Martin Williams has been MD of Gaucho for nine years. His face was seen so regularly at the brand’s restaurant some dubbed him Mr Gaucho. But it seems he’ll have to relinquish his moniker because after almost a decade he’s moving on.
Williams finishes up at Gaucho this month and is starting up his own steak empire. Is he nervous?
“I’m completely excited, it’s been nine years, the brand has been good to me but it feels like the right time to create my own restaurant company,” Williams told The Capitalist. Fair enough.
Keen not to stray too far from his comfort zone, Williams is going to take his own bite out of the steak market.
“We’re going to create a new cooler version. Steak is what I know best, it’s what investors trust – they want to invest in the new Gaucho.”
The new venture is to be called M Restaurants and will be a three venue concept; Bar, Grill and Raw (a healthier destination offering fresh fish, tartar and ceviche). We’ll likely call them M Bar, M Grill etc. Williams expects we’ll be dining al la “M” come September/October.
The grill restaurant is something of an international affair, moving beyond the Argentine focus of Gaucho and offering steak cuts from six countries (France, South Africa, Argentina, America, Australia and Japan). Each cut will come with its own relevant sides (mac and cheese if you go American etc.)
Importantly, M Restaurants will all be under one roof. With Williams having spearheaded an elaborate marketing push to attract City diners (sending the BoE steak sandwiches to thank Mervyn King for an interest drop and created branded rickshaws to deliver take-aways to traders in Canary Wharf to name a few) – will it be in the City?
“I’m looking at either the City or the West End. These are the markets I know the best with the most loyal customer base.”
Can we expect the same kind of events we’ve enjoyed through Gaucho? “Yes definitely. I don’t have the funds for a six figure polo event just yet though,” he laughed.
Farewell Mr Gaucho. Hello Mr M.