Tony Kitous, the founder of the Comptoir Libanais chain, has thanked his staff and partners following the 25th anniversary of his first store opening.
He opened his debut restaurant in London’s Wigmore Street in November 1993 when he was just 23-years-old. Today the group has 30 sites and is listed on the London stock exchange.
Mr Kitous said: “What a journey it has been, lots of hard work, stress, tears, sweat, sleepless nights, many, many difficult challenges – more importantly I had so much fun along the way and I enjoyed every moment.”
He said he clearly remembers the restaurant’s first day when there was just a team of eight and said he felt “blessed” that the business has grown to more than 1,000 people.
“I enjoyed working with so many people, all our past and current members of our team that have worked with us in all our restaurants – you are our family,” who shared a video (below) expressing his thanks.
“My business partner Chaker Hanna, who is the strength and the nerve centre of our business, I have learnt so much from you I want to say the biggest thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without all of you we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
Comptoir prides itself on offering food that is fresh, healthy, honest and affordable. That, in turn, impacts on what its kitchens look like.
Speaking to FEJ earlier this year, Mr Kitous said: “In most of our kitchens there is theatre — we want people to see the team getting involved. There are two parts to the kitchen: the prep kitchen, which is where the food arrives and we make it in one kitchen, and then the part when we are putting together a dish or assembling a dish.
“It is all about flow, efficiency and the right equipment, and that has to do with the menu. I could get a kitchen tomorrow and do Chinese food or Thai food or pizza. But you can’t do a pizza restaurant in a Chinese restaurant unless you change the equipment. The equipment works very much with the menu.”