Searcys

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Searcys's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Searcys is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.searcys.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | SEARCYS
Managing Director MattThomas
St Pancras Brasserie and
Champagne Bar by Searcys
In 1847, the Duke of Northumberland spotted potential in a
young pastry chef in his kitchen team. Seeing that the budding
chef was destined for bigger things, he offered to support him
to found what was to become the UK’s first catering company:
Searcys and Sons. Over 170 years later, Searcys employ 1,200
people across 33 sites in the UK, including in historic venues,
from St Paul’s Cathedral to The Gherkin. Managing Director
Matt Thomas details their remarkable history and how they have
embraced innovation.
Over the years, we have gained an impeccable reputation for catering for a diverse
portfolio of clients. Historic venues include The Orangery at Blenheim Palace, Wren’s
Tea Room at St Paul’s Cathedral, the award-winning Design Museum in Kensington,
The Pump Room in Bath and the restaurants and bars at the iconic Gherkin and
St Pancras International. In 2018, we proudly celebrated the company’s most
successful year since its foundation in 1847. The annual accounts for the year ending
December2018 showedthat we achieved double-digit growth at our flagshipvenues.
In March 2019, we opened two new venues: one at The Honourable Artillery
Company in London, and, as a true homecoming, another at The Alnwick Garden,
by the appointment of the Duchess of Northumberland.
This outcome is a result of our strategic plan and rebrand, appealing to a new and
modern market. We aimed to bring our identity closer in line with our heritage while
making it more contemporary and forward-looking. Consumer research, conducted by
Future Thinking, revealed that32 per cent ofUK diners and 39 per cent of Londoners
are aware of the name Searcys. With a privileged position in the UK’s venue and
restaurant market, the rebranding allowed us to expand awareness nationwide.
FACTS ABOUT
SEARCYS
»Managing Director:
Matt Thomas
»Established in 1847
»Based in Farringdon, London
»Services: Catering and
hospitality
»No. of employees: 1 ,200
Searcys
19SEARCYS |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Our strategic five-year plan has
articulated the brand’s purpose as
British hospitality specialists, as well
as the international appeal of our
world-renowned champagne bars. Our
brand vision of “making the people
we serve and work with feel special
by being consistently exceptional”
manifests itself through investment in
flagship sites and our people, building
a sustainable, responsible business.
Our iconic restaurants, champagne
bars and events have an established
reputation for quality and innovation.
We carved out a name as brave market
leaders, launching bold, forward-
thinking concepts.
A flagship example of our success is
at The Gherkin. The iconic Norman
Foster-designed building had its levels
39 and 40 levels relaunched as Helix
restaurant and Iris bar. Previously a
members’ club, The Gherkin was open
to the public from July 2018. Level 38
was also revamped with five private
dining spaces to reflect market trends
for smaller, more intimate events.
The iconic St Pancras Brasserie
and Europe’s longest champagne
bar, which we both manage, were
also remodelled and relaunched in
April 2018 with the addition of a
new concept: Champagne School.
Toasting the 150th anniversary of St
Pancras Station, Champagne School
was designed to appeal to all kinds
of lovers of champagne and English
sparkling wine. The revenue of these
two venues has increased 18 per cent
year on year. The overall customer
sentiment has been increasing steadily
too, with 98 per cent positive customer
reviews of food quality and 92 per cent
of value in autumn 2018.
Learning and development
Over 1,600 delegates attended our
internal courses in 2018, helping to
widen their knowledge and skills and
to provide personal development.
Feedback concluded that 86 per cent
would recommend the courses to a
colleague, and 96 per cent would
utilise their new skills.
Furthermore, we launched an
apprenticeship scheme. This supports
a new generation of UK chefs, giving
opportunities to young talent across the
country. Six new apprentices started
working in our kitchens in2018.
The importance of sustainability
In 2018, we launched our first ever
sustainability pledges. We champion
the best ingredients available,
working closely with British farmers
and producers to ensure that up to
90 per cent of the seasonal fruit and
vegetables we use is grown in the UK.
Our champagne list follows the same
concept, and we shifted our focus to
celebrate the most acclaimed English
sparkling wine.
Our new menus incorporate UK-reared
fresh meat; flour milled in England;
and free-range eggs and milk from
Red Tractor-certified farms, as well as
our signature smoked salmon, sourced
directly from the family-run and Royal
Warrant-holding John Ross Jr.
Using seasonal and high-quality
produce, our chefs reimagine and
A selection of our
seasonal starters
Our brand
vision is to
make the
people we
serve and
work with feel
special by
being
consistently
exceptional
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | SEARCYS
Managing Director MattThomas
St Pancras Brasserie and
Champagne Bar by Searcys
In 1847, the Duke of Northumberland spotted potential in a
young pastry chef in his kitchen team. Seeing that the budding
chef was destined for bigger things, he offered to support him
to found what was to become the UK’s first catering company:
Searcys and Sons. Over 170 years later, Searcys employ 1,200
people across 33 sites in the UK, including in historic venues,
from St Paul’s Cathedral to The Gherkin. Managing Director
Matt Thomas details their remarkable history and how they have
embraced innovation.
Over the years, we have gained an impeccable reputation for catering for a diverse
portfolio of clients. Historic venues include The Orangery at Blenheim Palace, Wren’s
Tea Room at St Paul’s Cathedral, the award-winning Design Museum in Kensington,
The Pump Room in Bath and the restaurants and bars at the iconic Gherkin and
St Pancras International. In 2018, we proudly celebrated the company’s most
successful year since its foundation in 1847. The annual accounts for the year ending
December2018 showedthat we achieved double-digit growth at our flagshipvenues.
In March 2019, we opened two new venues: one at The Honourable Artillery
Company in London, and, as a true homecoming, another at The Alnwick Garden,
by the appointment of the Duchess of Northumberland.
This outcome is a result of our strategic plan and rebrand, appealing to a new and
modern market. We aimed to bring our identity closer in line with our heritage while
making it more contemporary and forward-looking. Consumer research, conducted by
Future Thinking, revealed that32 per cent ofUK diners and 39 per cent of Londoners
are aware of the name Searcys. With a privileged position in the UK’s venue and
restaurant market, the rebranding allowed us to expand awareness nationwide.
FACTS ABOUT
SEARCYS
»Managing Director:
MattThomas
»Established in 1847
»Based in Farringdon, London
»Services: Catering and
hospitality
»No. of employees: 1 ,200
Searcys
19SEARCYS |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Our strategic five-year plan has
articulated the brand’s purpose as
British hospitality specialists, as well
as the international appeal of our
world-renowned champagne bars. Our
brand vision of “making the people
we serve and work with feel special
by being consistently exceptional”
manifests itself through investment in
flagship sites and our people, building
a sustainable, responsible business.
Our iconic restaurants, champagne
bars and events have an established
reputation for quality and innovation.
We carved out a name as brave market
leaders, launching bold, forward-
thinking concepts.
A flagship example of our success is
at The Gherkin. The iconic Norman
Foster-designed building had its levels
39 and 40 levels relaunched as Helix
restaurant and Iris bar. Previously a
members’ club, The Gherkin was open
to the public from July 2018. Level 38
was also revamped with five private
dining spaces to reflect market trends
for smaller, more intimate events.
The iconic St Pancras Brasserie
and Europe’s longest champagne
bar, which we both manage, were
also remodelled and relaunched in
April 2018 with the addition of a
new concept: Champagne School.
Toasting the 150th anniversary of St
Pancras Station, Champagne School
was designed to appeal to all kinds
of lovers of champagne and English
sparkling wine. The revenue of these
two venues has increased 18 per cent
year on year. The overall customer
sentiment has been increasing steadily
too, with 98 per cent positive customer
reviews of food quality and 92 per cent
of value in autumn 2018.
Learning and development
Over 1,600 delegates attended our
internal courses in 2018, helping to
widen their knowledge and skills and
to provide personal development.
Feedback concluded that 86 per cent
would recommend the courses to a
colleague, and 96 per cent would
utilise their new skills.
Furthermore, we launched an
apprenticeship scheme. This supports
a new generation of UK chefs, giving
opportunities to young talent across the
country. Six new apprentices started
working in our kitchens in2018.
The importance of sustainability
In 2018, we launched our first ever
sustainability pledges. We champion
the best ingredients available,
working closely with British farmers
and producers to ensure that up to
90 per cent of the seasonal fruit and
vegetables we use is grown in the UK.
Our champagne list follows the same
concept, and we shifted our focus to
celebrate the most acclaimed English
sparkling wine.
Our new menus incorporate UK-reared
fresh meat; flour milled in England;
and free-range eggs and milk from
Red Tractor-certified farms, as well as
our signature smoked salmon, sourced
directly from the family-run and Royal
Warrant-holding John Ross Jr.
Using seasonal and high-quality
produce, our chefs reimagine and
A selection of our
seasonal starters
Our brand
vision is to
make the
people we
serve and
work with feel
special by
being
consistently
exceptional
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | SEARCYS
reinvent modern British dishes. Our
recently awarded Two Star Food
Made Good rating by the Sustainable
Restaurant Association is a testament
to how provenance and sustainability
are at the heart of our business.
This year sees us expanding our
commitment to sustainability with
a new set of pledges. This includes
an ongoing partnership with Beyond
Food, a social enterprise that helps
those who are most at risk of
homelessness to gain employment
in hospitality. In December 2018,
we raised £10,000 for the charity
through our A Very Searcys
Christmascampaign.
We have established a number of
meaningful brand partnerships in line
with the company’s rebranding goals.
Supper clubs and collaborations with
well-known UK chefs like Saturday
Kitchen TV presenter Matt Tebbutt or
the award-winning British chocolatier
William Curley were the highlights
of our events calendar. This January,
Searcys at The Gherkin partnered
with Great British Bake Off finalist
Ruby Bhogal, Harley Street nutritionist
Rhiannon Lambert and ethical yoga
company Yogasphere for a month
of wellness-related supper clubs
andevents.
Outside of London, we have
collaborated with the quintessentially
British perfume house Penhaligon’s
to create a series of afternoon tea
packages at Blenheim Palace and
with Extract Coffee, a sustainable
roaster in Bristol. Our espresso has
been specially blended by the team
in collaboration with Extract Coffee,
using 60 per cent Project Peru beans.
These are directly sourced from an
organic co-operative of smallholders,
who work closely with Extract Coffee
to build a “quality pays” ethos in
theircommunity.
An oversaturated market
One of the main challenges we face is
the level of competition in our industry:
there are too many providers for
too few customers. Many choose to
discount their products, but we prefer
to add value. As we are in a service
sector, we need to think laterally
to ensure that we remain attractive
toconsumers.
We work hard to retain the customers
we have while expanding our
profile. Key to this is supporting
sustainable and ethical products, as
the importance of ethical consumption
continues to grow. By continuing to
uphold our heritage and embrace
these modern trends, we are sure
we will be able to thrive long into
thefuture.
The
importance of
ethical
consumption
sits firmly in
our minds and
so we support
sustainable
and ethical
products
Over 56,000 bottles of Searcys
signature cuvée are sold each year
Helix at the Gherkin
21BLONSTEIN CREATIVE PRODUCTION |
DIGITAL, CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT
Founder Sara Blonstein
Roksanda LFW runway at
the Serpentine Pavilion
Founded in 1990, Blonstein is a prolific creative production
agency based in Brick Lane, east London. It delivers a wide
range of high-calibre experiences for world-leading fashion,
lifestyle and consumer brands including the British Fashion
Council, the Mayor of London, London Fashion Week, Selfridges
and Pernod Ricard, to name a few, as well as for a number of
other innovative, cool and niche clients. Founder and Director
Sara Blonstein reflects on the journey so far while discussing
how the agency continues to identify and champion the next
generation of talent.
Blonstein is situated on Brick Lane, the heart of east London’s pool of new talent,
new thinking and emerging cultural trends. This enables us to take inspiration
from this world every day. We employ a 360-degree boutique philosophy to all our
productions, from imagination to concept, delivery and completion. We are best
known for our elaborate attention to detail and our unique ability to creatively and
consistently place the brand at the centre of an experience.
Reinvigorating derelict spaces
We started off the business in the whirl of a post-feminist movement in the early
1990s, taking over derelict iconic buildings to host incredibly lavish events, entirely
run by women, from security and DJs to performers and bar staff. These immersive
events quickly gained press notoriety for their beautiful art direction and for the
reclamation of neglected urban spaces, in a truly unique way.
FACTS ABOUT
BLONSTEIN CREATIVE
PRODUCTION
»Founder: Sara Blonstein
»Founded in 1990
»Based in east London
»Services: Creative production
»No. of employees: Project-
dependent
»www.blonstein.co.uk
Blonstein Creative
Production

www.searcys.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Searcys. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster