Interview - Simon Rhatigan, co-owner of The Feversham Arms in Helmsley, North Yorkshire

By BigHospitality Writer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: North yorkshire

Who is he? Co-owner of The Feversham Arms in Helmsley, North Yorkshire. He also recently acquired The Black Swan Hotel, also in Helmsley. How did he get into the industry? With his father, a restaurant manager for British Transport Hotels for about ...

Who is he? Co-owner of The Feversham Arms in Helmsley, North Yorkshire. He also recently acquired The Black Swan Hotel, also in Helmsley.

How did he get into the industry?

With his father, a restaurant manager for British Transport Hotels for about 30 years, Rhatigan started off doing parttime jobs as a teenager. He went on to become Managing Director of Tom's Companies, owners of The Samling in Cumbria and Seaham Hall in County Durham, and was General Manager at Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons in Oxfordshire.

How much is he worth? The annual turnover of Rhatigan's two hotels, which he co-owns with partners Guy Brudenell and Julian Pilling is £3.3m, a fi gure projected to be nearer to £6m within three years.

What's the best business advice he has ever been given? "Raymond Blanc told me never to compromise as you'll always regret it."

What's the most important thing he has learnt? "To keep improving and never give up, otherwise you end up going backwards."

Biggest mistake he's ever made?

"When we fi rst acquired The Samling we thought we could keep doing what the previous owner had done but just a little better.

We kept plugging away but we were getting nowhere. We thought marketing would be the solution, but that actually goes against everything I believe in. What I believe is that the product drives the business. It always does and it always will."

Biggest industry inspiration?

Scottish hotelier Ken McCulloch and Hotel Du Vin's Robin Hutson and "all of the people who get out there and do it for themselves.

What's great about this business is that it develops and empowers individuals to do things."

Plans for the future? To take the Black Swan to the next level.

"It requires a complete shot in the arm in terms of its food and beverage operation. It needs to operate at a three-rosette, onestar level, and it's nothing close to that now."

fevershamarmshotel.com

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