The Luxe Lowdown with Martin Williams…
Martin Williams is the CEO of Gaucho and M Restaurants, serving up the delicious steak meals that we all know and love. We catch up with Martin to discuss his day-to-day schedule, discover how he spends his downtime and find out his luxe things in life…
Getting To Know You
CEO of Gaucho and M Restaurants.
Where is home?
Wandsworth Common London.
Three reasons you love where you live?
The commons of Wandsworth, Wimbledon, Clapham and Richmond are amazing for regular dog walking, running and cycling. Besides, I’m 20 minutes from almost anywhere in central London. Here, we have the best fishmongers, butchers and restaurants within a mile of my home.
The Day Job
What do you do for a living?
I oversee 22 restaurants nationwide and a team of 1,600 fantastically talented individuals who deliver amazing hospitality experiences to over a million diners a year.
A day in the life of you?
I start the day by taking my dog for a walk, then I’ll usually exercise, check my emails and jump on a ‘Teams’ call for meetings.
For lunch, I’ll visit restaurants and say hello to our regular diners and our staff. My afternoons are spent attending in person meetings around brand and business development.
In the evening, you can usually find me at Gaucho and M Restaurants events, dining with key members of our team or researching new locations and trends.
Any recent, ongoing or upcoming projects or achievements we should know about?
We have recently opened new venues in Newcastle, Covent Garden and Cardiff – all of which have become hotspots! In the last few months we have won both ‘Business of the Year’ in the City AM awards and ‘Best Restaurant Group’ in the British Restaurant Awards.
I was also shortlisted as a finalist of Restaurateur of the Year in the ‘Cateys’ – our industry Oscars!
What does downtime mean to you?
Time spent with my wife Claire, sharing our passions for Labradoodles, as well as travel, food and wine, measured with personal time running and cycling.
Lessons In Life
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An athlete, a hotel manager and an actor.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Surround yourself with amazing people in both work and play.
What is your greatest fear?
Not living life to the full and wasting any opportunities.
Which living person do you most admire and why?
I admire different people for different reasons. Barack Obama is pretty impressive. I admire Tom Cruise for his outstanding ‘feel good’ movies, but most of all, I admire my friends and family, who are amazing change makers, humanitarians and business leaders.
What is top of your bucket list?
I’d love to spend more time discovering Japan. Tokyo is brilliant. Besides, we source the world’s best beef from Kobe for our M Restaurants, so I have a familiarity and a connection with the country.
What is your most treasured possession?
My Lamborghini special edition Cervelo Bike. It’s one of 55 made in the world and safely steered me from London to Bordeaux, and Manchester to London (in
a day), last summer.
What does the weekend mean to you?
Usually, it means having a barbeque with friends, enjoying some fine wine, mixed with visiting our restaurants, hitting the peloton and watching some live sport.
The last thing you watched?
The Mark Cavendish Documentary on Netflix. He’s had an amazing career and is the epitome of resilience. Fingers crossed he gets a win in this year’s ‘Tour de France’.
Your three luxe things in life?
Reading by the pool would be one of them. Lying next to my wife in a five star hotel somewhere close to a great wine region. Yachts, because the joy of a floating caravan never wears off. Having fun with friends, or spending time at the Monaco Grand Prix with members of M Restaurants. Dior Trainers and
Etro Cashmere Jumpers (they are like wearing a cuddle) and Tom Davies bespoke glasses. I think that’s more than three!