Since opening the doors to Dill & Bay, in November 2016, we have developed our menus and service by understanding what Rothwell needs.
So we've listened to the grapevine, had our ear to the ground, and heard the word on the street. The next chapter is here. We've got an early bird menu running throughout the afternoon for your hearty meals, along with freshly made paninis if you're popping in for a lunch hour bite. You'll be able to sit with your laptop sipping a latte connected to our WiFi. Meet with friends and chill on the leather sofa with a slice of cake. Simply grab a sandwich for lunch and a takeaway coffee on your way passed. Dill & Bay Daytimes - We're what you want!!!
We have extended our opening hours to be here for Breakfast - Wednesday to Sunday from 8:30am too. So if you're looking for your new favourite place to while away a couple of hours we're here for you.
So, enough of the self promotion, on with the passion and challenges at Dill & Bay. What we do, why we're here and the rumours around being for sale.
I opened Dill & Bay to satisfy a desire to be my own boss and run a successful company. I knew I needed to do this in a field that interested me - food, service, hospitality and restaurants was the perfect fit. After completing a college course and cutting my teeth in various kitchens, but mostly my own I knew I could do it. Dill & Bay was born, shortly after the inspiration for the name - my daughter Dylan Bay.
I love this restaurant. That is as true today as it was when we first opened. Sometimes I fall out of love with parts of it, and despair at the challenges that come my way. Over the last 2 and a half years we have had 4 head chefs, 10 chef de partie, and 2 commis chefs, each one of these chefs needed recruiting, and interviewing along with all the unsuccessful candidates, missed interviews and wasted time. Out of all the chefs that have left only 3 have worked their full notice, some haven't given notice at all. Each time a bombshell is dropped I rally around to tie up loose ends as I know it will be me back in the kitchen full time, and when I'm cooking I can't think about running a business, recruiting, ensuring front of house is up to scratch or any of the innumerate other things I need to do day to day.
It was after a particularly tough Christmas in 2017 that while on a break in January - my wife and I discussed selling the restaurant. Work/life balance is often discussed but I had so much life outside of work - wife, daughter, friends, family, a home to look after, but no time to enjoy it or invest in it. My time was all at the restaurant. The break away brought it home to me how much I was missing. On our return we had the business valued and listed it up for sale. As you can see we're still here. We've continued to run Dill & Bay with the same enthusiasm and creativity and I'm still working all hours to ensure we deliver great service and continue to grow the business. Over the last year we had a few viewings and a couple of offers but none were suitable for the business, and so were rejected and we carried on working and building.
Now the restaurant is 2 and a half years old and we've found a menu format that works for our customers, and I've got a brigade of chefs in the kitchen that (despite their quirks) are working really well together and under my guidance as Head Chef. Front of house is being managed by Mandie and the pressure on my time is loads better. I've managed to have an evening off here and there, I'm able to take an hour in the park with Dylan and Remmy on an afternoon, I don't always have to be first in (8:15am) and last one out (11pm) as I have staff that I can trust to open up and lock up. The work/life balance is improving. It's still tough, there's still the worry that we might have a quiet week and the bills won't be matched, but since Christmas we've seen a consistently steady flow of customers from Breakfast to Lunch to afternoon tea and then into dinner.
So, with all the improvements Remmy and I have decided to remove Dill & Bay from the market. It would be a shame for us to not realise the potential of Dill & Bay after all the blood, sweat, and tears.
The news has been all about Jamie's Restaurant Group and loss of jobs this week, and if Jamie with his brand, image, backing can't make it - how can we. And the answer is because we are small independant and unique we can develop with demand, keep an eye on trends, and decisions can be made one afternoon and implemented the next. The chains can't do this. Their boards of directors will find a free day in their diary to discuss business, whereas I'm here and hands on day in day out. That's not to say we're not feeling the pinch - we've had a few very quiet days, and weeks that turns up the pressure on the bank balance. Rent, wages, rates and utilities all need paying even when nobody comes in to dine. And this, the fact that we're here, all day to give you whatever it is you desire. If it's coffee and cake, full english breakfast or an a la carte dinner, or even just a glass of wine and a pint as a sundowner on the deck - we're here for you. Every customer in the
restaurant whether their bill is £2.50 or £250 is little bit less stress on wages day, rent day and VAT bill day.
If there's anything we're not doing, or could be doing better then let me know and we'll see where we can go with it for you.
Please use us, as I want to be here in 10 years time with firm roots holding up our family tree.