Brian Trollip has been overseeing the day-to-day running of Dishoom’s operations since 2010.  Voted the ‘Coolest UK Restaurant’ in 2016 by Cool Brands, and a new entry on this year’s ‘The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies’ list, the Indian restaurant group now has six sites and employs over 700 people.

He’ll be at the show on 22 February talking about Dishoom’s journey so far – focusing on their continued commitment to building a first-class business that operates in a ‘big-hearted’ and generous way.

What do you see as key trends for the casual dining sector in the coming year? 

2018 is going to be a challenging year for the sector.  Significant pressures and uncertainties have been building, which may mean a reduction in size for some groups and a slow down in growth for others.  Whether or not this will make things easier or more difficult for new concepts to emerge and flourish remains to be seen.

What do you feel is the key for operators, like you, to successfully compete against your competitors?

Complacency will kill any business.  It’s important to benchmark what you’re doing regularly and to assure yourself that you’re fighting, at least as hard, for the things you’re trying to achieve as anyone else is.  What’s equally important is that you run your own race.  Assuming you’ve spent sufficient time and energy identifying what’s important to you and your business, you’ll be able to set and, with a lot of hard work, achieve the goals that will lead to your version of success.

Who or what inspires you to be even better?

I’m privileged enough to work with a team who are determined to break down the social barriers, which are sadly so prevalent for so many.  Their passion and commitment means that, with the help of two incredible charities (Magic Breakfast and Akshaya Patra), Dishoom has helped to provide over 4 Million meals to children who otherwise may have gone hungry.  These meals mean that children are able to concentrate at school and receive the education they deserve, both in the UK and in India.

Shamil, Dishoom’s founder, works extremely hard to bring people together across the social, cultural and religious lines that sometimes divide.  People like Will and Huw at Hawksmoor, who look after their team, take great care in sourcing their food and support brilliant charities like Action Against Hunger, are definitely inspirations too.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Always know what’s important to you.  If you do that, you’ll never get blown too far off course.

Describe the Casual Dining trade show in 3 words:

Useful. Social. Fun.

How important is the show to you and the sector?

It’s a great show — I’m looking forward to it.

Can you tell us a bit about your much anticipated session at Casual Dining 2018?

We realised fairly early on at Dishoom that it was the constant drive to attain and create something that we’d be completely happy with and proud of, that was important rather than the final destination.  Often, the moment we reached what we thought would be our destination, we’d look back and realise that we needed to rework, improve and update much of the work we’d previously completed.  I’ll be talking about Dishoom’s approach towards the constant reassessment and improvement that’s required in order to maintain a business we can all be happy with.

See Brian at Casual Dining 2018

Building a Big Hearted and First-Class Business: 1.15pm in the Keynote Theatre on Thursday 22 February.  

To register for a free trade ticket, please click here.
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