The Sunday Times ran a profile of shouty, "sexy/ferocious" chef Gordon Ramsay this weekend, and it was far from a puff piece. Starting with an interview with Ramsay at his Heathrow restaurant Plane Food and followed by a talk with Ramsay's numbers guy Stuart Gillies, Caroline Scott and John Arlidge's piece is a revealing look at Ramsay's restaurant empire after its near implosion thanks to the recession and some shady dealings by the restaurateur's father-in-law and former business partner.
Below, 15 points of note from the Times piece, including where Plane Food is heading next (Vegas, LA, Chicago, New York), Ramsay's plans for Atlantic City, business structuring and licensing details, and exactly how much the angriest chef on TV makes per year just on his media deals alone: £15M or $22,600,000.
11. Ramsay has very strong tea preferences: "Camomile is for f****** ballet dancers."
10. Gordon Ramsay Holdings had £10 million (about USD $15 million) in debt at the height of the recession.
9. Part of the reason the company got in so much debt was because their restaurants were owned and operated by GRH instead of just licensed out. Now they license out the name and take "6-8% of turnover." According to Gillies, "It's a much better deal. Take Las Vegas. We have three restaurants there and they turn over $52m a year. Eight per cent of $52m is a big chunk."
8. Gordon Ramsay Group — the new name for the company after they ditched "Gordon Ramsay Holdings" — brought in £1.4 million (USD $2.11 million) in profit last year last year and expect to exceed £2 million (about USD $3 million) next year.
7. The staff at Plane Food has to spend time in one of Ramsay's other restaurants in order to make sure the restaurant isn't a "dumbed down" airport eatery.
6. Ramsay makes his kids fly "cattle class" because "They're going to have to work f****** hard before they turn left when they get on a plane."
5. Ramsay disappears for half an hour to meet with his PR reps after Scott begins the interview with: "You've come through a very difficult few years." When he finally returns, no personal questions are allowed.
4. Ramsay does not take a salary from GRG, but owns 90% of it.
3. He earns £15 million (USD $22.6 million) a year from his media deals and uses that money to fund the restaurants when he has to. (It's routed through another company.)
2. He has locations of Plane Food planned for airports in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.
1. Restaurants are also planned for Union Street Cafe in London (Fall), three Hong Kong restaurants, and properties in Dubai, Singapore, and Atlantic City (with Caesar's).
· Come Fry With Me [Sunday Times]
· All Gordon Ramsay Coverage on Eater [-E-]