What they predict:
“The Royal wedding on 29 April should create a feel-good factor and maybe consumers will celebrate by eating out. The wedding is likely to prove extremely positive for hotels in the capital as tourists flock to London to witness the event. Restaurants will benefit from this too.” – Peter Backman, Horizons.
“Austerity concepts will be big, with restaurants stripping things back in a move towards even greater simplicity, following the likes of Brawn and Morito. Diners in this particular climate, both economic and artistic, are comfortable in surroundings that feel lived in.” – Russel Norman.
“2011 will clearly be a challenging year as the government austerity measures and rising cost prices kick in.When customers do come out and spend their hard-earned cash they will migrate to the businesses offering best value and best service-the winners will be those that invest in their offers and most importantly their people.” – Rufus Hall, chief executive Orchid Group.
“The latest piece of kit I’m using is called the ‘Rocket’ and is a centrifuge that separates water from solids. It’s currently very expensive and only used in laboratories, but hopefully they can make a cheaper version for use in professional kitchens. Put fruit juice in there and you end up with an intense, concentrated flavour after 45 minutes without having to reduce things down in a pan for hours and hours.” – Heston Blumenthal.
“The picture for 2011 looks a little rosier for the hotel industry with a gradually improving economic situation, the Royal Wedding in April and the London Olympics in 2012 all set to attract visitors. Travellers will still be on the lookout for good deals but hotel rates are stabilising if not rising again. Providing there are no ash cloud or frozen runway issues, 2011 is set to be a better year for hoteliers.” - Nigel Pocklington, vice president of Marketing and Strategy at Hotels.com.
“A back-to-basics approach will be prevalent. Chefs will be seeking to reacquaint themselves with and use forgotten skills such as baking, smoking, preserving, pickling, slow-cooking and bottling.” – Sally Sturley, head of food marketing, Brakes Group.
“I predict we are going to see a start of the growth in the BRICi market, with a wealth shift from west to east. Over the next ten years there will be a lot more business from Brazil and China, although the most current potential comes from India. Also, people are retiring earlier so there will also be increased spend from the aging population. This is a smart market – they know what they like and they like what they know. They have already traveled and now want to see more of their own country. They want value and service and I believe the hotel industry will begin to tailor and design packages to suit this niche market.” Simon Mahon, general manager of Park Plaza County Hall
“In terms of wine, people will come to realise that pinot grigio is now overproduced in response to mad demand. Arneis will be talked about, but still rare. Rioja blanca and Portuguese reds and whites will grow, especially in the gastropub sector.” – Jacob Kennedy, chef patron Bocca di Lupo
“Top hotels and restaurants will increasingly seek to demonstrate their superior tea positioning, focussing on depth and sophistication of range and service style. In turn, whole-leaf tea will become the standard at the higher end of the high street.” – Edward Eisler, founder Jing Tea.
• 45 Park Lane & CUT (Dorchester Collection and Wolfgang Puck)
• Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (Mandarin Oriental & Heston Blumenthal)
• Bread Street at One New Change (Gordon Ramsay Holdings)
• St. John Hotel (Trevor Gulliver and Fergus Henderson)
• W Piccadilly & Spice Market (Starwood Hotels and Jean-Georges Vongerichten)
• NOPI (Yotam Ottolenghi)
• Pollen Street Social (Jason Atherton)
• Fox & Grapes (Claude Bosi)
• Amaranto (Four Seasons Hotel London)
• 34 Grosvenor Square (Caprice Holdings)
• St Pancras Renaissance Hotel & The Gilbert Scott (Marriott and Marcus Wareing)
• Union Street Café (Gordon Ramsay Holdings)