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Taylor made for the trade

CONSISTENCY and diversification are the secrets to making money in the restaurant business, according to Fraser’s Restaurant and Bluewater Grill owner Chris Taylor.

“You have to have consistency with suppliers, clients, and staff,” he said.

“We’ve got the restaurant but we have the private dining room and functions. To be a restaurant on the back streets somewhere would be tough.”

Mr Taylor developed Fraser’s Restaurant a decade ago and earlier this year opened his second venue, The Bluewater Grill. He said maintaining good staff and a quality product were part of his success.

“Consistency is what restaurants are about. We have 120 people booked in for tonight and about the same tomorrow night. If you do a hard service night you have to come back and do it all again the next day,” he said. 

“We keep the same suppliers and we look after them. We pay them, and they look after us because we pay them.

“I’ve had two floor managers in 10 years. Mark [Haynes, current head chef at Fraser’s] and Brad [Ford, current Bluewater Grill manager] and I have been working together for 15 years. I wouldn’t have bothered opening Bluewater if I didn’t have them.

“They probably wouldn’t stay either, you have to give them something else to work on.”

Mr Ford left his head chef’s post at Fraser’s to take up the opportunity to manage the Bluewater Grill, allowing Mr Haynes to step up a notch at Fraser’s. 

Mr Taylor is often cooking up a storm in exotic locations (he recently returned from Mauritius) and said the cooking trips were good fun but, more importantly, provided him with public relations opportunities.

“I want us to be in the press once a month. We send out information on our cigar dinners and cheese dinners and it’s all part of the branding.”

Mr Taylor believes office administration to be a critical function of the business and said the systems he had in place made it easier for him to expand his restaurant portfolio.

“We are focused on payroll. Everyone had budgets that I set, and I work in the kitchen and I know what the capabilities are,” he said.

 

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