Late last year temper restaurant hit the London food scene. Opening in the lead up to Christmas was a huge risk for the team but it was a risk that paid off and they received some amazing reviews from the critics.
Rob Kirby, Chef Director at Lexington, caught up with Sam Lee, Managing Director at temper restaurant, to find out why the restaurant was such a hit and how the team put the customer at the heart of their experience.
It’s all about the food, service and atmosphere, according to Sam. These are the three key things that have ensured temper is such a hit with the critics and continues to attract loyal customers, who just want to keep going back for more.
We can’t get enough of temper, from the moment you walk into the restaurant, to being seated and watching the chefs in action in the central kitchen – it’s fun, relaxed and exciting with simple but delicious food which compliments the environment.
Sam, who leads the operations and front of house team, sums it up nicely, “It’s inclusive, not exclusive – our team are passionate about temper and want our customers to have the best possible experience.”
Be clear about what you offer
Neil Rankin, Chef Director, was very clear about what he wanted to create at temper restaurant. He wanted to combine great food with a fabulous environment, making it fun and accessible to people. Sam is quick to point out they are not trying to pretend to be something for everyone.
She says, “We have a very specific offering – we barbecue our food and whilst we do have fish on our menu we specialise in meat based meals. Whilst we remain true to who we are and don’t pretend to specialise in anything else; our guests come first and foremost and we always look for ways to accommodate them.”
The team constantly review the menu – removing dishes that aren’t popular. Neil is incredibly innovative, constantly trying new flavours, and encourages his team to be the same.
It’s about trying to make the food, such as our Sunday Lunch, as interesting as possible without compromising what it is.
Focus on experience not expectations
It’s all about the experience, according to Sam. She says, “The reality is people have different expectations of things and these may not always be good so we focus on creating an amazing experience.”
Sam and the team have invested a lot of time to ensure the environment is spot on – this means making sure the menu is right and being well prepared for busy periods but also making sure the lighting and music is appropriate for the time of day.
For them it is essential that the team get to experience the dishes and the wine so that they can talk confidently about the offer and provide ideas and suggestions to customers.
The power of feedback
Sam talked about the importance of being visible and open to feedback. She says, “Our Front of House Manager deliberately has no fixed post – they walk around the restaurant, are available to customers and focus on making sure all the individual sections are being looked after.”
temper has made some changes following customer feedback. It became clear that customers wanted to be downstairs, where the kitchen is, when waiting for a table or finishing a drink. As a result the team is changing the layout – they are incorporating a lounge into the downstairs area, where people can wait comfortably for their table or use the area to relax and finish their drinks after dinner.
Innovation keeps customers engaged
Whilst temper is very clear about what’s at the heart of the brand – the central kitchen, quality of product and sustainability – people are essential to the ongoing success.
Their team is versatile, engaged and committed to the success and development of the temper brand. temper’s second site, which is due to open in Angel Court, in July, will offer something slightly different.
“You will know it’s temper – it’s the same meat from the same suppliers and customers will have the same experience just in a different setting – but the influence for the cuisine comes from Southern Hemisphere inspired curries and barbecue,” according to Sam.
If Sam was to sum up how she would like customers to describe their experience at temper it would be inclusive, good value, and exciting.
To find out more about temper visit http://temperrestaurant.com