Food & Drink International - Winter 2017, Volume 2 - 93
Tavistock Restaurant Collection
Market nearby, which specializes in new American cuisine
influenced by Florida's southern flavors.
"They're both in an up-and-coming area called Lake Nona
that's developed by our parent company," Byrne says. Both
restaurants have been designed to complement the surroundings. He is proud of Chroma's design. "Our vice president of construction design, Lisa Helmke, did a tremendous
job on that."
M. Tucker, a distributor of wholesale restaurant supplies
and equipment, also aided in its design. "The kitchen is open
with large glass windows so our guests can see what the
chefs are working on," he says. "It's a great feature that's
been very well received."
Chroma's design also gives it flexibility to easily change
its menu. "I could turn it into a fish restaurant without changing the kitchen," he says. "They've given us a versatility we
didn't have before through design."
Byrne is also proud of the company's work on Cañonita,
a Mexican restaurant in Las Vegas. Through a recent refurbishment process, "We've added a lot of color into the
restaurant itself," he says.
This was accomplished through the help of its partner, M.
Tucker. "They came up with some great products for us [such
as] plates and glassware," he says. "We sent them images of
the new décor in the restaurant and from there they helped us
with fabulous selections on plate ware and glass ware."
"[Fewer] invoices coming in
through the back door makes it
easier for the operator."
las and AquaKnox, are doing very well. "They're not affected
so much by the economy," he says. "We're putting a lot of focus on those. They're exactly where we want them to be."
He predicts Tavistock Restaurant Collection will add more
restaurants in Lake Nona. The town center where Chroma is
located is set for expansion, he notes, and will soon feature
high-end shopping and additional restaurants.
In addition to developing Lake Nona, Tavistock also recently acquired Pier 66, an iconic hotel in Fort Lauderdale,
Fla. "They will renovate Pier 66," he says.
But the land around the hotel may have strong potential
for future restaurant space. "The restaurant group will get
involved with that at some point," Byrne predicts.
None Too Many
Tavistock Restaurant Collection continuously streamlines its
purchasing program, Byrne says. As part of this process, the
company reduced its number of vendors. "We believe that
working with the least amount of partners gives you the biggest bang for the relationship," he says.
Five years ago, the company had 40 different wine partners. "Today, we have 10 who control probably 80 percent
of our menus," he says, noting that the company is applying
this strategy to other areas of its business.
"We buy 80 percent of our meat products through U.S.
Foods/Stock Yards," he says. "[Fewer] invoices coming in
through the back door makes it easier for the operator. It also
makes it easier to govern fewer partners."
Tavistock Restaurant Collection is coping with changes in
its industry. For the past year and a half, "The casual segment has been very tough," Byrne admits. "There are only
so many restaurants and only so many guests to go around.
You have to express points of differentiation."
But its higher-end restaurants, including Abe & Louie's, Atfood & drink international * winter 2017 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com