Philanthropy thrives on funding, however, so when Les Wexner, best known for his ownership of Victoria’s Secrets, approached him in a chance meeting in 1977 on a flight to NY and suggested he start supplying clothing from India, Waney reinvented himself once again. Are ‘gong baths’ the solution to our stresses? Today, the aptly renamed Argent Fund thrives on offering career opportunities to young talent in the finance sector. Moving to London in 1998, Rainer worked as the executive chef at both the Hyatt Carlton Tower hotel and as a consultant at Alan Yau’s restaurant, Hakkasan, before opening his own Japanese inspired restaurant, Zuma, with business partner Arjun Waney in London’s Knightsbridge in 2002. His answer of 127 is a favourite statistic, I can tell. SAT IN HIS sweatpants in his Knightsbridge apartment, ahead of his daily yoga session, a rather sprightly 72, he’s proud of what has been achieved, in particular at the wildly popular Zuma, which was opened back in 2002 in partnership with Divia Lavani (now Cadbury) and Becker. With Banca he dealt directly with property group Grosvenor – “We’re not paying any middle-men or extra premiums and have very good ground rent,” – and until Aurelia he had never paid any site premiums. La petite maison, Chef Instead, Gwyneth Paltrow, who has a 5% stake in the Arts Club, emailed Beyonce and suggested the restaurant at the Arts Club which the power couple visited twice in as many days. for (var i=0; i < aTags.length; i++) He had been having trouble booking a table at Nobu and finally told the receptionist there that he would simply open his own Japanese restaurant. * The email or password you entered is incorrect. I ask him what the secret is of the enduring success of his restaurants. for (var i=0; i < aTags.length; i++) ‘What are you, she asked him, a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Jew? The advertisements supplied by our carefully selected sponsors enable us to host and support the company data we share with our free members. This company officer is, or was, associated with at least 12 company roles. The way he’s expanding into Mayfair, let’s hope Richard Caring feels the same way. He opened his first store on Long Island with the help of a friend’s mother, a wealthy Indian woman who believed in him and took a 20% stake in the new company. Before he could finish college, he got a desperate call from his mother who was about to sell the last of her gold bangles. Zuma’s success has been so great that today it arguably eclipses Nobu and is widely recognised as one of London’s highest-grossing restaurants. var aTags = gptValue.split(','); Free newsletter Indeed, the economic downturn has had little impact on his businesses; what has been lost in average spend has been made up in numbers. var reg = new RegExp('\\W+', "g"); In keeping with the Waney oeuvre, dishes will be of a sharing nature. His well-to-do family was displaced from Karachi to Bombay during the partition and dispossessed in the process when Arjun was just 7. Joe Warwick writes about restuarants. 02-Nov-2011 at 09:39 GMT. } London, if(i!=(aTags.length-1)) Beyond that he has other ideas, including his take on a Chinese restaurant, although expansion may slow. To the outsider, Waney’s success appears to have been built on serving food to celebrities and the well-heeled of Mayfair at prices they can well afford. I may have been invited to the inner sanctum of Waney’s home but it means there’s no chance of rubbing shoulders with Gwyneth and co any time soon. It’s only in the last quarter of 2011 that he’s added to his Mayfair portfolio, which previously consisted solely of La Petite Maison, the phenomenally successful offshoot of the celebrated Nice original, opened in 2007. Instead, he struggled to get together the fees and worked 3 jobs. Those who matter don’t need these things. B Beyond magazine profiles the world's leading philanthropists, art collectors and outstanding achievers in a series of candid interviews, accompanied by spectacular and exclusive photography. Also in common with other major philanthropists he funds the admin of his foundation and is adamant that the funds raised by the charity are used in the most effective and efficient manner: “Accountability, accountability, accountability is the name of the game.”, Where will he focus his efforts post-2020, I ask? He was paid in cash and shares and was contractually restricted from starting a competing business East of the Mississippi. In 2000 Waney started his last, or should we say, his latest venture. Get the latest news & analysis from the UK hospitality sector straight to your inbox! Senior Director & Principal Shareholder. But at my restaurants if there’s five people you can order fried squid, gravlax, even a steak cut into five so everybody can take a piece. ‘I can honestly say there’s no restaurant of Richard Caring’s that I’d like to buy — not one,’ he says. His Alma Mater must have done something right because a few years ago he endowed a chair at the University. Soon he will be the Nic Watt of the entire Roka group.”, Looking too far into the future isn’t on Waney’s mind; there are more immediate issues, in particular at The Arts Club. There is no pretense, not effort to impress, no affectation. This company was purchased by the same buyers as before, Charles Tandy of Radio Shack and partner Luther Henderson, whose company Pier One Imports was 100 stores bigger than Waney’s at that time. 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Get the latest news & analysis from the UK hospitality sector straight to your inbox! He’s one of the best.”, If Watt goes, does he have a contingency plan on who’s going to run Roka? Having the right staff is something Waney has worked hard on, and he intends to keep them. The buzz about Waney is that he has a spell that adds the wow factor to each one of his ventures, leaving top-notch food aficionados gaping. The power has been seized from me,” he grins. 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It is maybe this aspect of his character, above all others, that is the overriding secret of Waney’s success – a lack of dogma, a generosity of spirit and likability that has formed close relationships with staff and customers. if(i!=(aTags.length-1)) Free newsletter vOut += aTags[i].trim().replace(reg, '-').substring(0,40); It’s become a trademark of his restaurants, a policy that continued at the Arts Club and Aurelia and will be there when Banco and Pisco open. His involvement in September’s relaunch of the Arts Club on Dover Street, alongside new showbiz pal Gwyneth Paltrow, and the recent opening of the Mediterranean-inspired Aurelia, on the Cork Street site, previously the Balls Brothers’ Mulligans of Mayfair, has made him impossible for Mayfair watchers to ignore. There is nothing that focuses the mind as much as adversity and Waney rose to the challenge in his unique style. Unlike Roka and Zuma, LPM (as he likes to abbreviate it) was Waney’s idea. If that wasn’t enough to keep the 72-year-old busy, yet another project is on the horizon, due to launch one month after Banca at 118 Piccadilly. That is when Arjun Waney, the entrepreneur metamorphosed into Arjun Waney, the philanthropist. Subscribers to the digital edition and invited individuals can download it on their computer or mobile device, or access it via a private code. He and his wife Judy went back to San Diego and set out to build a new business. Caring has some competition when it comes to taking over Mayfair. let them eat veg: a guide to sustainability and creative vegetable cookery, Quick Take: Top 10 Data Trends That Matter For Hospitality, Align reopening plans with customer expectations, How the hospitality industry can win back customers after COVID-19, A Step by Step guide to higher Revenue & Margins, Download Velocity’s Little Black Book of Loyalty, Interprofessional Association of the Iberian Pig, Sign up to our free newsletter and get the latest news sent direct to your inbox.
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