Lucy came down to huddled to tell us about one of the best steakhouses in the city, Hawksmoor. She explains what makes stand out in the restaurant industry while offering her view on working in the heart of Manchester.
Lucy Noone – Hawksmoor Transcript
My name is Lucy Noone, I work at Hawksmoor and I am the reservations and marketing manager there.
Can you explain your business in one sentence?
Hawksmoor in one sentence? We are a British Steakhouse serving Yorkshire-reared, grass-fed, really lovely steaks from long-horned cattle and then really good cocktails to go with it, with really nice staff and I think that might be about it.
What separates you from the competition?
What separates us from other steakhouses is an obsessive attitude I suppose to attention to detail, the produce, the provenance. All the seafood comes from British waters, it’s all sustainably fished. The cocktails are developed for each different restaurant that we have in the group, the Manchester ones have been done around different Manchester recipes over the years. It’s attention to detail, I’d say.
What have been the highlights of your company so far?
Opening Hawksmoor in Manchester. It’s a huge, it’s a huge sort of name in the restaurant world, I think to me anyway. I’ve watched them from up here thinking, wow, these restaurants in London are amazing and the fact that they’ve invested in my home city so, so, kind of, they’ve put so much into it. Yeah, I think that was my highlight, standing there on the front door on the first day, opening the doors and just being, ‘hello! Welcome!’
What qualities help to succeed in your industry?
You’ve got to have a really flexible attitude. Things change so quickly and so regularly. You only get one go at making that experience perfect for somebody, with Hawksmoor, we try never to let anybody leave unhappy, so even if quite a lot of things might have gone wrong, we try and make sure they leave happy, they come back to us, we invite them back for dinner on us, whatever it takes to make sure that their experience is positive. But you do only get one chance so you’ve got to be super-prepared to roll with it, I suppose.
Why would new businesses choose Manchester?
New businesses choosing Manchester… I think, personally, I think there’s a real team attitude about the city in general. I think everybody is pulling together to get it to work and everybody really cares about the city as a whole. So, anything that we all can do to make it better, we’re all pushing in the same direction. Obviously, within industries people compete, but I think that everyone is pulling in the same direction and it’s up.
Which local companies would you recommend?
Who would I recommend? Other restaurants I suppose, there’s some gorgeous restaurants in Manchester at the moment, some really amazing coffee shops. Cafe Nico is one of my favourites, they bake their own bread in, I think it’s like a band stand in Stretford Park which is awesome. Yeah and they just make really nice coffee, again, really nice staff, really, really minute attention to detail and that’s lovely. You know, there’s some awesome stuff going on in Manchester, some great suppliers, I have to say that because one of them’s my parents.
Who are the influential people in Manchester?
I suppose each industry has their own influential people, don’t they? In ours you’ve got the guys who’ve made a real difference over years and years and years, you know, your Tim Bacon’s and that, Jeremy Roberts doing the Living Ventures thing. You’ve got the guys that Jobe and Ross who have the Black Dog Ballroom who are doing so much cool stuff all over the city now, not just the Northern Quarter any more. The guys who’ve done Albert Schloss, they’re the guys from Gorilla. Trof – that’s amazing. Everybody’s just kind of carrying on with such momentum at the moment, I think ti would be hard to pick anybody but I’m lucky enough to be working in an industry where there’s a lot of influential people, all bouncing ideas off each other and becoming more creative.
What is the benefit of working in Manchester?
I suppose it’s working in the city isn’t it? Again, it’s all the people, the concentration of people close to each other to bounce ideas off, borrow and share and help and we’re starting to get the infrastructure we need now as well with the new trams. Maybe they’ll fix the roads one day soon as well which would be nice wouldn’t it?!
Your favourite place to eat and drink in Manchester?
Oh I’ve got so many favourite places to eat and drink, it depends on what time it is, I mean, after work it’s late and… or after a night out it’s Crazy Pedro’s – pizza is still amazing, whatever time it is.
I don’t know …
Katsouris for a bowl of soup at lunch time?
That’s really difficult, that’s like asking me to pick a favourite child or something, I don’t know! I don’t know – sorry! I like all the restaurants in Manchester!
Any final words about Hawksmoor?
Hawksmoor is still new, we’re still growing, we’re still changing. We change the menu every couple of weeks really, it’s very seasonal. So everything that’s not in season goes and the next lot comes in. Our bar menu is something not many people know about – gorgeous burgers, lobster rolls, that kind of thing, really nice cocktails to go with it and that’s served all day. Yeah, that’s it really. I think, you know, it would just be nice to see people using us more as kind of a bit more of a place to be, sort of, sit in the bar, work from the bar, have meetings, stay for dinner, don’t, you know. it’s nice, we’re seeing more people starting to do that and it’s lovely.
Thanks for watching, I’m Lucy Noone from Hawksmoor and I’ve been huddled.