How might this be achieved in the upper echelons of the hospitality industry? The dishes in this part of the industry are much less suitable for withstanding transportation as a general rule.
I know that some restaurants are offering menus á la Maison, i.e. cooked dishes in vacuum bags that you can warm up and prepare at home. But who will be prepared to pay as much money for that in the long term as for a gourmet experience in a restaurant, which offers you the experience of eating in a space with the right ambience and enjoying a professional-looking plate of food? Perhaps a rudimentary kitchen could be the answer too. Just focus on what’s important. As well as providing really practical support, our consultation service is primarily about awakening the creativity in your mind and asking the question: how can you get to a place where it makes sense for you to reopen your restaurant? And perhaps putting your food in tins could be the answer.
You’ve got some experience of that, haven’t you?
I do actually, yes. (laughs) When I had my restaurant, it was famous for ravioli from a tin. And you can create this tin concept in the upper echelons of the hospitality industry too. You add a label with the best-before date because the dishes can only be kept for 1 or 2 days but the tin just adds a bit of fun to the whole thing.
It might sound strange but the actual ritual of going out to eat isn’t affected by this. Will going out to eat become more of a luxury as a result of coronavirus?
I think that lots of things will become more of a luxury. If a landlord wants € 30 per square metre for restaurant premises in a top location, in the future people will say: forget about it, I can’t afford that. I also think that the top levels of the hospitality industry will be more significantly affected by the situation and I really hope that lots of people in the industry will quickly decide to change, offer something new and be innovative. Now is the perfect opportunity to do that. And thinking about what you have to offer has never been a bad thing.