Raymond Blanc's thoughts on the importance of good service, business tips from serial investor Luke Johnson and reflection from Michelin-starred chef Brett Graham all feature as we chart the top 5 most listened to pieces of audio and give you the chance to hear them again as the festive season approaches and 2012 nears.
1. Cook: Bistro du Vin plans 12 London sites by 2015
At Number 1 and the most listened to piece of audio from Big Hospitality in 2011 is an interview in February with the former Hotel du Vin chief executive, Robert Cook, in the week the chain announced the acquisition of a site for the first of their standalone Bistro du Vin restaurant concept. Cook spoke to us about the vision and ambition he had for the brand.
2. Brett Graham: The Ledbury's success is down to service
Next on the list is Australian-born, Michelin-starred chef Brett Graham. The Ledbury, Graham's London restaurant, had just been voted the best restaurant in the UK at the Restaurant magazine National Restaurant Awards when BigHospitality caught up with him in April. He revealed the secrets of The Ledbury's success as it also entered the World's 50 Best Restaurant List for the first time.
3. Luke Johnson's tips on running a successful business
At Number 3 is an address from an R200 conference in July from serial investor and chairman of investment vehicle Rick Capital Partners, Luke Johnson, on the future challenges for hospitality operators. Johnson, who helped grow Pizza Express and has stakes in the Draft House, 3Sixty Restaurants and Patisserie Valerie, claimed more challenging times lay ahead.
4. Gaucho's secrets to successful recruitment and training
Next is another address from the R200 conference in July, this time from Tracey Smith, HR director of steak restaurant Gaucho. She revealed to delegates the strict recruitment and training regime that Gaucho employees go through. Giving her top tips on industry recruitment, Smith said a score of less than 85 per cent on an exam at the end of Gaucho training meant the trainee did not get a job.
5. Raymond Blanc's service secrets
Finally at number 5, standards in service feature once again on the list of most listened to pieces of audio from 2011. In February BigHospitality spoke to Raymond Blanc ahead of his Kitchen Secrets series about his thoughts on what constitutes good service after a career in the industry and what keeps Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons at the top.
Don't forget you can also re-cap 2011 in video by watching our Top 5 most popular videos of the year including Heston Blumenthal and Marco Pierre White.
You can listen to all the other pieces of audio and video from 2011 online. BigHospitality will continue to bring you more audio and video from some of the industry leaders at key events for the hospitality sector in 2012.