A partnership from Distrkt – a modern property consultancy specialising in the hospitality, lifestyle and leisure sectors – and restaurant experts Montana Fogg, Residency has launched as a new initiative to pair vacant restaurant venues with emerging chefs, restaurateurs and food and drink concepts. Initially launching in London, the initiative ultimately plans to assist aspiring chefs and restaurateurs as well as landlords.
Aiming to offer a solution to London’s surge in empty restaurant units and the restrictions posed by high rents and business rates, which makes opening new ventures a widespread challenge, Residency will give operators a chance to bring their hospitality concepts to life, and to trial them in ready-made, bricks-and-mortar restaurant sites. At the same time, Landlords will benefit from additional revenue and increased footfall, as they await a permanent resident.
For the establishment of Residency, Distrkt founders, Camilla Topham and Michael Webb, have teamed up with Sebastian Fogg, Laura Montana and Ed Wyand of Montana Fogg to draw on their shared knowledge of both restaurant real estate and the capital’s dining culture. Collectively, the team will seek out untapped, exciting new chefs with the offer to showcase their concepts in temporary sites, as well as accepting incoming applicants. The Residency team will manage each project from start to finish.
Collaborating in 2019, the consultancies acted for The Crown Estate in placing both David Carter’s Manteca and Shaun Presland’s Pacific, both of which carried out successful residencies at 10 Heddon Street in Mayfair. A third hospitality concept will come to the site in the spring.
On the launch of Residency, Camilla Topham, of Distrkt, said: “I’ve been working in the London restaurant property world for more than 13 years now, and I’ve always found it frustrating to see how the permanence and inflexibility of leases and high costs have limited creative Landlords and restaurateurs. Changing market conditions have not helped this. Residency will make the dream of creating a restaurant accessible and fun yet without the risk that comes with it. We believe this is the future of London’s restaurant landscape, and we’re so proud to be shaping it
Seb Fogg, of Montana Fogg added: It’s clear that the demand is greater than ever for original pop-up restaurants in diverse locations, and there so many chefs who just want a place to cook for the public. Start-up restaurant projects are particularly risk adverse, as demonstrated by several closures from even the most capable of operators in recent months, and therefore people are becoming increasingly hesitant to commit to longer leases. Residency will provide a solution to all of the above.’