Sourcing products from local farmers, Billy Brunch is a passion project come to life for Swiss IHTTI graduate Blaise Thorens.
The opening of your own restaurant is a massive achievement worth celebrating. For Blaise however, it’s only the beginning of his story…
Congratulations on launching Billy Brunch! How does the restaurant opening fit in with your career goals?
In my case, the opening of Billy Brunch is not my ultimate goal rather a stepping stone for the creation of a major hospitality company I am building in Barcelona. My vision is for Billy Hospitality SL to include restaurants, holiday apartments, chauffeurs and a 5* butler service.
What steps have you taken to get this dream off the ground?
The first step was finding the right location: As I needed to find a space that would serve as the central base for the entire project.
I chose Barcelona for being one of the most visited, affordable and trendy city hubs in all of Europe
The second step was trying to establish a network: In a city where I am an outsider. My decision to start working at W Barcelona as the Banquet Manager was strategic to support my overall goal. The hotel’s 500 employees were a solid base for the creation of my local network.
The third step was market analysis: I spent a year studying the local market, fine tuning my concept and hunting for the perfect property location.
In my current stage, I have completed the licensing, refurbished the location, hired staff and am feeling ready for the opening set for May 13th, 2018!
What is your advice to someone looking to start their own business?
My advice is to give yourself both short term and long term career goals and assure everything you do on a daily basis leads you towards them.
Even though the restaurant hasn’t opened yet, what has been your proudest moment so far?
Knowing that I am on the right track to meet my career goals.
What was the most important lesson you took from IHTTI for your career planning?
I learned early on in my studies to be proactive, the value of a strong network and above all, I learned if I want to be successful, I need to be passionate about what I’m doing
How do you hope to make your concept stand out in very competitive Barcelona?
Make the guest experience a priority.
After the official opening of the restaurant, what are the top 3 things you hope will happen?
- The restaurant will become a benchmark in town.
- I will successfully open my second and third restaurant.
- I will be ready to move onto the next goal.