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Critics and Food Writers


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Pricing does seem a bit steep.

£5 for olives? Is that a bowl of olives? or do you get something else?

Charging for Bread always seems a bit tight.

What is your market? Locals, buisness expense acconts, tourists, foodies who will travel?

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just send them this from your website.......should do the trick..........

'Simon having continuously sought to initiate, develop and deliver cuisine of the highest standard in the course of his hectic and widely varied career to date, then returned to his home Country in search of a new challenge that would enable him to take the next major step forward in making his name synonymous with a restaurant of the style and dimension seldom seen in the UK. This has now brought him together with the innovative talents of Patricia A Douglas proprietor of the startling new venture Alexanders at Limpsfield where Simon has absolute control over all matters gastronomic.

Simon has developed an individual style incorporating all the classical factors but with a modern and unique elegance which he intends to continue to shape and mould as his reputation at Alexanders flourishes.'

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just send them this from your website.......should do the trick..........

'Simon having continuously sought to initiate, develop and deliver cuisine of the highest standard in the course of his hectic and widely varied career to date, then returned to his home Country in search of a new challenge that would enable him to take the next major step forward in making his name synonymous with a restaurant of the style and dimension seldom seen in the UK.  This has now brought him together with the innovative talents of Patricia A Douglas proprietor of the startling new venture Alexanders at Limpsfield where Simon has absolute control over all matters gastronomic.

Simon has developed an individual style incorporating all the classical factors but with a modern and unique elegance which he intends to continue to shape and mould as his reputation at Alexanders flourishes.'

Sorry everybody web site been delayed and will not be finished toatally till next week should of beeen done yesterday, pictures etc and more info to go on there

Will be getting better!!

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Hate to say this but the pricing on that menu, IMO, is too high. Without a Michelin star to back that up averaging £14 for a starter is optimistic in a location like Limpsfield. £17 for scallops :shock:

As a comparison the (2*) Square charges £80 for 7 course tasting menu, your 6 course tasting menu is £68. :hmmm:

Please note that I'm not saying the cooking isn't up to it (I've no idea) just that I would think it may be a struggle to attract customers in a that sort of location, I hope I'm wrong :smile:

Edited to add: Actually you don't necessarily need a Michelin star (though it would possibly help) but I would have thought that you would need some good reviews before you can go to those prices.

Dear Matthew

I do agree were not cheap, and thats why we offer the cheaper brasserrie aswell

I m intrested in your opinions on Limpsfield, because it is one of the most affluent areas in Surrey and we are surrounded by money

Also your shock at the price of Scallops do you know how expensive hand dived scallops are?

Maybe i need to offer more explanation on the tasting menu as its more like 10 course you would get

Yep we do need to get some reviews and i had a michelin star before i went to work in Shanghai so hopefully one will come next year, all the brigade have got michlen experience, 2 of them 3 star and the restaurant manager who starts tuesday, fingers crosssed (dont get me on to restaurant managers) is ex manoir, waterside and Ducasse, so hopefully we have got things in place to move forward

I am also looking at the pricing to put on a couple of cheaper starters

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£2 each for a hand dived scallop. Cut it down to two scallops and charge £10

I realise Limpsfield is affluent, my issue is more to do with what people perceive as value for money. If you have a few great reviews or gain your Michelin star I don't believe it would be a problem at all but until the accolades start I think the pricing may put people off. London is also a very affluent place but it hasn't stopped lots of restaurants going under at lower prices. I also know plenty of people with lots more money than I'll ever have that think my spending on restaurants is outrageous, affluent areas are surely no guarantee of a full restaurant, or for that matter a discerning clientele?

On a more positive note you've got my attention with this thread and I'm curious to try it out :smile: the downside to that is that until those reviews come in justifying that cost I'm afraid I'll be holding back. I think lower pricing in the beginning would attract more clientele and then increasing the prices gradually would probably bring in the punters quicker, especially without the reviews.

Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I can only second Matthew's sound advice.

It's a bit difficult to comment without knowing what the principal assumptions are that underpin your business plan. However, (and this is no comment on the quality of what you're offering)

- at first glance, I would say everything looks about 30% too expensive

- aim for those prices when you're established, but to start with them is very "brave". I know that area a bit and it's no surprise that it hasn't been the epicentre of fine dining: many of the people round there like to spend money on shiny cars and cosmetic surgery rather than grand gastronomy. (And before anyone says anything, that's not meant to be gratuitously offensive, just a statement of opinion). In fact, Mrs Algy was brought up not far from there. Moving quickly on.

- I'm not sure what assumptions you've made about volumes, but there's likely to be a massive difference in potential volumes between weekday and weekend.

- the brasserie is a good idea, but how are you making sure that both offerings are distinctive, but linked? Are the premises adjacent? Will those who try the brasserie get a sense of what's available in the restaurant?

- my earlier point about location was meant to be helpful: so is this. Your website should let people know when you're open!

Good luck

Edited by algy (log)
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Matthew's right about pricing. You need to be busy before you put your prices up. Otherwise you might end up with slow product turnover, and people will be even less enthusiastic about paying top prices for produce that's been lying around all week. The last thing you want is a reputation for being expensive and sub-par.

Finally, I suppose you are not the owner. Do bear in mind that owners ambitions regarding restaurants are not normally the same as the chefs that they employ. Owners rarely crave adoration to the same extent as chefs, and are generally interested in profit. Tread carefully in this respect, and don't be so naive as to believe that anyone is going to spend any more of their cash on making you famous than is necessary to benefit their business.

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I can only second Matthew's sound advice.

It's a bit difficult to comment without knowing what the principal assumptions are that underpin your business plan. However, (and this is no comment on the quality of what you're offering)

- at first glance, I would say everything looks about 30% too expensive

- aim for those prices when you're established, but to start with them is very "brave". I know that area a bit and it's no surprise that it hasn't been the epicentre of fine dining: many of the people round there like to spend money on shiny cars and cosmetic surgery rather than grand gastronomy. (And before anyone says anything, that's not meant to be gratuitously offensive, just a statement of opinion). In fact, Mrs Algy was brought up not far from there. Moving quickly on.

- I'm not sure what assumptions you've made about volumes, but there's likely to be a massive difference in potential volumes between weekday and weekend.

- the brasserie is a good idea, but how are you making sure that both offerings are distinctive, but linked? Are the premises adjacent? Will those who try the brasserie get a sense of what's available in the restaurant?

- my earlier point about location was meant to be helpful: so is this. Your website should let people know when you're open!

Good luck

Thanks for the advice

its in the same building, main entrance then to the right brasserrie and sofas for drinks and then the main dining room is off to the left, same toilets etc etc

People who try the brasserrie do get a sencse of the main restaurant and then the majority of brasserrie customers will book a table for the fine dining, which we hoped would happen

Regards

Simon

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JFYI, the last 2 weeks have been pretty bloody awful for the restuarant trade down here, hell even i had empty tables! :wink: January is a killer at times.

ever thought of trying to attract a more plutocratic, suit wearing, high rolling clientele? Very difficult to please, but immensely profitable if you can

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I would agree with everybody here. Your prices are way over the top. I don't care how many stars some of your brigade once had. At the moment you have none.

Egullet is offering you a serious opportunity here. Take their advice. Slice 30% off those prices. Drop some luxury ingredients if needs be. Ease back on the number of staff needed to execute it. Make your point through consistency and proficiency and start adding the bells and whistles as you get the customers.

IF i was to come to your place and, at those prices, found a single fault, I would put you over the spit and bbq you.

Nothing personal; it's business.

Jay

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I would agree with everybody here. Your prices are way over the top. I don't care how many stars some of your brigade once had. At the moment you have none.

Egullet is offering you a serious opportunity here. Take their advice. Slice 30% off those prices. Drop some luxury ingredients if needs be. Ease back on the number of staff needed to execute it. Make your point through consistency and proficiency and start adding the bells and whistles as you get the customers.

IF i was to come to your place and, at those prices, found a single fault, I would put you over the spit and bbq you.

Nothing personal; it's business.

Well i ll definatly be taking advice from averybody here. i m not to proud and i do appreciate it, i want to make it clear though i wasnt justifying prices by the staff i have, i ll take in to acccount what people say and push on from there

Regards

Simon

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Well i ll definatly be taking advice from averybody here. i m not to proud and i do appreciate it, i want to make it clear though i wasnt justifying prices by the staff i have, i ll take in to acccount what people say and push on from there

Regards

Simon

Whoever wrote the text for your website needs to be hung, drawn and quartered...very slowly.

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Enough of this. Send a letter to each of the national restaurant critics, and a copy of the menu. Do not offer free meals. We don't need them and (generally) do not want them. Do not offer to make a booking for us. We make our own under pseudonyms. Just explain who you are, where you've been before and what makes your restaurant note worthy. Remember, we are not simply looking for a restaurant to review. We are looking for something to write about. Anything which makes you different should be in there.

First of all, I have to say I only worked in a restaurant for a week... But I have worked both as a journalist and a PR, so here's my two cents. Also, I want to state I work and live in Spain, so what applies here might not apply over there. But there you go:

Another good tip, specially for smaller magazines, is sending a CD with professional quality high resolution photos of your restaurant. They might not have a photographer available but still need to fill a stray half column the day before their deadline, and that's when your pics can make a critical difference. A photograph of yourself, particularly if it makes you look charismatic or warm, should also be included.

Try and get a media directory and locate every paper's person in charge for the food section. Don't overlook magazines where that job might fall in no one in particular (fashion and travel magazines might not have a food editor and the job may rotate among their staff). Don't ignore local and amateurish papers, you need every publicity you can get. Just remember you are not obliged to give them free food (often, the more amateur the journalist, the more he or she seems to think they are entitled to it).

Your press release shouldn't be too long (one page at best, excluding the menu), and you should go straight to the point from the beginning. Think what makes you newsworthy. Are you doing a week devoted to mushrooms? Is there an special event in your area you can tie in with? Have you redecorated? Did a local celebrity choose you to celebrate their wedding? Have you written a cookbook?

Consider offering special prices for companies hosting their events in your place, specially if they will be working hard for their PR. I used to work for a fashion magazine, and a lot of the restaurant reviews often were the idea of someone who had been there originally while covering something else entirely.

Don't forget to put in every page of your press release your contact data. This must include the name of the person who will be acting as a liaison. Journalists really hate calling somewhere and having their call bounce from one person to another.

One tip I really swear by (but other people may find worthless) is always sending our press releases inside a brightly coloured folder (ideally in the same colour and style as the rest of your graphics). Why? Journalists receive LOTS of press releases and tend to have not very tidy desks. A garish folder is easier to fish from inside a pile.

I hope this helps,

Mar

Middlebrow Catalan gastronomy??????

http://baixagastronomia.blogspot.com/

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Whoever wrote the text for your website needs to be hung, drawn and quartered...very slowly.

Just had a look at the site, have to agree with Andy. There are problems with the construction, grammar and punctuation of the text on the homepage.

Bearing in mind where you are pitching yourselves price wise, it might be an idea for your web designer to have a look at some of the top end restaurant websites, before updates are applied.

I appreciate that any business start up is a mad rush to get completed on time (been there , got the T-shirt), and things will always need tweaking. However your website is available to the whole planet, so making sure it's pretty much spot on is very important IMHO. Some of the font choices could do with being looked at as well.

HTH

I

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