The chef, who recently launched a series of line online master classes, told BigHospitality of his happiness at how business is going with the two sites at the St Enodoc Hotel but insisted that ‘there is still room for improvement.’
“We’ve had a fantastic year,” he said. “We are about 30 per cent up on last year which, against the current trends of the rest of the UK, is really good.
“The Michelin stars at Restaurant Nathan Outlaw have definitely helped, but the Seafood & Grill Restaurant is becoming a lot more consistent and providing good value for money, which is what people are ultimately looking for.
“With the fine-dining restaurant, we just want to keep pushing things forward and making improvements all the time - really working on using the best locally-sourced food without everything seeming too complicated.”
The key to success
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw originally opened in 2007 at the Marina Hotel in Fowey before relocating to St Enodoc in 2009. The restaurant was rated the 33rd best in the UK at the 2011 National Restaurant Awards in October. Outlaw, who started his career in restaurants 19 years ago, believes that being adjoined to a hotel has been key for both of his restaurants’ continued success.
“I like the hospitality a hotel can offer a customer,” the chef added. “If you are a standalone restaurant, a guest will just come and have lunch or dinner and then leave. Being in a hotel, you have much more interaction with the customer for a lot longer. From the time they arrive in their car, to eating and making them feel at home.
“And that can be a real advantage for a restaurant. It can set the mood for the customer and ensure they enjoy their stay at the hotel.”
With business flourishing, Outlaw has no plans to open any standalone restaurants in the foreseeable future. But he did reveal an interest at edging more into the hotel sector to build on his restaurants’ success.
“To be honest I am more interested in rooms than opening a new restaurant. We would like to stay where we are and we’ve worked really hard on this building. It’s a natural progression to look at the way the hotel’s run and at some point focus on uniting the whole thing.
“I think opening more restaurants in this climate is something that can get a bit messy.”