ships, run Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s for 5 years and now have my own business. At every stage I have always listened to advice, taken on feedback & adapted my management style accordingly. You never know everything; our industry changes all the time and it’s important to be ready for anything.
You have been providing great success to the restaurants. What is the recipe to achieve this?
One word for me is consistently, being consistent is very hard and you really need to train your mind in order to be consistent day in and day out. I have been doing this for over 20 years now so it’s second nature to me. If you are consistent, hardworking, honest & organised then you have the key to being successful.
What are the points that you analyse when you arrive at an F&B department that you need to consult?
The main points for me when I first take on a new consultancy has to be listening to what the client wants to achieve and then actually seeing if their goals are achievable, once that’s established, I will start working closely with the current management team to start a process to achieve the clients goals. Without getting to know the team you will find it hard to deliver on the objectives.
In order to train staff, how do you train staff to follow the company standard?
The easiest way to train staff during this current time has got to be by leading by example, showing them the best way to do something and showing them that you can do it is really important, it builds trust & respect. Taking your time to teach, train & answer any questions that they may have is key to building a good team & staff retention.
How do we get customers to come back to our restaurant?
For me it’s simple to get our guests to keep returning to our restaurants time and time again by simply showing them that you understand their needs & making sure they feel welcomed whilst also providing excellent service and value for money.
What is the future in the hospitality sector regarding guest experience?
Guests need to feel like they are receiving value for money especially during these tough economic times, people are more careful on where they spend their money, so what restaurants offer will need to reflect this, service needs to be on point and the food will need to be great in order to keep regular and new guests coming back