Simon Farrimond joined the company six weeks ago from the Angel Inn at Hetton and will be responsible for overseeing the company's existing two pubs - the Assheton Arms in Downham and the Oyster & Otter at Feniscowles - as well as the additional two sites it will open this summer.
The Fenwick Arms in the village of Claughton, which famously featured in Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares in 2007, will re-open its doors at the end of May with the Farmer's Arms at Great Eccleston set to follow in July as part of plans to grow the popular seafood-led dining concept.
“Our expansion to four gastropubs is an exciting time for us and it’s great to have Simon on board,” said Neve. “We share the same standards and goals so he immediately fitted in and it already feels like he’s always been on the team.”
Happy staff, happy customers
As well as managing the openings of the new pubs, Farrimond will be in charge of all staff, whose numbers are expected to reach 100 across the group by the time the fourth site opens.
He said: "I'm introducing a company-wide training scheme to motivate and inspire all our staff. It will mean that whether someone who is a full timer or someone who works 20 hours a week for us will receive training and be given an insight into how the whole business works. I think it's particularly important to grab the attention of young people and show them that hospitality is a great place to work."
Farrimond, who has worked as a deputy general manager in a hotel and as a head chef, will run job swaps between employees working back and front-of-house to improve interaction between the different departments alongside on-the-job training.
"A sustainable staff business is what we want to achieve for the Seafood Pub Company," he said "The customer is king, but I also think the employee is king and if you have happy staff you have happy customers."
Going forward, Farrimond said the Assheton Arms and the Oyster & Otter would serve as blueprints for the rest of the business in terms of operations. Each site will be run in a similar way and will make seafood a focus, but will have 'slightly different menus and personalities' based on their locations.
He said although there were no more sites currently earmarked for expansion, Neve, whose father Chris is a Fleetwood-based fish wholesaler and supplier for the business, has a long-term vision to grow the business further.
"We aren't looking much past the opening of our next two pubs," Farrimond said, "but we certainly won't be stopping there. We are only two years old, but we do want to build on the success we have had already."