Raymond Blanc's recipe for success
“The heart of any business is important and that comes from every employee loving what they do.” Inspirational words from an inspirational man. Guest speaker Raymond Blanc was the focus of last night’s dining event at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire. Hosted by BCMS alongside our partners investment manager Rathbones and national law firm Freeths, this event enabled business owners to get straight-talking advice from an inspiring chef and entrepreneur.
The sun shone on the 17th century building which held a wide array of business owners arriving alongside former BCMS clients, Peter Scott from Vetark, Andrew Sesemann from Cox Agri, Jeff Martin and Simon Tremlett from Wireless Innovation and Rob and Alisa Miller from PCM Healthcare.
The evening kicked off with a garden tour, where Raymond gave tips and advice on growing produce. The tour continued through the kitchen to allow guests to witness first-hand Raymond’s chefs in action as they prepared for service.
The main attraction
Networking was held in the conservatory for guests to gather and discuss the variety of current opportunities and challenges facing SME owners over canapés and drinks. Expert deal makers were on hand to offer valuable advice for those looking to learn more about how and when to sell a business.
A four-course dinner was served along with a short presentation from BCMS’ Dave Rebbettes who gave a short insight into the core principles of a business sale, and a memorable speech from Raymond Blanc on his life and career. He had the room in stitches as he spoke about how he began as a cleaner in a restaurant then was fired for offering the head chef some advice to make his dishes more delicious. His passion for food became a recipe for business, even though he can’t admit it: “I’m a self-taught man and every man has limitations. In the kitchen I did well, but in business I don’t do well.” He is perhaps too modest here, as his lack of business knowledge didn’t hold him back from winning two Michelin stars in the first year of opening his restaurant, cooking for the Queen and having a team of staff who enjoy working for him. Raymond went on to explain his passion to make the ‘service industry’ better for workers who he maintained are “the heart of the business is important.”
The evening rounded off with presentations from Freeths and Rathbones, followed by a delicious beetroot and raspberry chocolate crumble. An evening to remember.
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