Tags: Hospitality, hospitality, blog

By Jonathan Eames

For over two years, our Hospitality & Catering team in Brighton have been privileged to work extensively with the Comptoir Libanais group, which launched its name into the UK’s restaurant scene in 2008 and continues to expand across the country.

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Not long ago, I paid a visit to their Poland Street branch in Soho, where I was treated to a delectable meal of Lamb Kofta Tagine with Vermicelli Rice, accompanied by a side of Battata Harra and a glass of Roza lemonade. With a menu as vibrant and colourful as the retro Lebanese décor that adorns the walls, I would highly recommend this spot to anyone in pursuit of an authentic dining experience which won’t break the bank.

During my visit, I had the pleasure of catching up with Benny Fernandez, the General Manager at their Soho branch to find out more about his passion for his career at Comptoir Libanais over the last six years.

What has been the most significant achievement in your career so far at Comptoir Libanais?

My biggest achievement at Comptoir Libanais would have to be my promotion from Assistant Manager to General Manager. I put this milestone down to not only my hard work and commitment, but also my strong relationship with the ops managers. We also have an impeccable strategy in place for developing our employees, from front of house positions all the way up to managerial level.

What do you love most about your career at Comptoir Libanais?

First off, I would have to say my team, which I hold dear to my heart as my extended family. We all look out for each other, and there is a real sense of love and support from each individual, regardless of rank. Although we continue to expand across the UK, we have also retained a close knit and family feel, as is evident in the strong relationship all the managers have with the owner and directors of the business. Secondly, I would have to say the amazing cuisine we produce. I am tremendously proud of the authenticity of it!

What do you think will be the next big thing in the UK's high street restaurant scene?

It’s difficult to pin down what the next big thing will be, but I have to say that the celebration of diversity to create food for social good will continue to reflect across the UK’s restaurant sector. With news cycles currently dominated by reports of divided societies, it’s uplifting to see the food and drink industry turn its attention to using its continuing growth to highlight pertinent social causes. And of course, we will continue to use our Middle Eastern cuisine to not only add a depth of flavour to the UK palette, but also bring people together through a mutual love of diverse foods and cultures. 

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Jon Eames is a Senior Consultant with Search Hospitality & Catering, specialising in the recruitment of restaurant and bar managers across the UK. If you would like to discuss your next career move or are a business looking to find your next superstar manager, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 01273 855048/ 02030536931 or email jonathan.eames@search.co.uk

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