With an ever growing portfolio of restaurants, bars and hotels it’s a wonder leading restaurateur Jason Myers has the time for a summer holiday at all. But he also loves spending time with his wife, and business partner, Shara, and his two kids, which this year means taking in some wine trips too, exploring new areas of France, and sitting down for some escapist fun with James Bond or Star Wars film.
Its been a good, but eventful year for Jason Myers and his growing hotel, pub and restaurant business, including the recent opening of Bacone in Covent Garden. But August means downtime with the wife and kids.
What are your plans for the summer holidays?
We fly to Sweden for the Gothia Youth World Cup as our son is playing in it. Then the first week of August we flew to Provence for 10 days doing three wine trips via our great friends at Winerist.
How good are you at switching off on holiday and staying away from work?
I genuinely believe and condone holidays should mean holiday. Due to the nature of what I do I can’t always be totally switched of for long periods of time so I plan as much as possible before I leave, empower my trusted lieutenants to cover for me and only do emails/ calls or be contactable first thing in the morning and tea times only. My assistants and trusted and valued colleagues cover me as I do for them when travelling, I find it works well.
What you most looking forward to doing when on holiday and having some spare time?
Change of environment and family time. Drinking wine, exploring a new region of France and being looked after by others rather than looking after others for a change! As soon as I get to the airport my holiday starts and I am ready and up for a great experience.
Any books you looking to catch up on?
I only read factual books. I am reading some wine tasting books, a book by Theo Randall one of my favourite chefs, and a true life crime book about the underworld. I will also check out any interested biographies in WHSmiths at Terminal 5.
Any recent films you are looking forward to catching up on?
I love Star Wars, and I am desperate to see the new Jurassic Park and I’m excited beyond excitement that the new Bond movie is out later in the year (sorry, chief, it’s actually out in November 2019).
All time favourite film to watch when on summer holiday?
Well the film, The Holiday, with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law, was filmed very near to where I live, but it’s on every Xmas. I made the kids watch Top Gun with me recently. Thats still an epic film. I think they humoured me at the start, but seemed to like it at the end.
I am going to watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off this summer.
Favourite summer and holiday music?
Single: Anything by Bob Marley. I love the new Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa song ‘One Kiss’.
Album: The Killers and Pete Tong’s new classics remixed with an orchestra. I am also really liking Tokyo Myers (not a relative sadly).
Favourite music video that sums up a summer holiday?
Not sure. I don’t really watch music videos! So perhaps Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice or Wham and Club Tropicana or anything by George Michael.
Bucket list holiday destinations that you have not got to yet?
South America, Australia, New Zealand. Saving those for an epic trip maybe next year.
How has 2018 been so far for you?
Busy, fulfilling, full on and fun! Have met some incredible people as well.
Happiest or biggest achievement moment so far?
Business wise: This year it has been about raising funds to expand our business and opening new brands in this challenging market. So I am super proud of that.
Personal: Seeing my kids go to upper school and grow in front of my eyes. Charlie, my son, also being picked to play at the Gothia World Cup.
All time: Sha, my wife, and the family for sure….
What are the biggest issues facing your business for the 12 months ahead?
Uncertainty of the current Brexit situation, consumer confidence, and risk of recession if we get a ‘No Deal’? Staffing issues as well given 40% less Europeans coming to London to work since last year!
What steps can you take to address them?
Restructure our business, and prioritise and invest and grow only in growth markets. Don’t compete in over saturated areas. Retain your people. Look after your guests. Ensure what you offer ticks all the boxes, and excites the customers. Build delight and excellence at a fair price. Be honest with yourself and the product and guests will take care of the business. Be better, be good, be relentless
What are you most looking forward to when the clocks go back and winter comes?
Nothing. I hate the winter I would live and run the business from Dubai for that six months. But that said I do like long winter walks and the crispy air. I love not having hay fever, and I don’t miss mowing the lawns and I love real fires, winter TV and early nights in.
- If you would like to share your summer stories with The Buyer then answer the above questions and send them to Richard Siddle at email@example.com.