Spotlight Series: Corbett & Claude
The first of the series
Quisine’s Spotlight Series takes an inside look at the food and beverage industry by speaking with the folks who know it best – restaurant owners, chefs and managers. Join us regularly as we get the inside scoop on the best restaurants in your neck of the woods. From food trend predictions to death-row dinners, we tackle it all…
For the first interview in the series, we spoke to Tim Johnson, entrepreneur, restaurateur and brains behind the iconic Corbett & Claude. With branches peppered throughout Brisbane and Sydney, this group of restaurants is certainly going from strength to strength. Serving a whole host of delicious dishes that include pizzas, pastas and tapas dishes Corbett & Claude is perfect for brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night drinks. Make sure you take a good look at their carefully designed cocktail list too…
Our chat with Tim Johnson from Corbett & Claude
1. Tell us about one of the funniest experiences you had in your restaurant.
We hold a monthly salsa night at Comuna Pacific Fair. Some of the moves you see are epic and some are pretty funny! It’s so good to see people having such a fun time!
2. What made you choose this line of work? What inspires you?
I began working in hospitality at around 13 years old and have been in the industry ever since. I love the teamwork, the new challenges that arise constantly and the vibe we create in the venue with the customers. I’m inspired to create truly memorable experiences for the team and our customers – how can we be faster, better and more creative everyday so we can continue to raise the bar and create better experiences for everyone.
3. What do you feel your restaurants add to the dining scene?
We have smart – yet not exclusive – casual dining and bar venues with affordable prices and a great positive vibe that takes you from coffee at 7am, to lunch with work mates and friends, all the way through to dinner and drinks late at night. We have a really flexible concept which makes us suitable for all occasions and means we are focused on delivering our philosophy of creating a place people love to be, at all times.
4. What has been the biggest business challenge for your restaurant?
Initially it was brand and location awareness, and then it progressed to be on how to maximise capacity and continue to evolve.
5. Where do you see the future of dining out or the restaurant scene in general?
I recently read an article that stated restaurants now need to provide the guest with 10 reasons to love the restaurant besides eating… We are extremely passionate and conscious of the need to deliver on and exceed this expectation.
6. Is there a dish on your menu that you’re most proud of and is there a story behind it?
We are very proud of our Farmer pizza – it was initially mocked in the local paper when we first opened but three years later, it’s one of our customer’s favourite pizzas.
7. What are your food trend predictions for the coming years?
Allergens. People are becoming more and more aware of what they are eating and how it relates to their specific needs. We are focused on ensuring we provide great tasting options for all dietary needs and consider this to be a major priority.
8. If you could sit down for a meal at your restaurant with any two people in the world, who would you choose and why?
Oh I would have to chose Gordon Ramsay and Richard Branson. I’d love to pick their brains on restaurants and business. They are both such incredibly creative and entrepreneurial people.
9. You’re on death row and your time has nearly come. What’s your last meal going to be and why?
It has to be the halloumi chips, truffle mushroom gnocchi, Forager pizza and Nutella brownie dessert at Corbett & Claude.