Q&A With Matt Jones, Managing Director of One Hundred Knights

One Hundred Knights, North-Wales based hospitality and leisure operator has seen huge success over the past two years, with enabling works continuing at The Royal Hotel and plans to open a new restaurant this autumn. The business is responsible for the operations behind the historic wedding venue Tyn Dwr Hall – dating back to 1866, award-winning restaurant the Three Eagles Bar & Grill and The Royal Hotel, an acclaimed landmark dating back to 1752, all situated in the historic town of Llangollen.

We sat down with One Hundred Knights’ Managing Director, Matt Jones to get an inside perspective.

What can you tell us about the new restaurant that’ll be opening this autumn?

Our new restaurant will be based around a basic philosophy of ‘the best of homegrown produce and British cooking’. We want our diners to feel a sense of nostalgia for our classic British dishes, which we’ll deliver with a contemporary edge.  Our new venture looks to capitalise on a new wave of eating out in Britain, where the focus is on high-quality delicious food and drinks, whilst having a good time. We want to take the level of cooking from traditionally high-quality restaurants and apply this same ethos with less of the airs and graces. We hope to appeal to a cross-section of society with a new welcoming, friendly brand and experience, which will be accessible, affordable and friendly.

The pandemic has hit the hospitality sector hard, yet you seem quite buoyant about the future. What’s your five-year plan?

We will open our new restaurant in the autumn and look to identify further opportunities for new restaurant ventures in the coming 12-18 months. Enabling works on The Royal Hotel have already begun in earnest. A full refurbishment and renovation will take place before a newly realised Royal Hotel is opened to guests in late 2022.

The boutique 4* experience will offer something incomparable for the area and entice a broad market to visit the town and surrounding areas, whilst providing additional investment for the local economy. From there, we see One Hundred Knights will become a dominant force, with further properties in the coming years both regionally and on a national scale.

What, in your view, is the formula for a successful leisure business?

Having the right team in place. Being brave enough to take a risk. Keeping a close eye on the macro environment. Being agile enough to react.

How does your construction business marry with these new developments?

Client, consultant and contractor relationships are key to giving new ventures the best possible start and through our portfolio of businesses, we can make quick decisions via transparent processes.

Knights Construction Group managed the development and refurbishment of both Tyn Dwr Hall and Three Eagles Bar & Grill, enabling both establishments to open under tight timeframes whilst ensuring the brief for each venue was fully realised. Knights Construction Group will oversee the works to The Royal Hotel and any new properties that require construction support within the portfolio.

How has your earlier career in the Royal Marines impacted your business success?

The ethos instilled in me during my time with the Royal Marine Commandos taught me some invaluable lessons which I carry with me today, particularly the four elements of Commando Spirit: courage, determination, unselfishness, and cheerfulness in the face of adversity.

What’s your best tip for other businesses out there struggling post-Covid?

Look after your staff and they will then look after your customers. Adaptability is your greatest asset. Context is everything and adapting to the changes in our environment to suit the needs and desires of our customers, alongside the right positioning, is a necessary balance.

Thank you Matt!