Artem Login, founder and managing director of L’ETO Group, was born in Russia before moving to London. He learned, from a young age, the importance of great quality food from his father who was a restaurateur. Over the years, he came to the realization that he needed to create something new and unique that appealed to a young, diverse crowd. That is whence L’ETO was first established in Soho, London in 2011. To date, the group has 12 venues across the UK and Middle East. Its newest concept, L’ETO’s Secret Garden opened this winter in the UAE.
What was the original concept behind the creation of Secret Garden?
The goal was to create a boutique-style, high-end cafe, which had a neighborhood feel, is run by a friendly team and serves exceptional coffee and cakes. After exploring the homemade direction with L’ETO, I found myself attracted to the idea of the garden, where one feels most at ease. The challenge was to come up with a relaxing and laid back place that is immersive. Pair this atmosphere with incredibly delicious cakes and mystical/botanical drinks and Secret Garden was born.
What are the strategies used to acquire and grow a following?
You have to have solid knowledge who your target customers are. In our case, we came to the realization that 66% percent of our customers are ladies and therefore the space needed to appeal to their senses. This not only increased the number of female visitors, but also attracted a significant male following. Another strategy we apply is the constant introduction of novelty and by connecting the ‘un-connectable’, we manage to always come up with something delicious that the public appreciates.
What role do younger entrepreneurs play in today’s vibrant F&B market?
We have a wealth of information at our disposal, which sadly few are making use of. However, if you research properly, you will realize that some fantastic opportunities are available. Keeping an open mind, being flexible and allowing yourself to explore, will ultimately lead to the inception of some delirious ideas.
What are the most exciting business expansion models adopted to ensure growth?
As the world becomes more global one may want to scale a brand across various countries without fear of over-saturating the brand itself. So, if you manage to adapt your brand to be scalable, suitable for a wider array of people and adaptable to local market trends, expansion will become easier.
What are the novel F&B trends emerging from this region?
I have been very vocal about what food should prevail – simple, tasty and comfortable food. Though the simplicity of the food is timeless, the customers in this region are very keen on the element of show be it particularly beautiful presentation or the way it is prepared at the table. More recently, customers are becoming increasingly interested in the element of a story when their food is being served, which is a truly amazing way of adding value to the existing offering.
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