Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Restaurateur’s Restaurateur – Jeremy King Will Rise Again

As Minor International force restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King out, loyal diners unsurprisingly back the dynamic duo and slam the tenacious Thais for their takeover

Minor International Public Company Limited (MINT) is a vast company. It operates many frankly soulless businesses, but now with news that it has forced Chris Corbin and Jeremy King out of the much-loved restaurant group they founded, they have been rightly called out as nothing but profiteers lacking in passion and panache.


In response to news that Minor International has now acquired the entire business in spite of a bold bid from its founders – reported on in The Steeple Times in January – on Friday, Jeremy King remarked to CODE:


“We took part in the auction to try and buy the business and assets of Corbin & King that we didn’t already own, including of course all the restaurants.”


“Regrettably, that attempt failed and Minor Hotel Group was the successful bidder, buying the entire business.”


Responding this morning in The Observer renowned restaurant critic stated “King [is] regarded by many in the hospitality business as the capital’s leading restaurateur” and mused:


“The future of the restaurants he opened may be unclear, but it’s certain King will be back.”


Going further, Rayner added:


“[King is] famed for his eye for detail and for his daily tours of his restaurant dining rooms, for stopping by the tables of regulars and newcomers alike to check they were being looked after. The difference between a restaurant owner and a restaurateur, he said once, is that one runs it from the boardroom and one runs it from the floor. King was always on the floor. Now he was out, banned from even entering any of the nine restaurants he had created.”


Though Jeremy King has also stated he “no longer has any equity” in the business he created, one thing remains certain and that he was the heart of that business. King stated previously: “I’m too young to retire” and today we join all those looking forward to his revival with whatever wonder he ultimately decides to create next.


Chris Corbin and Jeremy King
Jeremy King and his business partner Chris Corbin were undoubtedly the hosts with the most. As one regular customer and reader of ‘The Steeple Times’ often says: “The best restaurant is the restaurant that knows you best.”

Reactions to Minor International taking control of the business:

Tweet 1
Landlord of The Guinea Grill Oisìn Rogers commented on the development on Friday. He remarked: “If I’m reading the Minor statement correctly, they allude to intending to continue to use the name, which if true, sounds a bit odious, at best.”
Tweet 2
Going further, Rogers added: “[King] looked after his guests… A very tough morning for him, Chris and his team. I wish them well.”
Tweet 3
Critic Jay Rayner described the news as being “in bad taste” and a “bitter” development.
Tweet 4
Others suggested the business will now go into decline and “the same way as The Ivy” – a business that the perma-tanned tycoon Richard Caring has effectively turned into a franchise-like operation.
Tweet 5
Old Etonian nightclub operator Charlie Gilkes went further and suggested “customers will gradually stop going and Jeremy and Chris will be back with yet another exceptional and hugely successful restaurant.”
Laura Silver
Of staff at the restaurants, Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor International, supposedly “kept referring to us as a brand.” They “never thought of [themselves] as brand.” Supposedly, according to Jay Rayner, “that was when he completely lost us.”
Tom Parker-Bowles
The Duchess of Cornwall’s son Tom Parker Bowles rightly concluded of what occurred: “This is very, very sad. Corbin and King are restaurant masters, and The Wolseley one of the world’s greatest. This group is nothing without them.”
Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


  1. Such floral tributes but do they bear scrutiny? You may well think that as a disgruntled former employee I would weld a slanted axe,so casting aside my own anti Corbin and King bias,let us at least shed a light on what may well be some inconvenient truths.I have no shadow of a doubt that thousands of diners absolutely adored their precious hours in the Wolseley celebrating birthdays reuniting with friends,closing deals etc.But were the staff serving them working under the utopian conditions alluded to in the above article? I could choose to relate my own experiences (and I was at the Wolseley for seven years) but will instead profer irrefutable truths.To work for Corbin and King was to accept minimum wage boosted by a tronc system financed by customers generosity,to have no trade union recognized,long hours,no company sick pay,being denied the privilege to wear poppy on remembrance day…this is list is certainly not exhaustive but maybe it is for others to embellish it…I,like you have no doubt that Mr.King Will return rejuvenated if somewhat chastened,and I sincerely hope,for sake of future employees enlightened,although I fear this would take a Damascean conversion on his part.I won’t hold my breath!


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