Hoteliers and marketeers give their top tips to getting the best out of Online Travel Agents


How hotels can get the best from OTAs

By Emma Eversham

Hoteliers often call Online Travel Agents (OTAs) such as, Expedia and LateRooms ‘a necessary evil’ as they help to market and sell bedrooms, yet in doing so take a considerable chunk of the business’s bottom line through commission.

Guy Kellner started out in hotels, but his passion has always been food and drink

Guy Kellner: Pearls of Wisdom

By Emma Eversham

As managing director of Benugo, Guy Kellner has helped almost triple the size of the business since joining four years ago. His career began with Hilton where he rose up the ranks to be food and beverage director at New York's Waldforf Astoria, before...

Alfred Prasad, Tamarind Collection's director of food, says it is about time there was some excitement created around top-level Indian cuisine

Alfred Prasad: Pearls of Wisdom

By Joe Lutrario

The Michelin-starred chef behind Mayfair’s Tamarind and the recently relaunched Imli Street discusses India’s railway cuisine, training Western chefs, and his efforts to bring his high-end brand of Indian cooking to the US.

Mark Greenaway moved his eponymous Edinburgh from No.12 Picardy Place to North Castle Street in January

Mark Greenaway: Pearls of Wisdom

By Luke Nicholls

When he left school aged just 15, Mark Greenaway dreamt of having his own restaurant. Twenty years later, that dream was realised with Greenway’s eponymous establishment opening in Edinburgh. Having worked in numerous venues throughout the UK and Australia,...

Stevie Parle is the chef-owner of Dock Kitchen in West London

Stevie Parle: Pearls of Wisdom

By Stefan Chomka

The chef-owner of Dock Kitchen in west London and star of Channel 4’s six-part TV series Spice Trip talks about the importance of travel, being fleet-of-foot, and why he dislikes concept restaurants.

Adam Byatt runs Trinity and Bistro Union and is backing Tom Sellers' restaurant Story

Adam Byatt: Pearls of Wisdom

By Peter Ruddick

Adam Byatt owns and runs both the Clapham fine-dining restaurant Trinity and casual concept Bistro Union – which he is hoping to expand. However the renowned chef, who learnt his trade at Claridge’s, has also faced challenges on the road to success.

Peter Gordon: Pearls of Wisdom

Peter Gordon: Pearls of Wisdom

The godfather of fusion cuisine and co-owner of The Providores and Tapa Room and Kopapa restaurants in London has just opened The Sugar Club on Level 53 of the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand.

Hakkasan interim chief financial officer Paul Deeming says he is driven by seeing concepts expand

Paul Deeming: Pearls of Wisdom

By Emma Eversham

Paul Deeming co-founded Ignite Group, the company behind London nightclub Boujis and restaurant group Bumpkin, in 1998 and remains part-owner. He is also acting chief financial officer of restaurant group Hakkasan where he is helping to spearhead its...

Accountant-turned-chef Mitch Tonks is an ambassador for seafood in the UK, operating three fish restaurants

Mitch Tonks: Pearls of Wisdom

The seafood maestro and co-owner of The Seahorse in Dartmouth has just opened a second site of his casual seafood brand, Rockfish Seafood and Chips, in Plymouth.

Taking some time to adjust your processes and installing the right technology can go some way to reducing the hours spent dealing with paperwork says Caternet's Jerry Brand


How to cut time spent on administration

By Jerry Brand

Jerry Brand of integrated technology provider Caternet suggests ways hospitality managers can cut the hours they spend dealing with paperwork after research it commissioned showed that 86 per cent of food and beverage managers were spending too much time...

Julia Hands, chairman and chief executive of Hand Picked Hotels, founded the collection in 1999

Julia Hands: Pearls of Wisdom

By Peter Ruddick

A former lawyer, Julia Hands founded Hand Picked Hotels in 1999 with her private equity financier husband - Guy Hands. Her hands-on approach has helped the collection grow to 17 purposefully individual hotels which will soon be joined by two recent acquisitions.

Andreas Antona, owner of Simpsons and a long-term supporter of the Bocuse d'Or

Andreas Antona: Pearls of Wisdom

By William Drew

The chef opened Simpsons in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, more than 20 years ago, relocating the Michelin-starred favourite to Birmingham in 2004. Recently, Antona was instrumental in his head chef Adam Bennett’s successful fourth-place performance at the...

John Williams, executive chef of The Ritz London

John Williams: Pearls of Wisdom

By Peter Ruddick

The son of a Tyneside fisherman, John Williams' distinguished hotel chef career has led him to head up the brigade at arguably one of the most famous hotels in the world - The Ritz London. Now he divides his time between 'evolving' the...

Arie van der Speck, senior vice president of Laureate Hospitality Education and one of the team behind the launch of Glion London

Arie van der Spek: Pearls of Wisdom

By Peter Ruddick

After a long career in the hotel industry, which included a stint with IHG as a chief operating officer, Arie van der Spek is now the senior vice president of Laureate Hospitality Education and is helping to launch a London branch of hospitality management...

Alain Ducasse, whose career spans 30 years, was awarded the Diner's Club World's 50 Best Restaurants 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award

Alain Ducasse: Pearls of Wisdom

By William Drew

The French chef, 56, operates restaurants all around the world, including a trio of three-Michelin-starred establishments. He has just received the Lifetime Achievement Award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Follow Jodi's top tips for photographing food to show your dishes off in the best way you can


How to photograph food

By Jodi Hinds

Jodi Hinds was the official photographer for the UK team at this year's Bocuse d'Or and has produced images for chef Steven Doherty, The Magpie Cafe in Whitby and Simpsons - The Cook Book. Here she shares her top tips for photographing food. 

Patrick Dempsey, managing director, Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants

Patrick Dempsey: Pearls of Wisdom

By Luke Nicholls

Patrick Dempsey is a prime example of hard work paying off in the hospitality industry. Having started as a pot washer in a motorway service station, he climbed the ladder within Forte Hotels, going on to hold posts as chief executive of Macdonald Hotels...

Calcutta, London and now New York. Vivek Singh, who came to the UK in 2001, says New York could be in line for a Cinnamon Club next year.

Vivek Singh: Pearls of Wisdom

By William Drew & Peter Ruddick

The executive chef and chief executive of The Cinnamon Club on expanding the London-based group, reinventing Indian cuisine and hitting the Big Apple. 

Nigel Haworth, chef and co-owner of Northcote and Ribble Valley Inns shares his pearls of wisdom

Nigel Haworth: Pearls of Wisdom

By William Drew

The 54-year-old chef and co-owner of acclaimed restaurant Northcote in rural Lancashire is the founder of the well-established Obsession food festival. He and business partner Craig Bancroft also own the four-strong gastropub group Ribble Valley Inns...

Cyrus Todiwala, owner of two restaurants, one cafe, an MBE and an OBE, shares his thoughts on the industry

Cyrus Todiwala: Pearls of Wisdom

By Emma Eversham

Cyrus Todiwala trained in India as a chef and worked in hotels and restaurants there until he moved to the UK in 1991. He opened Cafe Spice Namaste in London in 1995 with wife Pervin, and has built up a successful business while also dedicating much of...

Alan Bird, whose restaurant Bird of Smithfield will open in London next month

Alan Bird: Pearls of Wisdom

By Emma Eversham

Alan Bird was chef at the Ivy for 19 years before going on to work with the Soho House Group. His first restaurant Bird of Smithfield, a five-storey bar, restaurant and events space, is due to open its doors at the end of March in Smithfields, London. 

Daniel Clifford, chef-patron of Midsummer House in Cambridge said Marco Pierre White was a massive influence on him

Daniel Clifford: Pearls of Wisdom

By William Drew

The Kent-born chef-patron has held two Michelin stars at Midsummer House in Cambridge for the past eight years. He was also one of the winners of last year’s Great British Menu.

Aiden Byrne, chef-owner of The Church Green and head chef of Aiden Byrne at Craxton Wood, is opening a new restaurant in Manchester this year

Aiden Byrne: Pearls of Wisdom

By Peter Ruddick

Liverpool-born chef Aiden Byrne is as recognisable to TV viewers, due to appearances on Great British Menu, as he is to the diners at his Cheshire restaurant The Church Green. However this year Byrne is also targeting recognition from the Michelin Guide.

Tim Hughes, chef-director at Caprice Holdings

Tim Hughes: Pearls of Wisdom

By Stefan Chomka

The chef-director at Caprice Holdings oversees the food at some of London's most prestigious restaurants, including Le Caprice, The Ivy and Scott's. He has just written his first cookbook, J Sheekey Fish. 

Sending out newsletters via email to customers can lead to more repeat visits, claims


How to turn emails into return visits

By Matt McNeill

Matt McNeill, chief executive of email and mobile marketing platform, gives his top tips on how best to use email marketing to build repeat business at your restaurant, hotel or pub. 

Russell Norman, owner of Polpo, is planning more restaurants for London next year

Russell Norman: Pearls of Wisdom

By Stefan Chomka

The former ops director of Caprice Holdings turned London restaurateur recently opened a third Polpo, his take on a Venetian bàcaro. Plans are under way for three central London sites, in Soho, theatreland and by the river, as well as a new incarnation...

By checking and benchmarking prices in the correct way you can save money on the bills from your suppliers, says Pelican's Shabaz Mohammed


How to get the best value from food and drink suppliers

By Shabaz Mohammed

With ingredients continuing to creep up in price there has never been a better time for restaurant, pub and hotel operators to seek out the best value from their suppliers to ensure profit margins don't get squeezed too much. Here, Pelican Buying...

Rewarding staff in the right ways can improve service levels without requiring any significant capital investment


The Jewel in the Crown: How to reward your staff

By Luke Nicholls

That age-old cliché of staff being your most important asset is as true now as it ever has been in the hospitality industry. In such a difficult economic environment, rewarding staff for above-average performance could be an effective way of your business...

José Pizarro opened Pizarro restaurant nearby to his tapas bar in Bermondsey a year ago this month

José Pizarro: Pearls of Wisdom

By Luke Nicholls

World-renowned chef José Pizarro is seen by many as 'the godfather of Spanish cuisine'. Having grown up in the region of Extremadura in western Spain, Pizarro moved to the UK 14 years ago, becoming chef-partner of Spanish food chain Brindisa...

Sarah Frankland recommends having a chocolate option on a dessert menu and to add some colour and present it well to improve appeal


How to sell more desserts

By Sarah Frankland

Sarah Frankland, head patissier at William Curley and winner of the 2012 inaugural Mövenpick Gourmet Dessert Chef of the Year competition, shares her top tips on how to sell more desserts at your restaurant, pub or hotel.

Robert Cook, chief executive of De Vere Hotels and De Vere Village Urban Resorts

Robert Cook: Pearls of Wisdom

By Peter Ruddick

Robert Cook, chief executive of De Vere Village Urban Resorts and now De Vere Hotels, is the son of a hotelier and was born into the hospitality industry. A restaurant lover, Cook worked for IHG and in Monte Carlo before joining Malmaison, rising to chief...

Skye Gyngell, now culinary director at Heckfield Place, which is due to open next March

Skye Gyngell: Pearls of Wisdom

By Stefan Chomka

The Australian-born former head chef of Petersham Nurseries in Richmond, London, is now culinary director of Heckfield Place, a country-house hotel, which opens in Hampshire in March 2013. She is also set to open a new London restaurant next year.

Keeping beer lines clean will help you serve the perfect pint


pub & bar

How to keep beer fresh

By Emma Eversham

With cask ales back in growth, publicans will be looking to stock more of them, but what is the best way to keep beer? Conrad Boucher of automated beer line cleaning system Beer Piper, underlines the importance of keeping beer lines clean to ensure pubs...

Marco Pierre White, who you won't find in a commercial kitchen or on Twitter

Marco Pierre White: Pearls of Wisdom

By Emma Eversham

Once the holder of three Michelin stars, legendary chef Marco Pierre White is now a regular face on TV, fronting shows such as Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Wars and is the owner of eight pubs under the Wheeler's of St James name. He also co-owns...

David Everitt-Matthias, who has never missed a service at his restaurant in 25 years

David Everitt-Matthias: Pearls of Wisdom

By William Drew

The notoriously dedicated chef – a long-time proponent of foraging and ingredient experimentation – is celebrating 25 years at his two-star Cheltenham restaurant Le Champignon Sauvage, which he runs with wife Helen.

Lionel Chatard, general manager at Middlethorpe Hall which last week won the Best Service award in's Best Kept Secret Awards

Lionel Chatard: Pearls of Wisdom

By Emma Eversham

Lionel Chatard is general manager of Middlethorpe Hall in Yorkshire, a National Trust hotel. The 40-year-old Frenchman worked at Claridge's and The Cadogan hotels in London before moving to his current role. He is also chair of the York Hotelier...

Alvin Leung, who will open a restaurant in Mayfair, his first in the UK, later this year

Alvin Leung: Pearls of Wisdom

By Stefan Chomka

The chef-patron of two-Michelin-starred Bo Innovation in Hong Kong and self-styled ‘Demon Chef’ is launching a sibling restaurant, Bo London, in Mayfair later this year.

John Keating, who just recently became managing director at Cameron House Loch Lomond De Vere

John Keating: Pearls of Wisdom

By Emma Eversham

Irish-born John Keating has been in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years, having worked in hotels and resorts all over the world, including The Ritz in London, Mercantile Club Taiwan CCA, Monolith Club Moscow CCA and Sandals Emerald Bay in...

How do you ask to see a young person's ID without making them feel intimidated?


How to ask for ID without alienating young customers

By Tim Ogle

Tim Ogle, European chief executive at customer intelligence company Market Force Information, outlines ways that pub, restaurant and hotel owners can educate their staff to best ask for ID when selling alcohol to young customers without alienating them.

Danny Meyer

Danny Meyer: Pearls of Wisdom

By William Drew

Founder of the Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), which includes Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke and Shake Shack among its number, legendary New York restaurateur Danny Meyer also penned the seminal book on hospitality, Setting the Table. 

John Grieveson of Enotria gives his top tips on how to write a wine menu


How to write a wine menu

By John Grieveson

John Grieveson, commercial director at on-trade supplier Enotria, offers his top tips on how to write a wine menu for any restaurant, hotel or pub.

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