Lussmanns’ Fish & Grill restaurants have won our Sustainable Small Group of the Year award twice, and owner Andrei Lussmann has been championing sustainability and excellent quality fare since day one.
The restaurants recently achieved MSC Chain of Custody certification, ensuring that all fish on the menu are from well-managed fisheries, serve high-welfare meat, locally produced drinks and even British-grown tea. Lussmanns’ supports a range of local and national charities too, and these wide-ranging efforts, together with Lussmanns’ delicious menus, make these establishments well worth a visit.
What do you think makes food good?
Food that’s ethically sourced, made with love and value-driven – sustainable, affordable and delicious.
What are the three reasons people should vote for you?
Lussmanns offers an accessible and sustainable alternative to homogeneous High Street chains. We are a proudly independent ‘locals’ restaurant’. We respect our diners, value their loyalty and are committed to providing first class food and service to everyone.
Sustainability is the bedrock of everything we do. We’ve been driven by ethical values, not fashionable trends, since 2002.
What is your signature dish?
My favourite dishes are our wild rabbit and Cotswold boar linguine, our North African spiced organic lamb salad and our South Coast hake with Chichester clams.
What’s the one ingredient you couldn’t do without?
A sense of humour – but in hospitality you also need passion, energy, determination and focus to maintain consistency.
Smaller portions or doggy bags?
Smaller portions – although we have always offered doggy bags.
Meat or veg?
Fish – although we are heading towards menus with an equal proportion of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes as part of our ongoing efforts to be ever more sustainable.
Living Wage or bigger tips?
This is a very complicated issue. We try to make sure that our staff team feel valued in ways that aren’t simply financial. A staff training and development programme that combines fair remuneration, a range of benefits and opportunities for career progression has proved to be the best way to show our appreciation, maximise people’s potential and retain their loyalty.
Our Operations Manager joined Lussmanns as a waiter and two of our former Kitchen Porters are now Head Chefs.
Describe the philosophy of the restaurant in three words
Classy but classless.
Describe what it would mean for your restaurant to be voted the People’s Favourite
We would be humbled to receive such an endorsement. We’d feel it was a seal of approval and a demand for ‘more of the same please’ that would spur us on to continue providing a sustainable option on the high street.
Who’s the most important member of your team and why?
That’s a very difficult question as it’s truly a team effort. However, the Manager has a critical role as they provide the link between back and front of house, they’re the ambassador on the floor and are pivotal in engaging, inspiring and motivating colleagues.
What are the things you’re most proud of in terms of your Sourcing, Society and Environment?
Sourcing – We’re proud to have created a genuinely sustainable, competitive and profitable restaurant that has a minimal impact on the environment. It’s a pleasure to champion the best welfare-driven British producers and suppliers, because their contribution is so important.
Organic Devonshire beef and lamb, free-range Label Anglais chicken from Essex, woodland-reared Sussex pork and sustainable fish have long been part of the Lussmanns plan. Achieving Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody certification in 2014 was a really important step forward for us.
Society – As a locals-driven restaurant, we are proud to have a community support policy that enables us to develop partnerships with like-minded organisations and support a wide range of good causes – more than 30 last year. We try to highlight the importance and benefits of sustainability, to stimulate debate and encourage others to get involved.
Environment – We were proud to have previously led the way in waste management, recycling and composting of food leftovers to provide energy for the National Grid. We also enjoy the challenge of sourcing high quality, sustainable products for all aspects of our business – from the 100% recycled paper towels we use to the locally handmade paper flower arrangements that decorate our restaurants.