Hospitality Today Summer 2017 (#38) - Page 16

Bill ’ s – the man and the brand
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| Hospitality Today | Summer 2017
Bill ’ s – the man and the brand
In 1987 when Bill ’ s was born , it looked very different to today . The vision of William Collinson – aka Bill – it was a greengrocers . Bill was a greengrocer with a difference . He saw the beauty in a tomato and laid his produce out to reflect this . Soon becoming the ‘ go to ’ greengrocer in Lewes , Bill started offering quiche to his customers , which became as popular as the fruit and veg .
In 2000 , disaster struck when the river broke its banks and the shop was completely flooded . When Bill reopened the greengrocers he also opened a café next door . It was the ultimate convenience store , with rustic décor and service with a smile , and very soon it turned over £ 2million .
Four years later in 2005 , Bill opened his second store in Brighton . However , he was not a businessman , and although both sites turned over £ 2million each , he made no profit . He therefore sold the business , keeping a 10 % share .
With the fruit and veg offer toned back and dinner added to the model , Bill ’ s went into rapid growth and in three years had reached 60 units . Such growth is difficult to achieve whilst maintaining the business ’ culture . With the team too close to see the issues , Fox came in as CEO in 2016 to build a strong structure and operating processes and create the right team and strategy to keep Bill ’ s in growth .
Mark Fox ’ s strategy is built on four key principles : a clarity of purpose ; having the resources to do it ; having the right people to do it ; and having a culture that motivates people to do it . Under Mark ’ s leadership , Bill ’ s is once again in growth and getting back into the rhythm of opening 8-12 sites per year . He has restructured Bill ’ s around innovation , menu and their offer .
The culture of Bill ’ s remains one based on people and relationships . Bill is still involved in the business , designing the restaurants , and remains a motivational figure held in high regard . Mark describes the culture as one of openness , authenticity and vulnerability .
16 | Hospitality Today | Summer 2017 Bill’s – the man and the brand In 1987 when Bill’s was born, it looked very different to today. The vision of William Collinson – aka Bill – it was a greengrocers. Bill was a greengrocer with a difference. He saw the beauty in a tomato and laid his produce out to reflect this. Soon becoming the ‘go to’ greengrocer in Lewes, Bill started offering quiche to his customers, which became as popular as the fruit and veg. In 2000, disaster struck when the river broke its banks and the shop was completely flooded. When Bill reopened the greengrocers he also opened a café next door. It was the ultimate convenience store, with rustic décor and service with a smile, and very soon it turned over £2million. Four years later in 2005, Bill opened his second store in Brighton. However, he was not a businessman, and although both sites turned over £2million each, he made no profit. He therefore sold the business, keeping a 10% share. With the fruit and veg offer toned back and dinner added to the model, Bill’s went into rapid growth and in three years had reached 60 units. Such growth is difficult to achieve whilst maintaining the business’ culture. With the team too close to see the issues, Fox ca ́ <)؁ѼեɽՍɔ)Ʌѥɽ͕́ɕєѡɥ)ѕɅѕѼ éɽѠ)5ɬéɅѕ䁥́եЁȁ)ɥ聄ɥ䁽͔쁡٥)ѡɕͽɍ́Ѽ쁡٥ѡɥ)Ѽ쁅٥ձɔ)ѡЁѥمѕ́ѼиU)5ɯé͡ é́)ɽѠѥѼѡɡѡ)ȁͥѕ́ȁ啅ȸ!)ɕՍɕ éɽչمѥ)ԁѡȁȸ)Qձɔ éɕ͕́)ɕѥ̸͡ ́ѥ)ٽٕѡ̰ͥͥѡ)ɕхɅ̰ɕ́ѥمѥ)ɔɕɐ5ɬ)͍ɥ́ѡձɔ̰́)ѡѥ䁅ձɅ