Marco Pierre White to open restaurants in Australia
Marco Pierre White has teamed up with RMAL Hospitality to bring his restaurant brands to the Australian market.
UK chef Marco Pierre White will be expanding his culinary portfolio to the Oceania region for the first time, with seven restaurant brands set to launch.
Pierre White spoke to Hospitality about what diners can expect from the venues, tailoring concepts to the Australian market and the importance of good infrastructure.
Late last year, Pierre White signed a deal with RMAL Hospitality to create a new group dubbed Black and White International. The primary motivation behind the partnership was to expand Pierre White’s franchised restaurants into the Oceania region. The chef also spends a decent amount of time in Australia during the year, adding to the motivation behind the roll out.
There are seven brands up for franchise including Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill; New York Italian; Bardolino Pizzeria Bellini & Espresso Bar; Wheelers of St James Oyster Bar & Grill Room; Marconi Coffee & Juice Bar; Mr White’s English Chophouse and Koffmann and Mr White’s English French Brasserie.
In the UK, a number of Pierre White’s restaurants operate within hotels, and the group will consider the same arrangement in Australia. “We tend to operate in hotels on the High Street, so we’re looking at hotels,” Pierre White tells Hospitality. “If you’re in a hotel with 300 bedrooms, you’ve already got a market. You’ve got a foundation and you have an infrastructure — that’s the beauty of hotels. I’m a great believer that you employ the hierarchy and then those individuals build their team.”
There’s no word on which brands will launch, but Pierre White says all venues will take cues from their surroundings — people and place included. “What’s important is to develop the concept around the market,” he says. “You have to tailor things to the environment and the demographic and price it accordingly.”
There are no confirmed locations, but Pierre White names Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth as the most likely sites. “I think you have to be in those major cities,” he says.
Venues will be staffed with Australian chefs and wait staff and local produce will reign supreme on the menu. “There’s very good produce in Australia,” says Pierre White. “It will all be local ingredients — nothing will be flown in.”
And if you’re expecting a stiff atmosphere and perplexing food — you’ve got the wrong idea. “It’s about simplicity and service with a smile in an environment you want to sit in,” says Pierre White. “The future of dining out is making everything affordable, delicious and in an environment with warm service — I don’t think it’s complicated.
“I don’t want to do three-star Michelin food, that’s a world many years ago. They have their place, but I don’t want to be part of that world. I just like simple and straight-forward.”
This article originally appeared in Hospitality‘s February issue which is available for purchase for $9.90 here.