Co-founder Charlie Gilkes said: “We look at what is on offer in the local market and create something different. We innovate, don’t imitate. Then, we come up with original concepts with clearly defined USPs.
“Our sites are destinations. Our strategy is to find sites in the right postcode, but not necessarily on the right streets. We used the speakeasy trend we had seen in America and have quirky serves and interiors. Plus, we play heavily on the secrecy theme. I think that what we have seen is that if you have the right concepts, people will travel,” said Gilkes, explaining the company recruits personalities that suit the venues before training them in the bars.
“Recruit for attitude, train for skill. We can teach people to carry a tray, but they need to already be friendly. Try thinking outside the box,” added Gilkes, explaining how some of his staff members were “recruited from acting schools” and not other bars.
The Inception Group currently has five sites: two in Chelsea, one in Battersea, one in Mayfair, one in Soho and is due to open its sixth site in December and a seventh site in early 2015 in central London. This year, it has shown group turnover of circa £10m.