Cobra Collective offers support to hospitality industry


The collective is an exciting body. And it's exciting. Because I wish it when I was starting my business. There Wall such a thing in existence. Where a group of restrictors on people in the food and beverage industry who are telling our story in a way. That's going to inspire that whole scene of entrepreneurs to be courageous enough to have a go within this industry. You look at the industry and you hear. There's lots of doom and gloom at the moment for various reasons but certainly with hospitality. You know that the rate is always being ninety cents restaurants failing in the first year. So I think it's really important to have a variety of role models who speak positively about how it can be otherwise and how to build a business in a way that's going to have legs and stamina and scalable and that's what the. Cobra collective is about his group of normal people like US telling those out there who are wondering how it can be. It can be very sunny place to be. Let's talk about your own story dozen interesting one so I know you worked as a barrister for twin two years before you took that leap into hospitalizing. It's an unusual route. Isn't it sized child? Protection burst of twenty s and that's very typical of many Indian immigrants. My parents were doctors and I was born in this country and I was raised to be a professional. Because that's the only thing that you can be otherwise you fall off the face of England in their view so I was raised to be a doctor or lawyer and I became a lawyer. So it's very good girl and I absolutely loved my job and my job was about meeting people at the lowest point of their life and giving them hope in some ways that this was child abuse and this was about children being removed etc and business and particularly hospitality was something that I thought was probably quite reprehensible because you look at media and you look at the way that restaurateurs and restaurants portrayed unless seen as these hotbeds of testosterone driven aggression that you have to be brutalized anti brutal to succeed in hospitality and so for me as a woman as a woman who was in my forties. When I started the restaurant it was not something that was in any way beckoning but I had a passion for food. A real burning passion to show liberal. Show my city. How Indians actually eat in their own homes? In a way that hasn't really been shown on the High Street and this is entrepreneurism. It starts to come alive. The idea comes alive and I had a brilliant job in brilliant salary and great prospects that this creature came alive in the shape of moberly and it would keep me awake at night until I gave birth to it. And that's when I started my best restaurant only five years ago now. What kind of support would you have needed back in the day when you look at? That's rather stressful period. Five six years ago when you were about to launch a restaurant. What kind of support would you have needed? Well you know I. It's not a small alt-right thing to say that role models are extremely important. Because for me as I said you look at the industry and you can't see people that look like me. That are the stage of life that are doing it with their own money. I had no financial backing at all. This was all of my savings. Was the roof over my head. We're going to have to sell the house and moving to my Auntie's bungalow. It was so risky and unwilling to take those risks by goodness. It would have helped if I could have seen people that have done it. That were talking about Watson all sharing their journey so I knew what to expect and it must inevitably be the end of home. Life must inevitably be that you are one of those ninety percent of the fail. And that's what I could have really done with. The other thing is banks are not that willing to lend to a forty year old woman whose career and comes to them with an entrepreneurial idea and that is the truth you are seen as somebody's having a midlife crisis and so- financial backing would have been great. I was given in the end enough to buy one grill by bank. I'm not with them anymore. And that's all. Yeah so Nisha. You're giving your most gloss later this month. What kind of lessons I got to be sharing their must all about how to build a scalable business. This is about building a business and having the ambition to think it might go beyond one small high street store and so the lessons are how to take that product and craft it in a way that you can replicate it with complete consistency. One of the most important lessons is to understand why you're doing this you know. Why are you building this business? Why are you risking everything and then articulating? That reason. Why right the way through Your Business? Former you know for me. I build me to enrich lives primarily of my stuff because if my chefs happy. The food is amazing. Give my stuff a happy. The the environment is joy filled and so it really is important to in some. Why is you get out of bed every morning and have that permeate through your business model said that every one of your employees Hsieh's zeal? I think it's interesting. How you mention how important is to keep your stuff happy. So what do you actually do in practical terms to make sure? They aren't content with where they work. Well many things. She's priority in my job. So for instance I have a wellbeing officer that is dedicated solely to going around. And I've got five hundred members of staff going around speaking to every member stuff and find out how they are doing. How is it to work for Moseley to enrich their lives? Are we doing that? We do things like you know the first day of school for the children they have. They have their birthdays off. I fly forty members of my team every year to India to work in villages on female entrepreneurs projects on lund management projects. We pay them to do that. I need that life to be punctuated by things that just lift their head out of the mire and make them think about why they're working and so that if it's your passion and it's my passion. Lubi an eternal source of stimulation as it is for me sauce. Amazing how do you see the British sociologists out the moment it seems that we are living turbulent times that I don't know what your take is being based in Liverpool how big of an effect thus brexit have already. It's interesting because I think brexit is not the reason that we see so many heads rolling at the moment. Honestly I think maybe a small factor is the kind of factor that would push you over the edge if you're a business though struggling anyway. What's really rather marvelous is not marvelous. But one picks over the bones of what's happened with these businesses that have gone down and one actually thinks was. The last time I ate there will took the ones I loved to go and eat there. The answer would probably be not for many many months and that is key. It is your product. The day I eat in my restaurant twice a week on my day off me in the family go neat in my restaurant. The day I stopped doing that. And it's not good enough for me as the daily need to get off the high street. So that's one of the factors is constantly looking product thinking you'll food addictive is it priced reasonably and you can do all of those things when your rents are not killing you so it's really important as a CEO to take sites that are not going to punish you and your guests because of how expensive it is so you've got to be moderate in that way and that's why. I'm not in London yet. An outcome to London when I find a cheaper that site but right now I've got thirteen restaurants all of them outside London. I took Ed Maria today. Which is a couple of Scotland? And I'm not in my own capital yet and I just need those prices to come down because what I never want to do is to have to put my prices up the my clients because that is the beginning of the end now the concern of Brexit. Is that a London. Bubble thing do think impacts is strong obviously many restaurants in London in particular. I have a lot of European staff. How do you feel about this? What does the what looked like when you're outside of London? When your asset of Lyndon Free Staff Statistic is twenty three percent European staff twenty-three as opposed to ninety percent inland? And so you can see that in terms of stopping is very different. The pressures are different in fact sorry. Let's just brave enough to say. The pressures are much reduced. If you're outside of London in terms of the supply chain. Who knows who knows what's going to happen. We've got a year to negotiate something. That should really take three years negotiate. So that's a conversation to have perhaps next December but in terms of personnel it hasn't affected it in the way that may affect other businesses. That London centric so as I mentioned already. You're giving a master class later this month. I'm wondering having been a very successful Batali. See Orange but What are the things? You'd still like to learn what I would still like to learn as you look at these brands that have stood the test of time. You look at the non. Does the Pizza Express is the Waga Mama's these giants of industry that had legs to last fifteen twenty years? And it's that it is. What is the secret? Where does that confidence come from? One of the things that I've realized is you don't need to keep changing your menu today. Non Does Change. Think it's their lyman. Something chicken to a mango and passion fruit. It was the headline in the Liverpool Echo. This morning that the clients are absolutely destroyed. Not going to numbers anymore because it changed one dish. And it's little things like that. Where does the confidence come from? Do you need to constantly change them and you you know? I am the Sea of Muggy in the founder of Morgan will be for the foreseeable medium term future when the next CEO comes in because there will be some point in the future which reigns in my hunting ever want. Must I look to in the next person to make sure that the culture remains the same and the way I learned that by fraternizing with those that are far better than me. And that's what's great about the hospitality. Industry is Great. Sorority of people share their secrets. Share their journey so that I can learn from the giants upon whose shoulders I stand in the beginning of this interview. You mentioned that coming from an Indian background. You felt the pressure of actually going. For example to become very students of thinking of force battalions extra as an option and. I think it's not only your background. I think it's a wider thing in this country and internationally that hospitality sector jobs are not as appreciated us. They should what do you think should be done to actually raise the profile of talented jobs and make people understand that they can be for the whole life not to something to as a student. You are absolutely right in. This is my passion and I think it's telling stories like this. That will let I gave up a fantastic career. A professional career as a barrister. I was taking the exams to become a judge and I gave that up for hospitality to run food on the floor and to me. It is one of the most dignified professions that there is to serve is the best that we can do is leaders. It really

Coming up next