Fine Living | Diary of a Somebody

Marcus Wareing

In praise of a good front-of-house team

Marcus Wareing

September 23 2010
Marcus Wareing

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

I met with an old friend today who is looking for some career advice – a chef who worked for me some years ago and left for a quieter life. I think he misses the buzz. It’s good to catch up with people in the industry as it helps you stay on top of trends, create ideas and garner inspiration. I’m always seeking inspiration and find that it not only comes from ingredients but from experiences and talking to people.

We’ve spent the past couple of months redesigning our website ( and finally we launched it this week. It looks really great and sums up the restaurant perfectly. It’s interactive, with a review section so that guests can leave comments – they are the best critics of all, and the ones we make sure we listen to – and a kitchen diary so that visitors are kept abreast of what’s going on at the restaurant. Christian, our “in-house” photographer, took some more food shots last week which I had a peek at this morning, and they look fantastic – I can’t wait for you all to see them.

It’s been a bit of an admin day today as I’ve had meetings with my solicitor and accountant. As a businessman I make it my top priority to know what is going on and to have a thorough understanding so that I can ensure, when needed, that the necessary improvements can be made. Following this we had our weekly team operations meeting to discuss challenges, maintenance, recruitment, upcoming events, and also to share feedback received from guests, in particular the negative ones – we need to find solutions, or at the very least learn from the mistakes – and also at least a couple of the positive ones, for staff morale!

The restaurant was busy again today. Guests don’t just come to see me and taste the food; they come and experience the work of the team. But tonight was one of the rare nights when I was not in the kitchen. By 6.30pm I was on my way to a surprise dinner party at one of my favourite restaurants, Trinity in Clapham, south London (, to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday. The chef, Adam Byatt, cooked some fabulous food – it’s difficult to choose a favourite dish as it is always outstanding, but being a Lancashire lad, the Eccles cake and cheese plate was a definite hit with me. Most importantly, I was able to relax and enjoy the evening knowing that I had left a very strong team led by Alyn and James in the kitchen, and Craig and Dimitri in the restaurant.

An early night tonight; I was home just after midnight.

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