You may wonder how French maestro Alain Ducasse keeps tabs on standards in his ever growing gastro empire. The answer is social media, he told AFP during a visit to Macau.
Pointing to an incident in Benoit, his popular New York bistro, where he realised there was a problem with a classic French dish.
"Looking at the customer reviews we realised there was an issue. Everyone was complaining about the roast chicken," Ducasse told AFP. "It was unbelievable". Through monitoring social media he was able to spot and fix the problem immediately.
Ducasse is constantly expanding his food empire with over 30 restaurants under his wing. Social media is a way to see, in real time, any issues associated with food or service. It’s a constant balance, when you spread yourself so thin, amongst restaurants and bistros in so many countries.
"Before we opened here we spent three years choosing every detail. I know every object, there was a lot of personal involvement," Ducasse says of his eponymous restaurant in Macau at the Morpheus.
The Morpheus is a new 40-storey luxury hotel designed by the late Zaha Hadid and is part of a new wave of fine dining destinations that are appearing in the gambling hub, which has looked to diversify tourism revenue away from gambling and into more family friendly pursuits.
Ducasse, seems to have struck the right balance between expansion and maintaining standards. He has, of yet, avoided the pitfalls that can befall some other big name chefs when they over reach their capacity. While Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver made the news recently for dips in standards or, in the latter’s case, collapsing spectacularly, Ducasse seems to grow with reputation untarnished.
Morpheus, which just celebrated its one year anniversary, earned two Michelin stars within six months.
Macau, now represents something of a fine dining hub in the region, with three three-star restaurants and five two-stars - an astonishing per capita ratio considering Macau is home to just 620,000 people. The destination played host to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in May at the Wynn Palace.
Macau, Ducasse says, is now "very competitive. (You) cannot sleep, you have to stay awake".
It would seem that Ducasse’s vigilance extends to trolling through social media to make sure everything is as it should be.
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