Paul Foster – Salt
This month hospitality recruitment agency, Platinum Recruitment, talked to Paul Foster, Chef Owner of Salt Restaurant in Stratford upon Avon. Paul started gathering investors for his venture, via Crowdfunding in February 2016 and opened in March 2017. We talked to Paul about life after Kickstarter and that amazing Jay Raynor review.
Tell me about Kickstarter – what made you go down this route?
It was a great way of getting funding without owing the banks money and it has allowed me to keep control of my business. It was also great to get the word out there before the business even started, it created a great buzz.
Most of the investors have been in and redeemed their vouchers and several were local people who were interested in a new restaurant. Some of those are now regular customers which is really great. To pick that up is just brilliant.
What is your favourite dish on the menu at the moment?
This time of year I love using game, we have lots of game dishes on the current menu but I change my mind all the time! The customer’s favourite dish is the carrot dish that is on the taster menu, which was reviewed by Jay Raynor in the Observer last week.
We saw the review! How did that feel?
It was mega! Bookings went through the roof! He’s so well respected and incorruptible and you know that his reviews are genuine and he’s not manipulated.
Did you get notice that he was coming in?
No he just walked through the door! I just told the team to carry on as normal, you can’t do anything different – the prep is all done, let’s just do what we do. He absolutely loved the carrot dish and people have been ordering the taster menu as a result! I think it’s becoming one of those dishes that I won’t be able to take off the menu! We had a nervous wait for three and a half weeks for the review to come out, but we were so happy with it.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a career in hospitality and open their own restaurant?
Be prepared to work hard. The chefs that I admire have done well because they are passionate about what they do, but they are also used to the hard work. It’s not just a job, it completely takes over your life!
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Who are your biggest inspirations?
I have always looked up to Thomas Keller and did a stage with him at the French Laundry in California. My biggest inspiration is Sat Bains who I worked for – I’m still good friends with Sat.
What are your future plans for the restaurant?
I just want to keep growing. There are lots of things that we can do with this site that I’m still thinking about. I would like to stabilise the team here which would allow us to look at other ventures and revenue streams. Watch this space!
We would like to say a massive thank you to Paul for taking the time to talk to us and wish the team at Salt all the success for the future!
Platinum Recruitment got involved in Paul’s Kickstarter campaign and our pledge meant we received a voucher for a Tasting menu for 2! This was our prize at The Restaurant Show earlier this month and our winner was Gordon Wright from Grosvenor Casinos – we hope he enjoys this fantastic prize!
For more information on Paul and Salt Restaurant take a look at the restaurants social media pages…
To start your career in hospitality or to make your next move, please get in touch with the team at Platinum Recruitment, a hospitality recruitment and catering agency. You can browse a selection of hospitality jobs, including Chef jobs and Front of House vacancies on our hospitality jobs page or email firstname.lastname@example.org