Bill Granger in conversation with Beeble Backs
“It's my customers space not mine”
Restaurants have been closed for the best part of a year, has there ever been a more important time to back them? Seeing tables full again, people enjoying eating out and everyone back at work is so refreshing. This month we chose to back Bill Granger.
Bill Granger ~ founder of Granger and Co.
Bill Granger opened Bills in 1993 as a day time cafe in the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst. It became a day time joint due to the licence only allowing Bills to open for breakfast and lunch. So, born was brunch, avocado on toast and the ricotta hotcake.
Cut to 19 (!) restaurants later...Bill and I talked over a coffee at Granger and Co on Westbourne Grove. Outside, a crowd of cheerful people were enjoying breakfast (or brunch?) in the somehow chic repurposed parking bays. The customers comfort and happiness is a priority at Bill’s restaurants. He emphasised the importance of listening to your customers, insisting that “the customer creates the classics”. Bill designs and creates the restaurant’s environments which he described as “my customers space, not mine”.
Aesthetics are integral to Bill, who dropped out of art school due to the solitude of the artist profession, he has always loved “seeing people and working in teams”. Bill has used his excellent taste and creativity to develop bright and cheerful dining experiences, that have been a huge success across four continents.
Bill successfully transferred his visual and creative understanding from art school into hospitality. As we chatted, he compared the emotionally connective power of both restaurants and galleries, “I was listening to Tracy Emin this morning on Women's Hour speaking about Munch’s Scream, and the effect the painting had on her when she first saw it. I think with a restaurant you want to create something where people feel really comfortable and at ease, and Arts the same, you’ve got to emotionally connect with people”.
And, that is exactly what Bill does, he connects with people. His restaurants are inviting, friendly, stylish and delicious- which makes it very difficult to leave, no wonder Bill has so many regulars!
I asked Bill his favourite honey recipe and he was quick to say how much he loved Honey Madeleines and using honey as a touch of sweetness in his tomato sauce or salad dressing, “the good thing about honey is its body, its not just a flat flavour, it has a whole complex body”. He was even quicker to say Natalie (his wife) is his queen bee!
Written by Harry