For a dull corner of Gatwick Airport’s north terminal that has meant an award-winning makeover to create Culpeper’s pub and house gin distillery (an airport first), and for the Radisson Hotel Group in Marseille a bar that captures the French city’s essence embodied in its dazzling Mediterranean blues.
Change is food and drink to Harrison, founder and co-owner of the top British consultancy that shares his name.
“Once we have a clear concept and target customer, our job is to spend a client’s money as wisely as possible,” says the trade veteran whose 31-year-old business is finding innovative ways to respond to the drastic upheavals now coursing through the hospitality industry by investing in overseas expansion and broadening its suite of services.
Success for the strategy has led to a 10 per cent year-on-year growth rate, a £4 million turnover and offices in Dallas and Dubai as well as London and Birmingham employing 60.
Experiences don’t stop at design, so our full service covers interiors, branding, menu development, supply chain, recruitment and employee training
Funding for new projects has been sourced from profits and the company remains with the same bank, NatWest.
“Innovation and caution can work together. We are loyal and appreciate loyalty, both have served us well,” Harrison observes.
Many clients are corporate stars and include major brands such as casual dining chain Nando’s, hotel group Hilton International as well as Fulham and Derby County football clubs.
Projects span from £150,000 to over £3 million, and the past few years have been a boom time both for Harrison and others in the UK’s £63bn a year hospitality sector.
Philip Harrison is the founder and co-owner of the top British consultancy that shares his name
But industry trade body ALMR is now calling for it to have its own dedicated government minister as headwinds – that Harrison has also spied – gather.
“We face a maturing home market, some saturation and issues like staff recruitment and soaring business rates. The future is not going to be easy,” he explains.
“So much has changed for the good too though as consumers have become design literate, demand more. Social media providing instant visual feedback has been hugely influential.
“Be it a subtle backdrop or an immersive experience, design has become a key component in…