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— LAST BITE — Two minutes with… DYLAN MURRAY


Dylan Murray was recently appointed operations director at UK bar and restaurant group Drake & Morgan. He tells Michael Jones what he’s hoping to achieve in the role


Q Tell us about your new role.


A I am hoping to develop, grow and drive Drake & Morgan to be the best bar and restaurant group in the UK. I am passionate about service and product and my main focus will be in these two areas. I aim to revolutionise the service culture through our employees and our training and development programme.


Q What are Drake & Morgan off ering to the market that is diff erent?


A I am confi dent our new and improved offer will make us stand out within the casual dining sector. We


have unique sites in interesting and accessible locations with an appetite for great service that is improving day on day. We are not trying to reinvent the wheel but simply do what we do consistently well and with a smile. It’s a winning combination.


Q What is Drake & Morgan’s USP?


AIndividuality! We are a small group of bars and restaurants, but each one of our sites is


unique. I would also say our four core values are a USP – “be passionate” by caring for everyone from fellow team members and customers through to suppliers and partners; “be respectful” of others and treat them as you would like to be treated; “be fun-loving” by enjoying yourself and focusing on the positive; and “be curious” by seeking opportunities to expand both your mind and the business.


Q What’s the biggest challenge you face in this


competitive market? A Consistent service


delivery and lower staff


turnover. We are currently working on a new service programme called Love to Learn that will hopefully improve what we do and how we do it. Good service starts with developing a culture at work and getting buy-in from all staff member from the start. In this competitive market good service will keep your customer coming back. You need to back this up with a consistent quality product.


Q How does the brand view sustainability?


A We are proud to be one of the founding members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). We


believe in sourcing locally where possible and also in acting responsibly towards the environment. We’re delighted to have been awarded Three Star status from The SRA for the third year in a row. Sustainability has been at the forefront of everything we do, from our design and décor through to our food and service.


Q How does working for a high-profi le group compare to running your own business?


A Working for myself was a huge learning curve and doing it in Hertfordshire brought a


new perception to value-for-money, customer service and product. It also brought its own problems and challenges around staff


recruitment and retention. Working for D&M with its iconic, London-based restaurants and bars, high footfall and diverse market trends requires a different set of management competencies. I prefer the fast- paced environment of D&M and look forward to adding more sites to our collection, our latest being the


already-successful Refi nery at Regent’s Place.


82


DAN MURRELL


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