Your business in brief?
The first Gaucho in the UK opened in a basement site, beneath 90s hip eatery ‘Down Mexico Way’ at 25 Swallow Street, Piccadilly, London in January 1994. Twenty three years later, we are the UK’s leading quality beef restaurant group and have grown to 16 sites – 12 in London, one in Leeds, one in Manchester, one in Birmingham, and the latest opening in Edinburgh.
Making a significant contribution to Edinburgh’s thriving food and drink scene, the opening of Gaucho’s flagship restaurant north of the border feels like something of a homecoming, as Argentina has such close cultural and historical links with Scotland.Tracey Matthews, Chief Operating Officer, Gaucho Restaurants
Gaucho is an Argentine speciality restaurant. All of our wet-aged beef comes from Argentina, sourced from over 60 hand-picked farms (estancias), all of which use traditional rearing methods, employing gauchos who move the cattle from one fresh grassland to another, on horseback.
The restaurant’s passion for the ‘best of Argentina’ extends to the country’s wine production, spearheaded by Phil Crozier, Gaucho’s Director of Wine, who has built an impressive wine list with over 200 expressions of Argentine wine. The Gaucho group also launched CAU, an aspirational casual dining destination, in 2010.
Why open in Edinburgh?
Opening in Edinburgh has been something Gaucho has long planned for, and we secured and signed a 20-year lease for our £90m, 165,000 sq ft unit in the summer of this year. This is the last space in the highly desirable South St Andrew Square development and gave us 16 weeks’ turnaround before welcoming our first guests on the 11th of November 2017.
Gaucho sees Edinburgh as a thriving, cosmopolitan city – with a population that knows great beef. Originally from Scotland, Aberdeen Angus beef was first introduced to Argentina in 1879 by Don Carlos Guerrero. So all of Argentina’s Aberdeen Angus cattle are direct descendants of Guerrero’s original Scottish breeds.
Making a significant contribution to Edinburgh’s thriving food and drink scene, the opening of Gaucho’s flagship restaurant north of the border feels like something of a homecoming, as Argentina has such close cultural and historical links with Scotland.
What presence will you have? What jobs will be created?
Having created 50 jobs with the newest site, the business has employed a variety of partners, hosts and chefs to deliver the Gaucho experience to the people of Edinburgh and to those from further afield. The launch also sees Gaucho bringing its unique training academy to Scotland. ‘One guest at a time’ is the ethos that underpins the Gaucho Training Academy, which I set up more than ten years ago. This features several days of full-time training, ‘cycle of service’ and product knowledge, and exams must be passed before any potential employee, irrespective of level, can join the team. Executive Chef Jamie Robertson, hailing from Bonnyrigg and well-known for working alongside Jamie Oliver, oversees menu development and supply chain for all 16 of Gaucho’s restaurants.
Adding to the sense of homecoming, Edinburgh’s Gaucho features carefully crafted nods to Scottish flavours on its menu – such as haggis empanadas and whisky-cured salmon, sourced from local suppliers.
What's the vision for your business?
Longevity is a key component of Gaucho’s business vision, so we want to make sure that we’re here for a really long time. The group is acquainted with sites in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Gaucho now aims to open in cities across Scotland beyond its flagship restaurant.
The desire to be the most premium operator in each location is the driving force behind each new opening: providing every single guest with the high quality, classic Argentine experience that Gaucho has become so well known for.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you and your business establish, relocate or expand within the city region, or would simply like more information about what Edinburgh has to offer, get in touch today.