Secret to my success: Rupert Clevely co-founder of Geronimo Inns

What is your start-up story?
18 years ago, when I saw what they were doing in Sydney it inspired me to revolutionise the pub scene in the UK. I loved the combination of quality food mixed with vertical drinking. At that time I also questioned why we had to have poor wine, poor food and generally awful pubs. I wanted to change that…

What is your turnover, employee numbers etc compared to previous years?
A lot! And growing nicely since we joined the team at Young’s.
We have 900 people working with us – it feels great to be able to give an opportunity to so many.

What products or services do you provide?
We solve that age old problem … where should we meet tonight?

What problem does your company solve?
We provide laughter, banter, warmth, comfort all accompanied by fresh food and a tipple or two.

What is your USP
Everything you would expect in your home in a pub.

Any thoughts on the future of your company?
As long as we can innovate, continue to surprise our customers and they think we are better than the competitors, we’ll carry on…

What have you done to make sure you get the right people with the right skills in place?
We spend a lot of time meeting new people. We get the best of our team to meet applicants straight away, so they get the best view of us. We then spend time finding the right slot and the right balance of team around them. We continually provide training and support to maximise potential. But we are also quick to act if someone would be better suited in another part of the team.

Do you have any tips for managing suppliers and customers effectively?
Sell yourselves to them as much as they sell themselves to you. Treat them as part of the team and make sure they get to socialise with you to enjoy the rewards of their support.

Any finance and cash-flow tips?
Count every penny, stock take in-house, and make sure you hit your margins and control your wages.

Any advice for the Government?
Remember that a country needs to enjoy life, enjoy company and to be unique. Help us, don’t suffocate us. I believe pub’s are your answer to that, they are a hub, they are innovative, they provide jobs and they look after the well being of the nation

What is your attitude towards your competitors?
I spend a lot of time looking at our competitors asking myself where are the opportunities for us. I also spend time in other food/drink led outlets to understand trends.

Paul Jones

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine