Toqué Reinvented at Beaumont
The MONTONI team met with the renowned chef Normand Laprise, who is opening his new restaurant, Le Beau Mont, at the end of April 2019 in 950 Beaumont – a building revamped at MONTONI. MONTONI spoke to him about the recipe to the success of all his projects.
Focus on communication and team spirit
If customers already expect to discover high-quality products they will enjoy the unparalleled customer service offered by the Signé Toqué family. According to the chef, the secret ingredients are none other than excellent team communication and a strong family spirit.
“Staff in the kitchen and in the dining room must be able to communicate effectively and harmoniously. Collaboration is key. In order for the server to be able to deliver the full quality of the dish and explain it properly, he needs the back-of-house team to share the knowledge," he says.
Spending so much time in the restaurant (sometimes even more than at home) means the employees gain a second family and form close bonds. According to Laprise, this warmth translates not only into the dishes, but into the overall customer experience.
Three watchwords: Rigor, consistency, transparency
Identifying the client is the first step in meeting his or her expectations.
"Is the customer a foodie? Does he want to know more about where the product is from? Or does he just want to eat well and take off? You have to be aware of his level of curiosity and be able to respond to it," says Laprise.
It is well known the Signé Toqué family has close relationships with its producers and suppliers. Their knowledge of the products and their quality make it possible to offer constant and rigorous dishes. The traceability of the product, from farm to table, allows for a transparency that customers appreciate.
Ergonomics and design
A cocktail of factors is necessary for a good customer service. One of them is ergonomics in the workplace.
For Normand Laprise, any developer integrating a restaurant into his or her project must consult the restauranteur in advance to ensure the space is adapted to the hospitality industry’s reality. According to him, planning a kitchen ergonomically is the first step. The location of the bar and server access points are also priorities to keep in mind.
“The MONTONI Group, in the case of the Beau Mont restaurant, left us with a great space and much latitude – ensuring we wouldn’t be restricted to predefined specifications," he says.
The transfer of knowledge
Another unavoidable truth in the restaurant industry is the challenge of recruiting and retaining employees. For Normand Laprise, human resources is based on the transference of knowledge. He has affectionately nicknamed his team "his brigade", and their motivation is largely thanks to the opportunity to learn while working at his businesses. When a new employee comes into the group, the chef's mission is to act as a mentor – this is essential to the development of the Signé Toqué family.
"With us, every dish is made by hand entirely. This model allows our staff to lean every aspects of the cuisine experience and it’s very motivating for them. "
Lift people up
"When we develop new concept for our company, our priority is to always continue with our current team or alumni. I call them ‘les tatoués’. Some of them aspire to become chefs and we encourage that," he adds.
Often, these " tatoués " will be recruited to play an important role in the growth of the different restaurants of the company.
Know your surroundings
As an employer, Mr. Laprise has tasked himself with always being consistent to and available for his employees. To do this, he has surrounded himself with a team he trusts. Christine Lamarche has also been his business partner for years.
"Despite our many projects, my door is always open. Above all, I am surrounded by a team of experienced managers. It's really a team effort. It's not just me behind the Toqué! brand,” he concludes.
The kitchen of the new 80-seat restaurant is halfway between that of Toqué! and Brasserie T: simple and tasteful. A market counter also offers high-quality products from Quebec and Canada. MONTONI, whose values reflect those of Chef Normand Laprise, is proud to have contributed to the realization of the Beau Mont restaurant – located at the corner of Beaumont Avenue and L'Acadie Boulevard.