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How to Restore a Heritage Restaurant

Today we look at one example that will give you tons of insight for your hotel.

Thursday, May 22, 2014
Mr. Larry Mogelonsky - P. Eng.
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F&B is paramount to overall guest satisfaction; it isn’t an operation you can politely ignore. In fact, it’s something you must excel at with a unique spin in order to generate success for other aspects of your hotel.

Visiting London, England on business, I had the opportunity to dine at the always grand Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill (which reopened just over a year ago) at The Savoy (www.fairmont.com/savoy-london/), easily one of the city’s best properties. For this, I sought out the hotel’s Director of PR to learn about the changes made, what makes for a great dining experience and how Kaspar’s fits in with the rest of The Savoy’s restaurants.

Tell me a little but about the Fairmont acquisition and refurbishment of The Savoy.
On September 13, 2004, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc. announced that it had entered into an agreement to manage The Savoy and subsequently assumed management responsibilities in January 2005. The Savoy reopened its doors on Sunday, October 10, 2010, following one of the most ambitious restorations in British history. The hotel’s two main design aesthetics, Edwardian and Art Deco, were carefully brought back to life under the direction of world-renowned designer Pierre Yves Rochon.

In remodeling the public rooms of the property, what standards did you undertake?
The Savoy first opened its doors in 1889 and has been a part of London’s history ever since, as well as enjoying an incredibly rich heritage in its own right. Respect for what The Savoy had stood for throughout the years was of course key. At the same time it was important to respond to the need that a hotel such as The Savoy had to evolve in order to continue to stand out amongst the growing number of luxury hotels in London.

What is the plan behind Kaspar’s?
Eager to adapt to the demands of the London food scene, Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill is an all-day dining affair, seven days a week with the restaurant serving a wide range of cuisine to satisfy all palates. A show-stopping seafood bar takes center stage, encouraging a dynamic and bustling atmosphere, seamlessly moving from a patisserie breakfast bar to lunch and dinner with a beautiful display of shellfish and cured fish to whet the appetite.

Give us some metrics to paint the picture.
117 seats; 14 seats at the bar; private dining room that can seat up to 14; tables in the restaurant are to seat groups of eight, four and two; turns at every 1.5 hours; covers in a whole day are at an absolute max of 550.

What has the guest feedback been to the decor, menu, positioning and plan?
Diners have been receptive to the all-day dining nature of the restaurant, appreciating the fact that there is now a place to ‘pop in’ for coffee and a croissant in the morning, a glass of champagne and plate of smoked fish at lunchtime or a full dining experience. There has been a noticeable increase in those dining alone, encouraged by the informal nature of the restaurant and the option to sit comfortably around the seafood bar.

How is Kaspar’s fitting into your F&B grid?
The Savoy Grill suits those seeking a quintessentially British dining experience, while the Thames Foyer creates a sense of occasion and tradition with its renowned afternoon tea offering. The American Bar enjoys a reputation as one of the best hotel bars in the world and the Beaufort Bar is a theatrical space to enjoy champagne, cocktails and cabaret. Now, Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill completes the collection with an informal approach that has replaced the feel of a hushed hotel dining room. Stunning views across the River Thames and the impressive seafood bar add an element of theatre to the restaurant.
Larry Mogelonsky P. Eng.    Mr. Larry Mogelonsky - P. Eng.
Managing Partner, Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited
Owners, Principals, or Partners
LMA Communications Inc.

Bio: One of the world’s most published writer in hospitality, Larry Mogelonsky is the principal of Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited, a Toronto-based consulting practice. His experience encompasses hotel properties around the world, both branded and independent, and ranging from luxury and boutique to select-service. Larry is also on several boards for companies focused on hotel technology. His work includes four books “Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?” (2012), “Llamas Rule” (2013), ...
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