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THE MAIN SECRET OF A SUCCESSFUL LUXURY RESTAURANT BY VICE PRESIDENT OF THE MARINI’S GROUP ELIZABETH HEW

How did you come to the idea of a steakhouse concept? Do you make a research and think of the dining experiences lacking in Kuala Lumpur before opening a new place?

Before Marble 8 (edit. restaurant of Marini`s group), there were no steakhouses in Kuala Lumpur dedicated to the art of dry-aged beef; and, none that were able to dry-age their own. Modesto loves a good steak, especially dry-aged, so he decided that instead of having to travel overseas to enjoy it, he would open up his own place for his guests and himself. He had also been receiving many requests from our regular guests to set up a premium steakhouse where one can indulge in luxurious ambiance merged with great wine and a great piece of steak.

We wanted guests to come in and see the beautiful process that is dry-aging so we built our own custom dry-aging cellar just for that purpose, showcasing big blocks of rich pink Himalayan salt that help with the aging process.

And because of the strong standing friendship Modesto has with the Menegazzo family, who owns Stanbroke in Australia, one of the world’s largest beef supplier, we have been able to import only the best slabs of beef, which we carve into our own signature cuts.

Marini's Group has already opened so many places, do you feel that the process of opening each new place is pretty much the same and thus doesn’t bring new emotions? Why?

There is always a unique relationship both Modesto and I have with each existing outlet. From the birth of an idea, to the actual hard work and labour put in - there will always be feelings of anticipation, excitement, heartache and joy. The entire emotional process will never feel the same no matter how many places we decide to open. This is one of the reasons why Modesto continues to do it what he does best – because every new project feels like an adventure.

How your passion helps you succeed in your ventures?

It has kept me humble and on my toes. Success in any business means being able to constantly keep up with the trends, and to juxtapose that with the epitome of the core of our business – passion in delivering quality in product and service – so that we do not lose focus and end up being just another restaurant that no one will remember.

In your opinion, can there be the main secret of a successful luxury restaurant? What is it?

I always stress to everyone who works at The Marini’s Group to always have that passion for what you do. Without passion there will be no commitment, no dedication, and no heart in whatever it is they are doing. Be it with the kitchen with their focus on the cuisine we specialize in, the operations team and their dedication to our guests, or to my marketing department that finds their passion in branding and communications.

The key word here is passion, and without it, there can be no success especially when it comes to a niche market such as luxury dining & entertainment.

Is it true that you hired a team of highly experienced mixologists to offer unique cocktails for your clients? Do clients pay attention to such details?

This was Modesto’s doing.

After more than 20 years of being in this fickle industry, Modesto knew that if you have a bar, your bar had better be staffed with the best mixologists in town to keep the customers happy. Customers are smart, they can tell the difference between mediocre alcohol and premium spirits. They can easily tell the difference between a perfectly balanced cocktail made with fresh and unique ingredients – compared to that made from sugar syrup and synthetic flavoring.

Combined, our outlets produce an average of 1,600 cocktails a year – and show no signs of stopping. So, hiring a team of only the best mixologists with passion and the savoir-faire for what they do is necessary. We also engage international consultants for our premium cocktails. Does the customer pay attention to all the minute details? Yes they do, and that’s why they come back.

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