This year, Lancaster restaurant and RfM client Quite Simply French (or QSF for short) is celebrating its 20th anniversary and its most successful year to date. We spoke to QSF owner Robert Mason about his journey to reaching this impressive milestone and one of the vital ingredients in his recipe for success.
QSF’s relationship with Peter Armer, partner at RfM in Morecambe & Lancaster, began five years ago at a time when the ripples of the financial crisis were still being felt by many small businesses. Robert was the very busy co-owner of three separate companies and his partner of 17 years was looking to exit from the business.
Invaluable business advice and support
The appointment of Peter as the company’s accountant followed what had been a difficult eight years of trading.
“I needed an accountant who could do much more for the business – not just someone to prepare the statutory accounts – and Peter was recommended to me,” explains Robert.
“Peter’s experience in high-level commercial roles meant that he could take on more of a strategic role for us. In fact he wears two hats; he acts as our accountant and also takes on the role of the Financial Director.”
Exit this way
Peter and his team worked with the two shareholders to shape the deal that would allow Robert’s partner to exit the company and Robert to become the sole owner. The process also included dealing with all share documentation following the sale and shareholder buyout.
The ending of one business relationship would also mark the beginning of what has become a long term association with Peter and RfM Chartered Management Accountants.
“Peter has provided us with invaluable business advice and support, with one outcome being the sale of two of our companies. RfM helped with many aspects of the sale, from preparing a prospectus for the business, to meeting with prospective buyers.
“Thanks to Peter explaining the figures and identifying opportunities for further developing the businesses in the future, the sale went through successfully.
“And that has allowed us to focus on our core offer – and what we did best – the restaurant.”
QSF – billed as putting the ‘Ooh La La’ in Lancaster – has a clear focus to provide an exquisite dining experience, serving delicious dishes made with the very best ingredients in a relaxed atmosphere.
“We are not a large company that would need an FD full time but we regularly call on Peter and his team and nothing is ever too much trouble. The expertise they bring to the table has really helped us to shape the business into what it is today.
“We’re celebrating our 20th year this year and it looks set to be the best we’ve ever had.”
Peter is equally positive about the relationship he has with Robert and the team at QSF: “Robert and I have worked closely together to streamline the systems and processes and ensure the business runs efficiently – whilst not compromising on the quality of the QSF offer.
“The remaining core business is now performing well beyond expectations and Robert has also seen his work/life balance become infinitely more healthy. It’s been a great journey so far.”
“I really admire what Robert and his team has achieved and I personally enjoy nothing more than an evening at QSF which is ‘quite simply’ the best of the best!”
Everyone at RfM would like to say ‘félicitations!’ and raise a glass of something French to QSF on their anniversary year.