Adam Perkins, talks about standing out in a competitive industry, the secret to a successful office party and what his business will be offering for Christmas 2017
WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS BACKGROUND?
My brother and I (pictured) have grown up working in the family business, which our parents started more than 30 years ago. We’ve done every job from washing dishes to maintenance to cooking to front of house. We’ve grown up with the restaurant; hospitality is in our blood.
WHEN DID YOU TAKE OVER TOM BROWNS?
We were given the opportunity to purchase the restaurant in 2001 when our parents retired. They emigrated to Australia and asked if we wanted to join them or stay and take over the business. We stayed and it was the start
of our 16-year development of Tom Browns.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD TO YOUR BUSINESS AND WHY?
December is one of the busiest months of the year for us, and we enjoy it immensely. There is so much going on, with lots of large Christmas party celebrations, a packed programme of live music, festive afternoon teas, a Christmas market, and a winter ball. It’s hard work but the restaurant has a real buzz, and wonderful festive feel.
HOW DO YOU MAKE TOM BROWNS STAND OUT IN SUCH A COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY?
The quality and presentation of food is crucial, but attention to detail is key. Our service is attentive but not stuffy. We’ve won many accolades and have been awarded two AA Rosettes. We continue to make the restaurant accessible to a wide audience, with our early-bird menu, as well as engaging guests with social media and events.
WHAT WILL TOM BROWNS BE OFFERING THIS FESTIVE SEASON?
We can cater for small- to medium-sized shared parties or exclusive hire of the restaurant for up to 125 guests (£22.50 per person). We have live acoustic music or a band to entertain guests as well. Our Christmas marquee is also available for exclusive hire for up to 250 guests, with bespoke entertainment from as little as £35 per person.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE EVENT PLANNERS?
Organise the perfect night out: amazing food in a nice setting with great entertainment. This way, everyone stays in one place and is able to enjoy the whole night together.
WHAT IS THE SECRET TO A SUCCESSFUL OFFICE PARTY?
It’s got to be an open bar tab paid by the boss, right?
WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR?
Socks, wine gums, a selection box and a cookery book. Why? Because it’s tradition.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FESTIVE TIPPLE AND WHY?
A Festive Old Fashioned cocktail for a night out, or a large glass of red wine (most days of the week).
LOOKING TO 2018, WHAT’S IN STORE FOR TOM BROWNS?
Our January sale up-to-50-per-cent-off menu kicks the year off. We’re redecorating the restaurant in February, which is exciting!
Tom Browns is an elegant riverside brasserie serving modern-world food in a Victorian schoolhouse