He’s been a customer of The Christmas Decorators Manchester since 2011, when he was the Senior Operations Manager for the Group’s Blackhouse restaurants, the luxury Steakhouse brand which includes Manchester’s Grill on the Alley.
“Until then,” says Chris, “we’d been allocating small budgets for Christmas decorations and trees to individual restaurant managers. The Managers had to do it themselves. It was a bit like asking electricians to do your plumbing for you. Our managers are fantastic restaurateurs with great skills in hospitality but they aren’t decorators. Our million-pound establishments needed professional solutions.”
The Christmas Decorators Manchester were recommended to Chris by fellow Living Ventures Executive, Tony Griffin, who heads up the Gusto restaurants. Chris says: “I will admit I suffered a little from the green eyed monster. I was wowed by the Christmas decorations on the Gusto sites. But it was only when I installed the decorations that I realised the value of them.”
“It coincided with a real push I was making to make Christmas more Christmassy; to make it an even more positive experience for our guests. This incorporated a more traditional approach to the menus, musicians in the day, the right music… we wanted to have the best Christmas experience we could have for people, not simply the most efficient it could be for us. The decorations are an important part of that package. We had very inclusive initial conversations, with plenty of samples, so we are able to get it sorted well in advance. The agreement about when the decorations go up and come down is very well planned and executed, and they make good at the end. They leave everything as good as new. It’s a great service from start to finish,” says Chris. “The overall way you present your business has a resounding effect on customers; much more than many people realise. If you can put a smile on their face when they enter because of the way it looks then that is worth many return visits. Saving little bits of money and then not doing it right is a false economy. It’s all about being the best, looking the best, putting smiles on faces: doesn’t it look amazing? Isn’t this great? Although it is diffi cult to quantify, we, as a business, we’ve weighed up the service we get from the Christmas Decorators Manchester and we know that it’s a vital part of the recipe and that it is worth it.”