LUX - Food & Drink Awards 2017 37 When Murray and Briony first started in the food industry, it was in a small tea/coffee shop along the coast. It was while they were here that they realised the enormous potential of servicing the needs of customers unable to enjoy normal foods due to allergies. They worked hard and learned many lessons along the way. Adapting ordinary recipes to gluten free has set many challenges but they have persevered until they have triumphed. As they have always adhered to only the very highest standards of hygiene in food preparation and service, any improvements in or changes to health and safety requirements have caused no major headaches, they believe that they were always ahead of the game anyway. Ultimately, having arrived in the food industry almost by accident, both Murray and Briony are enjoying the experience and the challenges they have encountered enormously. It has been hard going at times but with their level of dedication and adaptability they are here for the duration. There looks to be a bright and positive future ahead for Radley’s Bistro & Bar. Best Gluten Free Restaurant 2017 - UK Radley’s is a Bistro Bar run by a husband and wife team, Murray and Briony Bridgmount. We spoke to Murray as we examine the wonderful setting and find out what makes it attractive to clients. Company: Radley’s Bistro & Bar Contact: Murray Bridgmount Contact Email: [email protected] Address: 9 George Street, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3EG, UK Phone: 01424 436 297 Website: www.radleysbistro.com Named after their English Springer Spaniel, Radley, the team of Murray and Briony who run Radley’s, have only recently come into the food and drink industry, as both were previously involved in financial services. Providing good food for all customers is the overall mission of Murray and Briony, with the added aspect of creating delicious food for those whose allergies preclude them from eating the same variety of meals that is available to other diners. It was noticed that mistakes may occur when providing gluten and gluten free from the same kitchen, and so the team at Radley’s decided to make all food gluten free. Since making the decision to make all food gluten free, Murray and Briony have received lots of positive feedback when new customers find out that the whole menu is gluten free, and this is one of the most rewarding aspects of their work. Satisfied customers are crucial to the success of the company. Within the food and drink industry, the gluten free market is increasing in volume, particularly from where it was from two years ago and Radley’s has taken advantage of this. The restaurant has managed to source gluten free rolls for hamburgers, which stand up well in comparison to normal bread products, and both Murray and Briony produce their own sweet and savoury gluten free pastry. For Murray and Briony, it has taken a lot of commitment and sheer hard work to achieve their place in the food industry. There have been many problems and difficulties along the way, but the can-do attitude they have displayed has pulled them through to the point where customers from London and beyond will make the journey to Hastings, simply to partake of the allergy free experience provide by Radley’s. Often, these customers have found Radley’s by chance but have returned regularly, as they enjoy the constantly changing menu which is regularly updated to take account of foods in season. In order to succeed in this market, Murray and Briony feel that the food on offer must be of a consistently high standard, prepared, cooked and served with passion. The business has become a vocation rather than a career choice. They believe that it is this total commitment to their customers’ needs is the key not only to their success to date but their future development and why they stand out from the rest. Regarding how the staff provide the best service possible, the team believe that no matter how tasty the food, it has to be produced in a spotless environment, and Radley’s continues to work towards ever higher standards in food and kitchen hygiene. Only the highest quality ingredients are used, including meat from local butchers and game supplied by Murray and Briony themselves. Essentially, Murray and Briony believe that getting the best performance from their staff comes from their own willingness to work hard and their lead from the front attitude to management. Hygiene is an important part of everyone’s routine and there is no room for anyone that does not match their rigorous standards. Additionally, a willingness to interact with the customers is a pre- requisite and here again the staff take their lead from the owners.