Sadly, the Dark Lord a.k.a Anthony Pender was away at the time of filming…(excuses, excuses!) but not to worry, Tim and Jay get quite cosy on their own. Rest assured no team members were physically harmed during the filming of this video (potentially mentally scarred a little though).
WE WON THE MUDDY AWARDS FOR BEST BOUTIQUE STAY AND IT’S ALL THANKS TO YOU FOR VOTING FOR US!
AS PROMISED, TIM, ANTHONY AND JASON WILL BE STRUTTING THEIR STUFF IN RED STILETTOS BECAUSE WE WON (SURELY THAT WAS PART OF WHY YOU VOTED?!).
THE SHOES HAVE ARRIVED. STAY TUNED FOR THE PHOTOS…
I own a poxy f*@king pub company.
Six stunning pubs that house some of the best talent in the hospitality industry, but every time we let a customer down, we become a poxy f*@king pub company.
I’ve spent the last five hours explaining that to people. That & the newly adopted f*@k off in 18 months recruitment strategy I’m literally force applying to my business. There are a lot of swear words for such a short intro, but sometimes the gravity of a situation can only be endorsed by crude language*
*for uneducated people, of which, at large, I am such a person.
But it’s true.
I can make my pubs look amazing; spend loads of cash; which I’ve sacrificed my own personal happiness & development for, for the greater good of what’s coming & yet we can’t deliver the core basics of hospitality. Sometimes you can never win, sometimes the expectations of the customer are just too great, but 99.9% of the time we can absolutely deliver, in fact, we can over deliver. My business is about kids, about people, about taking kids with limited or no futures & making them stars, the ‘riff raff’, the ‘troublesome ones’, the ‘difficult teenagers’ & it’s also about the gifted ones, the guys & girls that have their ‘whole lives in front of them, why hospitality? Why for gods sake, why? You could do so much more with your life?!!!’
It’s a balance that often goes wrong, but when it goes right, boy am I soooooooooooo proud of the business I have built.
A business that sustains an entire population of the ‘youth of today’. I’m only ranting because today is my birthday, another year gone, anther year I have achieved many dreams. Another year I’m the old git in Yummy. On the train to town I picked up a story of a stunning young talent we were fortunate to begin to nurture in Liam Pope. He’s just cooked with Raymond Blanc at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show, a dream I remember him chatting on about how he was going to cook with this chef & that chef & this chef & that chef…the boys doing it, regardless of the barriers put in the way, he’s living life.
For the past year I have lived with the mantra to live my life. Really live my life. Not fancy holidays or living dreams, but life, appreciating the day to day, getting up in the morning, cuddles with my babies, smelling their heads as they come fresh out of bed, life, not dreams.
A tiny little girl & a fat bloke (who shall be un named for now) taught me that.
This year, hand on heart I can say I have, lived my life.
I’ve watched & enjoyed my gorgeous boys growing (my babes, not the two ugly gits above). I’ve married my long suffering ‘other half’ (she’s still suffering, but now married) whom I love with every ounce in my body & watched my business grow. Lucy thinks its my passion; Yummy, what makes me tick & she’s right, but what she doesn’t see is that its my family that give me the energy & the drive to make Yummy special. I’ve also helped a few people along the way.
For my birthday tomorrow I’m going to take another kid out of sheltered accommodation. It’s a bloody horrible place, but it’s better than the concrete. Writing this, I’ve decided, that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow, because I’ve built a business that can do it, the real beauty of hospitality. I joked with a chap I admire greatly tonight, Mr PBN (he knows who he is) saying he came from pot wash to CEO, but his recourse was ‘Cellar boy’ – that’s the beauty of my trade unlike any other, he’s a phenomenal, driving force of the industry & he started there, I have talent in Yummy, bloody tonnes of it, future leaders & we’ll make that a reality, gifted kids or those off the street, either way, we’ll give them the space, then it’s up to them to shine.
My entire business is beginning to embrace just what we are about through random acts of kindness from cuddles to ice creams to sandwiches for the homeless, It’s simply amazing to see. However, small acts often go un noticed, but in the new era of “YPC never missed” – Roxana is our first YPC loon!!!
We’ve asked our customers, our team, the delivery guys, the suppliers to nominate an individual in YPC that they LOVE for many & any random reason. As such, Roxana from the Somers Town kitchen is our stand out loon. An overwhelming response from ‘nothing is too much trouble’ to ‘ never a moan’ to ‘great talent in the making’ has been the response, so Roxy, you’re our first YPC #RAOKLOON – well done! A treat is making its way to you (via very slow pigeon).
…and so random acts of kindness will build from strength to strength, its been great fun so far, I think we’ve only just touched on the tip of the iceberg of what we can achieve.
Onto another year – this year will be bigger, more colourful & more entertaining than the year past, I simply can’t wait!
Everyday of the week I surround myself with the most fantastic of people.
Granted, some let me down. Call in sick, think it’s ok to let the rest of the team down because ‘they’re more important’ but in the whole, when you take a breath & step back, I surround myself by the most fantastic of people. Only the most fantastic of people get my back. The others can continue on their journeys in life…
You only genuinely realise this when you step back & take in some air…breath deep, refelct & look at what’s around you..
I am sooooooooo proud of the team that have left me this year.
Jess (my daughter)
Stu (my future son in law)
Jeff (God I love the Jeff I first employed)
In my inductions I now ask everyone to leave Yummy after 18 months. It’s having the desired effect.
This might seam strange to the new girls & guys coming in, but it’s a reality. Yummy is here for a stop gap, a time to reflect or a time to rebalance. Yummy is mine, I’m here for the long hall, all the others can ‘do one’ (as I so eloquently portray) learn, develop, do one. 18 months is a key number. As soon as that magic number appears I owe people something, but i’m so loyal, i’ve been here for such a long time….so 2016, lets turn it on its head, lets make staff turnover in my sector a really, really good thing. I’m bored of it being an ‘issue’ or ‘something that needs addressing’ – well, I’m addressing it – piss off!
You don’t need to leave, but you damn well need to develop.
I’ll give you the tools, its up to you. Not me.
…what makes me ‘Yummy’… People.
…I’m lucky enough to have built an amazing company with two boys I love, trust & honestly, would do anything for. I don’t think anything will, or can come between the ethos we have created in Yummy, its a one in a lifetime thing. We are the core, everyone asks me daily “what makes Yummy different?” I think its the core…
…this week has taught me that.
I didn’t ask permission.
I went with a gut feeling.
My boys didn’t even flinch (although I expected them too)…
This week I broke the rules of ‘common sense’ & gave somebody another shot. He’s young, impressionable & a future star. He needs to read this & keep his arse on the grind stone, sweat, shut up, get on with it, understand I’m an old git & I know what’s best & crack on. My granddad put his head above the parapet. He survived or i wouldn’t be here. My head is up, if I get shot down, that son of a bitch is coming with me & (no pressure) I’ll question everyday if taking kids off the streets is the right idea.
He won’t let me down.
At every meeting I’ve had since the beginning of the year I’ve been asked “So whats the plan?”…”What’s the exit?”
There is no ‘exit’ people. We’re building a company, an army, a future.
I will make a difference to somebodies life, I will change the future by ignoring the past, I will roll the dice. My boys have my back. Yummy can & Yummy will.
This is the bit where you stop reading. This is my company, this is what I have achieved & what I can do. You’ll need to download a copy of Ellie Gouldings – Army – YouTube muted it because of copyright (maybe), rightly so. So, for full effect, download, press play, then click.
I’ve watched this screen show every morning so far this year.
It makes me so proud.
I’ll be watching it again in the morning.
My business is built by people, the most fantastic of people.
…its been an emotional day for me. I’ve taken myself back through the journey of Yummy….
…& i’m soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo proud of what we’ve achieved.
In 7 days time I’ll be opening up one of the most exciting pubs you could find out there. Its been a dream of more than 4 years in the making. Not this site, but the dream.
Originally the plan was to open on a backstreet in Marylebone. Another neglected pub. One that had a future, but was being ill treated.
The deal didn’t stack up, so we walked away.
We’ll always walk away.
It’s doing 30% of its potential right now (in Yummy opinion).
Whilst Yummy is flying.
43.5% up on pre-booked Christmas sittings in Yummy. Jesus will be helping on delivering that – he sits on the right hand side, but we’re drafting him in! Some of the best people you could find in this industry inducted by me, today (& mummy P), a population of Yummy Loons, whom I absolutely love (Juan is my favourite 🙂 ) . With all the quirks, weirdness, individuality & fun.
I’m a failed graphic designer.
I studied at the best design school in the land, nye-on the World & I didn’t have the balls to get out there.
I was young (the youngest, ever).
I was a country boy, into the BIG CITY, fending for myself….today, in this crap industry of ‘hospitality’ (apparently, crap, if you listen to people…..not in the industry) everyone in it is just treating water or ‘best they can be’.
Today, I have an MA graduate philosophy student, Post ‘Grad’ Social economic 1st degree ‘students’, actors, amazing ‘teasmith’ dancers (whom have just accepted a ‘life changing’ tour, but “I’ll be back in April” (charlie 🙂 ) people ((please only come back, with this exception – that to tell me you’re living your dreams & you want a ‘cuppa’ – on ‘the house’, because ‘I’ is famous’ – I genuinely don’t even think fame will turn her into a diva, people (but you’re always welcome back ‘excel document with formulas to work things one out” )), circus directors, ‘Swedish roller coaster drivers / operators’, Canadian, (me = “you’re one of the most intelligent people I’ll ever meet in life people, but your late 🙂 people.
It’s a diverse industry.
I cuffing love it.
Hospitality is not only a career. It’s a future.
A bright, shining, ‘everyone wants to hear the story’ kinda one.
After Christmas I’m writing the book.
I’ve decided after today.
There is a book in what we’ve done.
Maybe a 16 pp book. But I’m writing it 🙂 How to do it. Build a multi-million quid business from a ‘beer mat conversation’. Stuff Sugar & his jet. We’re not prancing ponies. We’re the generation that sculpts the future of hospitality, right time, right place, if the recession hadn’t come along, my credit cards (card) maxed, £1,000,000 wouldn’t have gone into HMRC coffers this year. £1.000,000!!!!!!! or would it?
My 5 year old son (nearly old enough to wash dishes) had a ‘chat’ to me all….. the way to school today about my dad. What did he do. Why was he dead. Did he fly bomber jets in the 1st World War? Was he Grandmas brother?
I’d love to live in the head of a 5 year old (nearly 6) for just one week.
See what its like.
Is. so. simple.
So, we’ve been busy. I’ve not written a blog here for a while. But, if you’re in town tomorrow (London) & want to be served (probably a really shite coffee in Somers Town) we’re back on the floor. The original Yummy loons are running the floor.
Guaranteed the best breakfast in the UK.
Jay will be in my kitchen.
(( I’ll be making the coffee))
Anthony is sorting out the bogs.
Tomorrow. I’m on the floor. Its where I feel natural, I belong. My calling.
Please tip heavily.
Please don’t complain.
Just send me ‘feedback’ on my service in Jan / Feb 2016.
That way, I’ll get away with it 🙂
“People leave their boss” – “Not the company they work for”
That’s what I’ve said cllllllllllllll day today. And its 100% true.
I genuinely believe it.
With one fly in the ointment.
David Scott was the best boss I ever had. He’s now some big wig at Carlsberg, but I love him to pieces. He inspired me to just ‘fucking get on with it’ when I was deliberating to run with Yummy full time. He’s a total pain in the arse when it comes to ANY hr issue, but to me, he’s the best boss I’ve ever had.
My business is 100% about my people.
I hope I’ve delivered that message today to the 20+ new recruits into Yummy.
If nothing else, 100% people.
I’m just here for the development of dreams.
Yummy is just here for the development of dreams.
That’s hospitality in a nutshell. Thats what we’re here for, to encourage, harness, develop dreams. We have a touch point on ‘Gen Y’, Gen Z’ I don’t give a flying monkeys what people want to ‘call it’ we’re a stop gap in life.
The business I have created can recognise ‘dreams’.
I’m a dreamer.
I’m living my dream. Might look different to how I saw it 22 years ago, but today, I design my websites, I design my menus, I design my presentations, I design my flyers, I design my posters (all might be shite).
But, I’m not a failed graphic designer.
I’m a publican 🙂
Tomorrow I’m running the floor.
Come for a coffee, I can promise one thing, It’ll be fun 🙂
(( probably shite coffee ))
But I can GUARANTEE fun.
Pop in for a coffee. 60 Chalton Street, London, NW1 1HS.
I’ll be there from 6.30am (open at 8am but i’ll treat you)
I own an amazing company.
I realised whilst I was away on hols that its not been built by Anthony, Jason or I for sometime now, we’ve been guiding it, but its actually being built by my people. Yesterday & today have brought that home to me, more than ever.
I’ve had some fun. I’ve pulled my 24 hr shift, played with websites and Twitter and Facebook and been in meetings and meetings and meetings, but my guys and girls have been the one’s delivering. And thats what they do, day in, day out.
Today, I believe we have made a difference.
It just takes one.
One match to save a beautiful little girl like this one.
Yaser and Vicki are clearly never going to ever let anyone forget who she is, I actually think she might turn out to be one of the most important little girls lost the World has ever seen with the drive, passion and commitment they have to spread their message. It just takes one. One match.
Its been an absolute privilege to be part of the awareness campaign today. The drum will keep on banging, I’m keeping the yummy websites down until Monday with the takeover pages to tell anyone thats looking for a cracking boozer of mine, just have a look at what you could do first.
If I can be remembered as Keith has made sure Franca is remembered today when I part this big old lump of rock, I’d be skipping around the moon.
Live life. Love life.
Thanks to all of my loons. You’ve been exceptional.
Pop in and see us. Pick up one of these wrist bands, have a cuppa or a pint, a natter, then tell everyone you know to look at http://www.teammargot.com
Join in our fun. These are my Yummy loons with another load of selfies to come in tomorrow. Tweet us yours @yummypubco #Liveyourlifeday #togethersavinglives
Two beautiful ladies are no longer with us, one had time to build a legacy behind her, one never had the chance, lets see if we can save a life who can go onto give so much back as Franca Knowles has.
Live Your Life.
Be a Hero.
Today, I will mostly be having a bloody good laugh.
Its been an emotional week, busy (as normal), but busy building a new future for a pub we all love.
For us its the black sheep of the family, the one we always have problems with, try everything and just don’t know what to do with her. Invest far more time, effort and emotion than a business mind would or should allow, but that’s just us I guess, never one’s to give up.
As always, there is plenty of ‘final fixes’ little things & big things we’ve missed in the development that need attention in the coming days and weeks, but on the surface, the pub now looks smashing. As well as a new interior, we have a stunning new kitchen and garden bar, a fab taproom and a few new faces in the team.
Initial feedback this week is “Jolly well done” its the coming weeks and months that are important now to delight our customers and over deliver on their expectations. If my team pull together, I’m convinced it can happen, they all genuinely love the pub.
Thanks go to Nigel and his team at Sheps, finally some belief that if you invest, you’ll get returns. The pub game has changed significantly even since we entered it as Yummy, you have to create something that customers can love, the ‘experience’ is everything and that is what we are training into our people every single day.
These are being rolled out into Yummy in the coming weeks. I want every single member of my ‘loon army’ to shape Yummy, create tiny changes that ripple to create huge waves of change in my business. I want everyone, no matter their job role to own the business, the customer journey, the experience, because they are what makes us Yummy, not the buildings. I think the more I say it, write it, say it, write it, shout it, the more people will actually believe I mean it.
I’ll be doing a lot more of it, after my holiday 🙂
The Hobbits enjoying the sun.
The boathouse now looking far more ‘Yummy’
Standing proud in the sunshine
‘Jazz Hands’ photo – thats a keeper 🙂
The tap room in full flow (my favourite bit of the development)
Young Mark showing how to squeeze lemons #Talent #Concentration
Now its time to get smoking, planting, foraging and cooking. We’re bringing back Ssshh bigger and better than ever, now across three of the pubs, soon to be four and ‘With Love from Our Pantry Pub’ is getting ready to roll out for Christmas, yep, we’re sitting in baking hot sunshine and we’re talking Christmas!! Our how we love hospitality!!
For me, its off for a well earned break with the family. Some sun, a pool, great Tapas and downtime, our year end is this month, its been one hell of a year, I need to recharge the batteries.