You’re an independent, family business that’s been a fixture on the Edinburgh restaurant scene for many years. What’s the secret to that success?

We’ve always believed that to compete with an ever evolving and improving industry such as hospitality, we must highly invest in our people and crucially in their training and development.

It is our belief that this, combined with great product quality and innovation, could and will keep us up there with the best of them.

Training has been so critical to Montpeliers that David and Ruth Wither (owners) eventually started our sister company FLOW hospitality training, an online training provider over ten years ago.  They now provide training solutions around the globe to some of the biggest names in our industry.

But even with the best tools and people it’s not been easy! We’ve tried to keep our senior management team small and very much in touch with the business on a day-to-day basis so that we don’t become divorced from the business’s issues and, most importantly, our customers!

This allows us to react quickly to the changing and challenging needs of the business which, in this ever fast- paced world of choice and information, is of great importance.

Having said that, I also believe that equally large measures of passion and determination are crucial if you are to grow and succeed.

 David Johnston, Development Director

 

What role does Scottish sourcing play in your business? Can you give some examples of the suppliers you work with and what this means to you?

It’s very important to use Scottish and local suppliers; we’re very pleased to be working with some fantastic suppliers that source the very best for our business. All our haddock comes fresh daily from day boats to Peterhead; cheese from I.J. Mellis of Edinburgh; smoked salmon, haggis and black pudding are all produced by Campbells Prime Meat in Linlithgow, and our Scottish free range eggs come from Broxburn Browns. This means that we can support or local businesses, ensure the best quality with the minimum impact of carbon footprint.

Tony Sarton, Group Development Chef

 

What main food or drink trends are you noticing in the restaurant world these days?

Gin is still the major player, but it is moving slightly away from just your regular G&T, with more and more of our customers looking to trade up their experience with by mixing with craft sodas/tonics such as Bon Accord or Cushidoos.

Highball cocktails are continuing to grow in popularity, with guests looking for lighter, more refreshing serves over the stirred down ‘Mad Men’- inspired classic cocktail resurgence of a few years ago. I feel our guests are more conscious of the amount of alcohol they are consuming. While the ‘low & no’ trend that is steadily growing in London is yet to fully kick off in Scotland, we are seeing more and more space on menus dedicated to low ABV cocktails.

Joey Medrington, Group Bar Development

 

What challenges do you face when sourcing local/Scottish produce, and what do you think that industry should/could do to tackle those?

A lot of the best Scottish products, especially our seafood/shellfish gets exported to France & Spain, driving prices out of the reach of many small operators in Scotland. I think a firmer commitment from the supply-side to tackle this would help restaurants support their fantastic produce locally.

Tony Sarton, Group Development Chef

 

How will you be marking Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight?

We’ll be telling our customers across our venues about the Fortnight!  We’re using social media platforms to promote our dishes which feature Scottish produce, ingredients and suppliers.

Across our venues we’ll incorporate Scottish themes daily, whether that’s through drinks, food or events. We love working alongside local Scottish beer companies such as Loch Leven Brewery or introducing Crabbie’s new gin created in their Leith distillery in partnership with Scottish Rugby.

We love to incorporate Scottish elements into our venues as we think it brings a personal and local feel to the business while offering exciting Scottish drinks and dishes.

Georgia Noble, Social Media & Marketing Assistant

 

https://www.montpeliers.co.uk

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