Marco Pierre White: I’ve had to evolve

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

With a 20-strong stable of restaurants, pubs and inns Marco Pierre White has gone from Britain’s first three Michelin-starred chef to celebrated businessman.

The celebrity chef who once famously disregarded the world of Michelin-starred fine dining to ‘reinvent himself’, now operates brands such as Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse & Grill, Frankie & Benny’s and Wheeler’s amongst many others.

 

“It was the most fabulous journey but we have to evolve and move on,” he says. “Now I look at things differently and do things I enjoy. My menus are created so everyone can afford them and that’s the bit that didn’t sit well with me at three star level.”

 

Speaking with BigHospitality’s Becky Paskin, White explains why he doesn’t miss the world of Michelin, his notorious decision to link up with Bernard Matthews, and why his fondness for gardening is perhaps a sign of him ‘getting old’.

Related topics: Business, People, Restaurants, Pubs & Bars

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Posted by Luke SB,

I agree its bad local pubs are closing but they are closing because they are not charging £4.50 a pint and they cant charge that sort of money while they dont spend any money on the decor people like you are obviously not spending enough in there for them to afford to stay open so, as a result they cant afford the rents / council taxes and bills etc. If someone does not buy it out it will sit there with boarded up windows until it rots, i think anything around £30 for a 3 course meal is a bargain i know how little profit is available once restaurants have paid their overheads and running costs. I think they should charge more so they can afford to pay there staff im a chef ive gone through 4 years of college and worked in restaurants for 5 years yet i get paid less than someone working in tescos, unless your the head chef you cant make much money, and restaurants struggle unless they buy whatever is cheap and in season and has a chef who really looks after the pennys, everyone wants cheap food but they dont realise ingredients and commodoties are expensive, even something like a drought and bad crops of wheat somewhere like russia will have a knock on effect and push the price up, small things like that effect restaurants, but at the same time they cant alienate customers with the prices so its quite a balancing act. I get anoyed seeing 4x4s and sports cars parked up outside because im jealous my cars falling to bits while i cook their food but i cant pay my bills without them

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I beg to differ

Posted by Helen Marriott,

As much as I admire Marco Pierre White, and I really really do, I have to beg to differ on his opinion on what he says he is doing with the development of his pub business.

I agree with his concept of what an inn should be and that he is creating some great eating spaces. However, the idea that they are affordable for all really is laughable. Our local pub/inn (The Chequers in Maresfield) sadly went into liquidation a couple of years ago and was bought out by Wheelers. It has been beautifully renovated and is now a busy business doing a huge number of covers and is employing a decent number of local staff. However, it is far from affordable for most locals. Beer costs over £4.50 a pint and, whilst food is advertised as being reasonably affordable, in reality once drinks and extras such as vegetables (which are needed with the portions) are added, it is actually a pretty expensive affair.

The whole pub has been turned into a restaurant so there is no longer any real space for 'locals' to come in and enjoy a drink after work, meet friends etc. It really did used to be the hub of the village and offered a lively meeting place for so many people. Sadly the previous owners hadn't cracked the food or hotel aspects of their business so it just wasn't sustainable, however the idea that Marco Pierre White's team has come in and made this a 'restaurant for all' is just not true. Go past the car park on an average day and it will be packed with sports cars and expensive four-by-fours.

I don't have a problem that Marco and his team has found a business model that keeps this beautiful building running as a successful restaurant/inn (good on them), but I really do object to his continual claims that he is creating a business for the 'everyman'. It simply isn't true.

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Frankie and Bennys?

Posted by Stuart Jones,

Hmmm they did well to get MPW on board!!

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