Five questions for… Philip Harrison, president and managing director of Harrison

What does your firm do?

Harrison is one of the leading hospitality concept-creation consultancies globally. We reinvent and create brands. Our work combines art and science.

What’s been your greatest achievement so far?

We developed the first 30 to 40 sites for All Bar One when it was first founded, establishing the brand in the UK. This changed the way we were perceived in the market. Nando’s is our longest-standing client. There is no standard template for the restaurant, and all its sites are bespoke, which keeps us on our toes.

What has been your biggest challenge?

In our 30-year history, we’ve survived five economic downturns – including the 2008 financial crisis. Brexit could pose problems for the hospitality industry, but we can evolve, looking to new sectors to stay relevant as demand changes.

What are your plans for hitting your targets this year?

We’re expanding our offering and our international presence. We aim to provide the full experience to customers: branding, menu development, recruitment, and employee training. We intend to use consumer and sector analysis to inform future design ideas, and employ a collaborative team of the most talented designers and consultants. This should bolster our presence in key growth areas, including Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Australia and the United States.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give fellow entrepreneurs?

Have a clear and differentiated proposition, so you stand out from your competitors, and be clear about who your customers are. This will ensure you remain focused and that your business stays attractive to them. And don’t be afraid to continually evolve and look for new opportunities to overcome sector-specific or external challenges, such as Brexit. Reinventing yourself can help you remain competitive and grow, while simultaneously ensuring you remain relevant for your customers.