What do you get when you put two restaurant legacy names (Tom Rogers, nephew to Ruth Rogers of the River Cafe, and Jess Corrigan, Richard Corrigan’s daughter) and a financial/crisis comms PR together? Crab PR. Tom tells us a bit about starting his new business, and his favourite foodie spots.
UJ: How did the three of you meet?
TR: Jess and I met while working for Network London PR, where we worked together for 2 years. Jess then left to work at Sauce Communications to gain some bigger agency experience, which is where she met Tess, then introduced us.
UJ: Was it always the hospitality industry for you?
TR: Both mine and Jess’s family work in the industry. My aunt, Ruth Rogers, owns The River Cafe in Hammersmith and Jess’s dad, Richard Corrigan, owns Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, Corrigan’s Mayfair and the recently launched Daffodil Mulligan. We both grew up working in the restaurants and I studied hospitality at university, so it’s been a part of our lives since day one. For Tess, it came later in life – she started out in crisis and corporate PR, but soon found herself drawn, both through her Spanish heritage and general love of food, to our industry.
UJ: Any words of wisdom to someone trying to get into the industry?
TR: Rule number 1 for me and most people I’ve worked for is to have an understanding of the industry: what’s happening, places opening and closing and to subscribe to all the trade newsletters like Hot Dinners, The Caterer, Big Hospitality and CODE. The hospitality industry is massive and hugely accepting of anyone who is willing to give their best, so brush up, research, then start hunting. I actually got my first PR job by emailing Adam Hyman, the founder of CODE Hospitality and having a chat with him over a coffee. He later introduced me to Maureen Mills who would become my future boss!
UJ: What drives and motivates you?
TR: I guess the main driving force for us is a love of the industry. It’s how the three of us met and why we launched our own company. Secondly, we all adore food. Name another job in the world that lets you dine out for work?
UJ: What are your favourite London restaurants:
TR: It’s always changing, but for something casual I’d say Bubala in Spitalfields, and for something more upmarket, Daffodil Mulligan, the new restaurant by Richard Corrigan.
UJ: Where do you go to celebrate?
TR: Has to be The River Cafe in Hammersmith.
UJ: Favourite restaurant abroad/outside of London?
TR: The Bell Inn, Langford – think a little bit of St John mixed with a great Cotswolds pub .
UJ: Favourite place in London for a drink?
TR: The Connaught Bar!