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Ramsaywatch UK


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having just read his latest book he does seem keen on ad hoc property purchases that form no part of the current empire

You're working on the assumption that he wrote his book.

The "flaky income streams" you mentioned are the reason why the Rastropubs and Foxtros are being nurtured. The A to E structure is a pyramid, where the steady income from the Ds and Es will smooth out any bumps in the As and Bs. I'd be surprised if any new opening didn't look scaleable from now on (all eyes on you Hartnett; the pyramid could use a B-grade Italian franchise). And I'd be surprised if his sentimentality was strong enough to persist with any individual place that was underperforming (watch your back, Noisette).

Completely off topic, it my imagination or do Ramsay's female chefs all look very similar? The one now at RHR, the Foxtrot Oscar lady, the one he nicked from the Kitchen Nightmares veggie place in France who ended up working at Boxwood ... All mid-20s, dark hair and wan skin, slightly startled-rabbit look.

Not suggesting anything here. Just saying.

Edited by naebody (log)
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yes, but omit the a-c 's, the tv income the book royalties and you have a steady away decent business with consistency and the crucial potentially rolloutability that us market slaves love if he finds a format - you gotta have a format! pizza express/carluccios/restaurant group etc

He could make some good money but only be involved on a consultancy/name basis. leave the day to day operation to guys who know how to run a roll-out, and keep the rest of the business PA.

high end expense account dining isn't quite the flavour of the month with the market as even gaucho grill found . market not generally fond of high profile entrepreneurs, mike ashley anyone ? and everyone conveniently forgets that despite alan sugars promotion to entrepreneur du jour the market never rated amstrad and the bulk of his fortune was made in property not his higher profile consumer electronics biz. richard branson bought virgin back sharpish post its float etc.

I would hope that chris hutchinson will guide him sensibly, if he wants a 'f*ck off fund' sell a chunk to the private equity boys and keep it simple, most of the upside with little of the downside that comes with being answerable to plc shareholders.

Edited by Gary Marshall (log)

you don't win friends with salad

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I think this is a one-off. Chance to buy a site that  has sentimental value.

That's the spin, certainly. But doesn't it all look a little too PR-caressed for an elephantine corporate beast like GRH?

...

It doesn't take a genius to work out that the group lacks a D-grade brand - a place on the high street to soak up after-work birthdays, weekday lunches with the man from head office, etc. Foxtrot Oscar looks to be his first stab towards the market currently ruled over by Carluccios, Balans etc. (Of course, by the time the brand reaches Slough High Street, it's unlikely that the chef making your Ceasar salad will have done two years at Guy Savoy.)

By the way, I think I was wrong further up the thread. I'd now guess that the business will be floated in its an entirity - posh restaurants as well as pleb ones. Foxtrot, assuming it works, is there to complete the Powerpoint slide titled "Group brands - A to E".

"Sentimental value"? You're kidding, right?

Bloody brilliant analysis as always... someone should be paying you for this.

It's interesting how much of the coverage of FO has stressed things like 'hangout', 'after hours', 'off-duty' etc. Of all the things you could say in relaunching a vile, unreconstructed Sloane Ranger shitehole like FO, one would have to say that 'it was Ramses after-work favourite' is carefully selected.

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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having just read his latest book he does seem keen on ad hoc property purchases that form no part of the current empire

Completely off topic, it my imagination or do Ramsay's female chefs all look very similar? The one now at RHR, the Foxtrot Oscar lady, the one he nicked from the Kitchen Nightmares veggie place in France who ended up working at Boxwood ... All mid-20s, dark hair and wan skin, slightly startled-rabbit look.

Not suggesting anything here. Just saying.

...what? A little like boys in drag?

I'd say that was bang on topic :laugh:

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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He could make some good money but  only be involved on a consultancy/name basis. leave the day to day operation to guys who know how to run a roll-out, and keep the rest of the business PA.

Yup - don't disagree with any of that (and said similar things myself in this very thread).

I wouldn't be expecting a flotation inside 12 months, and it may take as long as two years. You can't really draw parallels with Gaucho or Pizza Express, as GRH would be a multi-line business more similar in scale to something like The Restaurant Group (the £300m-valued owner of Garfunkels, Frankie & Benny's, Chiquitos and other places rarely mentioned on eGullet), but with the growth and average per-head spend of something like Carluccio's.

The Restaurant Group is currently valued at about 11 times historic earnings even after a veiled profit warning, while Carluccio's trades at over 13 times earnings.

The private equity boys would never pay that kind of valuation unless they see a clear opportunity to cut costs, break up the business or flog off the property, which is why I expect Ramsay to prefer a partial flotation to a major VC stake. And, assuming the D and E businesses bed down over the next 12 months and then start expanding at say a pace of two or three a month, I'd guess he could be generating EBITDA of between £15m and £30m PA, suggesting a business worth up to £400m even in this tough market.

Apologies if this is all too fiscally noodly for a food forum. There's only so much you can say about white bean mush.

(Edited to correct the EBITDA number, which was a bit too ambitious previously.)

Edited by naebody (log)
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I think this is a one-off. Chance to buy a site that  has sentimental value.

That's the spin, certainly. But doesn't it all look a little too PR-caressed for an elephantine corporate beast like GRH?

It's instructive to take a quick look at what's in the Ramsay portfolio at the moment:

1- The "Ramsay At" brand (Ramsay at Claridges, at the London, at the Bastille, at Wynn Las Vegas before long I'd imagine). This is the A-grade international brand for holidaymakers and locals needing a special occasion. A cross between Nobu and Hard Rock Cafe.

2- Maze. The B-grade brand, with a slight edginess rather than a slight luxury. This does exactly the same job as as "Ramsay At" but for an audience that's 10 years younger. If Ramsay were Starwood Hotels, this'd be the W chain.

3- Boxwood. The C-grade brand for business lunches, dinners with parents, dates with people you don't fancy, etc. This is the one that's being rolled out under various names to airports and mid-ranking hotels in C-grade places like Prague. The pitch is: "it's not the best thing in the world, but it's the best thing you'll get here".

4- The gastropubs. This is the E-grade brand for Saturday lunch and evenings when suburbanites who can't be bothered cooking or travelling very far. Appearing in a local boozer near you soon.

It doesn't take a genius to work out that the group lacks a D-grade brand - a place on the high street to soak up after-work birthdays, weekday lunches with the man from head office, etc. Foxtrot Oscar looks to be his first stab towards the market currently ruled over by Carluccios, Balans etc. (Of course, by the time the brand reaches Slough High Street, it's unlikely that the chef making your Ceasar salad will have done two years at Guy Savoy.)

By the way, I think I was wrong further up the thread. I'd now guess that the business will be floated in its an entirity - posh restaurants as well as pleb ones. Foxtrot, assuming it works, is there to complete the Powerpoint slide titled "Group brands - A to E".

"Sentimental value"? You're kidding, right?

Would love to see him push it further.

If you’re sliding down the culinary curve, you may as well go full circle.

A nice tidy offering from McGastro to McGordo. :biggrin:

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And there’s more….

Gordo is to set up his own UK Chef Academy:

Gordon Ramsay is planning to set up a catering academy in the UK to combat what he sees as the poor standard of catering colleges, Caterersearch can reveal.

Speaking at the official launch of Maze Prague last week, Ramsay said the cookery school would be his “next big thing”.

“I’m fed up not just with the NVQ standards, but at what’s coming out of our catering schools,” Ramsay said. “I want to set up my own modern day apprentice scheme, where students will experience everything from a most amazing pub, to a one, two, or three Michelin starred establishment.

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It is one of his favourite sayings " ......the most amazing....". Everything he touchs or deals with is " the most amazing", whether it be potatoes, restaurants, alarm clocks, portaloos, avocados, gout, michelin star etc etc. This is usually accomapnied with the back of his right hand slapping the palm of his left, just to accentuate the whole amazingness of it all.

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And there’s more….

Gordo is to set up his own UK Chef Academy:

Gordon Ramsay is planning to set up a catering academy in the UK to combat what he sees as the poor standard of catering colleges, Caterersearch can reveal.

Speaking at the official launch of Maze Prague last week, Ramsay said the cookery school would be his “next big thing”.

“I’m fed up not just with the NVQ standards, but at what’s coming out of our catering schools,” Ramsay said. “I want to set up my own modern day apprentice scheme, where students will experience everything from a most amazing pub, to a one, two, or three Michelin starred establishment.

Not a big surprise.

Any observer of his high-end roll out over the last few years would realise that the only thing in short supply would be well trained haute-level chefs. Plush hotels, willing punters and identikit dark wood david collins decors are all in plentiful supply nowadays.

Formalising the production line to give you the staff is a blindingly obvious next step (actually he's already got a training gaff set up in Victoria, right).

And could I add it's an excellent step. If he can turn out a conveyer belt of well trained chefs able to cook with the precision required in his restaurants, that can only be a good thing for the restaurant trade and for diners in general.

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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  • 1 month later...
Link to Marina's review of FO referring to this thread. Edited by Tim Hayward (log)

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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Damn. I was hoping it'd be my observation about how all his new female chefs look like effete schoolboys auditioning for Oliver Twist.

(Not that I'm suggesting anything by that. Just saying.)

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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It's interesting they're not allowed naked flames in the kitchen - this must create some challenges for the staff. However I'm not sure I agree that ONLY gas fired stoves would be hot enough to cook a steak, as Jan Moir suggests. Surely anything can make a griddle pan hot enough, even a halogen or electric hob, given enough time?

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