Meadow Brown Restaurants is a family business, which has been running for 8 years. They started out in Peterborough with Ferry Meadows café, and now they have 5 establishments in total, including the Woodland Manor Hotel in Bedford.
The business has now grown to over 100 staff, and they are just about to open a new site at Nottingham castle, which owner, Raj Regmi, is particularly excited about.
As with all ventures in the catering and hospitality industry, Covid had a massive impact on Raj’s business, with a loss of 60% revenue as a result. However, Raj is not someone to dwell on the negative, so decided to join Peer Networks as a route to remaining positive and exploring ways to progress and grow his business.
This is the first time that Raj have participated in any action learning.
Though Peer Networks, he was able to explore his biggest challenge which is how to grow his business portfolio from the current five establishments, to perhaps 7 or 8 over the next 5 years . Meeting every other week for a 2-3 hour session, the other peers around the virtual table were very keen to find out more about his business and they all had ideas and visions for how he could expand.
His peer group comprised individuals who worked in business. Some people were representing marketing for a company, another worked closely with the business owner, other were business owners like himself. The other participants were from completely different sectors and Raj says that it was very valuable to find out how different businesses operate and allowed him to bring in ideas from these different sectors to his own business.
During the sessions, all participants were able to explore different issues and ideas, for example how to manage different people, to how to market product and services to a younger generation. Raj says that the discussions following other peer’s challenges prompted ideas that he is thinking of incorporating in his own business. For example, he now has some good ideas of how to encourage the younger generation to come into his restaurants.
Peer Network sessions were facilitated by a coach, who Raj says really understood business and where he was coming from in terms of his ideas. As part of the programme he has had two 1-2-1 sessions with the coach, which he says have proved perhaps even more useful that the peer networking itself. Raj is currently being paired up with some mentors who can continue to help direct him with this business growth challenges.
Raj has invited all the peers in his network to have dinner with him at his hotel when Covid restrictions allow them to do so. He says would be really nice to meet up with them in person, and he is sure there are many he will remain in contact after his Peer Network concludes.