EASILY the most recognisable maître d’ in the country, Fred Sirieix will talk openly and honestly about the importance of front of house at the Bruntwood NRB Debate at Northern Restaurant & Bar on Tuesday March 20.
Fred is the manager of Michelin starred French restaurant Galvin at Windows on Park Lane, London. He’s also the smooth talking French Maître D' on Channel 4’s ‘First Dates’.
So it’s quite a coup to book him for the annual debate, hosted by NRB CEO Thom Hetherington at Manchester Central, again home to the biggest hospitality trade show outside London (March 20 and 21).
Fred, of course, is no stranger to Manchester having recently finished filming ‘The Million Pound Menu’ here when Taste of Manchester’s Matty White (above) caught up with him for one of his famous Fodder podcasts, where the pair discussed turning up leathered to a date, TripAdvisor and the importance of good customer service.
That last theme will be pursued in the NRB debate as Fred shares his vision for front of house and how human interaction can make or break a restaurant experience for diners.
“The restaurant industry is in a time of huge change, not least from technological disruption”, says Thom, “but I think that makes it all the more important to remember that the fundamentals of hospitality are timeless. This is a very human business, and the basics of the way you deal with customers will ultimately shape your business. There is no one better to address this hot topic than Fred Sirieix, he is the standard-bearer for service.”
This year’s debate is sponsored by Bruntwood Group, whose properties across Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham, house an array of leading operators including Living Ventures, San Carlo and The Alchemist.
One of their latest developments is Hatch an exciting new retail and leisure pop up space under the Mancunian Way on Oxford Road.
The Bruntwood NRB Debate also features an expert panel discussing how new technology is creating significant change and challenges in hospitality, but also presenting enormous opportunities for the most agile operators.
The Tuesday debate starts at 12pm and includes a buffet lunch. Tickets are priced £55+VAT. Book before Tuesday February 20 with the promotional code ‘fred’ for 10 per cent discount. Book online at nrbdebate.co.uk
Northern Restaurant & Bar, Tue Mar 20 and Wed, Mar 21 Manchester Central, Windmill St, Manchester M2 3GX. Free trade only tickets are available now via this link. NRB18 hosts 275 exhibitors and delivers 65 live food and drink demos. Here’s our guide to this year’s starry chef line-up.