We, at the Kilkenny Design Restaurant on Nassau Street, Dublin contacted Blathnaid Bergin in 2011 as we were planning a full refurbishment of our restaurant. As our expertise is in retail design and fashion, we needed expertise in food service as we planned a major investment. Our plan was to refurbish the dining area and upgrade the counter areas to enhance our customer experience.
Blathnaid carried out an analysis of our plans and made a number of recommendations which changed the direction of our project for the better. One of the first suggestions Blathnaid made was to improve our external signage and remove redundant messages which were not enhancing the five star image of The Kilkenny Brand.
Blathnaid insisted that significant investment was needed in the kitchen as well as the dining area; as she explained that the kitchen is the ‘engine room’ of the restaurant and needs to be well resourced to produce a quality product consistently. This had not been part of our plans and would be a further investment, however the money needed for this was found by a suggestion Blathnaid made regarding the existing toilets. Our plans were to extend the toilets. Blathnaid deemed this unnecessary, recommending that a full refit would suffice, without any expansion. She suggested that the space which would have been used would be better utilised for customer seating.
We took this advice, thus saving that money and used it to upgrade our kitchens to a five star standard, thus ensuring that our customers will receive a consistently great product.
To include the kitchen team in this project was also prioritised by Blathnaid and monthly management meetings became a feature of our restaurant operation, thus constantly upgrading the quality of what we do and keeping it to that standard with the full co-operation of the entire team.
As we already had a hard working committed team, Blathnaid recommended a comfortable, bright uniform and also recommended using the award winning Irish made pottery dishes to display our food. These decisions significantly enhanced staff and food presentation and showcased the best of Irish craftsmanship in our restaurant.
Blathnaid continued with us on our journey through the full refurbishment and delivered customer care workshops before opening to ensure consistency of delivery.
Blathnaid also introduced us to our Food Operations Manager of some five years, Gerry Devlin who continues to manage our busy operation.
Blathnaids involvement in our refurbishment and relaunch changed the way we approached the project and as a result saved money, improved both our food and service delivery which continues to this day. I have no hesitation in recommending Blathnaid and the services her business provides.
Marian O’ Gorman. C.E.O. Kilkenny Group