Earlier this year we were approached by a young chef who’d previously worked in London at the Michelin Star Restaurant Story, asking us to provide consultancy for the launch of a new venture. This would follow his successful opening of The Lickfold Inn owned by head chef at Story, Tom Sellers.
UCB Chef Liam Dillon
Chef Liam Dillon, an alumni of UCB College of Food, was looking to emulate the success of the Lickfold Inn in his hometown of Lichfield, and approached Tonic to advise on the process. Through our knowledge and connections in the industry, we put Liam in touch with property agents specialising in licensed premises and helped to secure his site, ‘The Boat Inn’. We also connected him with people who advised on HR and kitchen design as well as consulting on a number of operational areas.
With key members of staff secured by Tonic, including the former front of house manager at Adam’s Restaurant, The Boat Inn was up and running, Our involvement didn’t stop there, however. The pub had been open a month and was performing well, so Liam was keen to promote it further afield, and enlisted Tonic to create an event to boost its profile.
Including Top Hospitality Organisations
Some of the region’s top hospitality names and organisations attended our bespoke event including prominent individuals from Simpsons Restaurant, Gusto Restaurant and Bar, The Lasan Group, Wilson Vale, Hampton Manor, Hotel du Vin and University College Birmingham. We also secured the attendance of key media titles and bloggers including ichoose Birmingham, Independent Birmingham, Paul Fulford and local press. Pre-dinner cocktails, created by specialist drinks agency Crushed and Cubed, were held at our city centre offices, before guests were taken to The Boat Inn for the main event.
Feedback from the event was fantastic; the menu went down a storm – social media was packed with pictures and reviews and the menu was covered and discussed on leading Midland blogs. This was not just a pub launch; this was a celebration of our industry, a place to network and share best practice – and most of all experience great food and support local talent.
The moral of the story? We aren’t just a recruitment company. We are partners; specialists. We are a full-service hospitality and catering consultancy, passionate about the success of our clients and candidates and the growth and betterment of our industry.