Javier Fernandez: “I think that in general Spanish products are of better quality than the rest of the world”

Javier, Barandilla 1

Javier Fernandez, the Head of Hispania, talked with us about design, gastronomy and attention to detail as the main keys for the success of one of the most important restaurants in the city of London. 

Do you feel that the business has changed over the last few years?

I didn’t feel any change in the last 2 years, actually, I think that the perception that the British public has of Spanish meats such as chorizo or jamón is fairly stable.

We are selling quality products from Spain and this is basically our aim. In this area of London you need to sell quality products because your competitors are selling quality products from all over the world. Saying that, I think that in general Spanish products are of better quality than products from the rest of the world.

What are your customers buying?

As there are a lot of tourists visiting Spain every year [15 million Brits visit Spain annually] people tend to know the basics about the names of foods such as paella or chorizo. Though we do try to recommend new products to them, for example, cecina, different types of jamón, and cooked dishes such as croquetas.

What wines are you selling the most?

We don’t have a very long menu of wines, but we do try to sell Spanish ones. We import wines direct from Spain, for example, we offer sangria, cava and rebujito.

Which channels do you normally use to gather information about new and existing products?

Our creative director, Lorenzo Castillo, chooses everything around the business, from cutlery to new chairs. Marcos Morán, our gastronomy director, is in charge of everything related to the gastronomy or the menu. Marcos is always aware of the all the trends in the market and he is the person that changes the menu every two months. We trust him a lot in terms of innovation on the gastronomy side.

andy-hayler-hispania 5472 seating-crop-v1

Where are your customers coming from?

It is hard to say exactly, for us the Spanish consumers are the most important, but we are often getting people from other nationalities too. When Spanish consumers visit, normally they bring friends from other countries. British consumer represent about 50% of customers and then people from the rest of Europe (20%) and Asia (20%).

How important is the quality over the price?

It depends on where you are selling. If your target consumers are young people, the relationship between quality and price is going to be different than if you are aiming at people working in the city with big salaries. We are not a cheap place, rather the opposite, but our dedication to quality helps us to sell well in this area.

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Hispania, 72-74 Lombard Street, London EC3V 9AY.

Tel 020 7621 0338. http://www.hispanialondon.com

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