Royal link to Chapter One's success

Tue, Sep 18, 2012, 01:00

ONE OF the State’s best known restaurants, Chapter One, continues to benefit from a “royal” dividend as a result of its chef patron, Ross Lewis, being chosen to cook for Queen Elizabeth II last year.

New accounts for the Michelin-starred restaurant show accumulated profits at the business increased from €234,019 to €252,695 in the 12 months to the end of February 29th this year.

Underlining the healthy financial performance, figures for Lindley Ltd show its cash balance last year increased from €379,676 to €526,515.

Earlier this year, Chapter One was named Ireland’s best restaurant for the fourth year in a row at the Irish Restaurant Awards.

Mr Lewis said yesterday he was happy with how the restaurant performed, with revenues and profits increasing on the previous year.

The business continues to grow in 2012, with Mr Lewis expecting a slight increase in both profit and revenues this year. One of the factors behind the growth was the high-profile appointment of Mr Lewis by the State as executive chef at the State banquet at Dublin Castle during Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Ireland in May of last year.

Asked has cooking for the Queen increased business, he said: “Yes, for sure. It reached broad and wide and became embedded in people’s minds. You can’t buy that. We didn’t do any major PR on it because that would have cheapened it and it was already out there.”

Mr Lewis said it was “impossible to quantify” the impact cooking for the Queen had on revenues but that only last Thursday, “a customer from Scotland came to eat here and told me he chose Chapter One because he heard I had cooked for the Queen”.

The accounts show the €18,666 increase in accumulated profits last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €106,389. As the accounts are abridged, they do not provide a revenue figure and Mr Lewis declined to state the revenues for last year.

“I am happy with how the business did last year. We are a pretty steady restaurant and the performance last year was in line with what we expected,” he said.

The restaurant seats 96 and employs 36. “Domestic demand was down during the summer, but tourist business, with the conference centre adding impetus, has filled the gaps. I believe business here will be good this winter.”