Guilbaud lends name to Brown Thomas menus

Store also adding ‘click and collect’ function to its trading website

Brown Thomas has partnered with French  restaurateur Patrick Guilbaud in design of new menu. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

Brown Thomas has partnered with French restaurateur Patrick Guilbaud in design of new menu. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

 

French restaurateur Patrick Guilbaud is set to add a touch of Michelin-star flair to Brown Thomas’s food offering at its flagship Grafton Street department store.

Brown Thomas has partnered with Mr Guilbaud, who has designed a new menu for the store’s main restaurant on the third floor.

“Patrick will be overseeing and designing the menu,” Brown Thomas chief executive Stephen Sealey told The Irish Times. “He’s working with us as a consultant on this.”

The upmarket retailer closed the third-floor restaurant in the store yesterday for an €90,000 upgrade that will take about a week to complete.

“I’m excited by the changes we have planned,” Mr Sealey said. “It will be affordable dining, with a focus on freshness and top quality Irish ingredients.

“There’ll also be a bit more of a focus on seafood. That’s important when about 80 per cent of your customers are women.”

The restaurant will be operated by KSG, a catering company owned by DCC. It was previously operated by Capital Foods, which is co-owned by John Collins and Peter Gaynor.

KSG also runs the basement cafe in Brown Thomas, which was previously operated under the Carton House brand.

Mr Guilbaud’s restaurant beside the Merrion Hotel is the only one in Ireland with two Michelin stars. He will now be lending his name to Brown Thomas menus.

Brown Thomas is also altering its catering offer in its BT2 outlet on Grafton Street. The cafe there has closed and will be replaced by a juice bar called Alchemy operated by sisters Domini and Peaches Kemp.

“That will open in a couple of weeks,” Mr Sealey. “There will be more of a focus on healthy juices and wholefood. There’ll be three nutritionists involved and they’ll be developing detox products, three-day juicing and so on.”

Brown Thomas has also added a “click and collect” function to its trading website. “It means that customers can now order online and collect their goods in any Brown Thomas store or in BT2 in Dundrum or Blanchardstown.”

The online trading platform started with beauty products and has been gradually extended. “Next week we will start offering lingerie,” Mr Sealey said.

Online now accounts for 2 per cent of the group’s sales, he said. “It’s exceeded our expectations. Next year we would expect it to be 4 to 5 per cent of sales. Year on year online will grow.”

Brown Thomas made a profit of €6.2 million on turnover of €143.5 million last year.