Biz Extra

Published: September 3, 2020 | Updated: September 3, 2020

What gets me angry? The never-ending talking about action rather than just getting on with it

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Each week we shine the spotlight on a member of Dorset’s business community and ask him, or her, for answers to our part fun/part serious questionnaire. This time…

His childhood hero was – and remains – Richard Branson, he’d like to share a car with Boris Johnson, chooses a traditional Sunday roast as his favourite dish and looks for loyalty, hard work, a bubbly personality and passion in a new employee.

Andy Lennox, Managing Director of Zim Braai and Founder of Lion Consultancy and The Wonky Table, takes the 20 Questions’ hotseat.

Question: What is your favourite TV show?

Answer: Normally speaking you would find me stuck in a historic or period drama but right now it’s Designated Survivor on Netflix.

Q: Who would you like to share a car with?

A: At the moment, Boris Johnson. The man has got one of the toughest jobs in the world. I’d love to know what he is really thinking. That being said, jumping in a car with Rishi [Sunak, Chancellor] and explaining the benefits of making the 5% VAT cut permanent wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.

Q: The best bit of my job is…?

A: The day before the launch of a new restaurant. You see your team coming together and a restaurant come to life.

Q: And the worst…?

A: Never having enough money to be able to do everything and anything in exactly the way I want it.

Q: Who was your childhood hero?

A: I still take great pleasure reading and exploring Virgin and about Richard Branson. The man has created a global brand which has disrupted nearly every marketplace on earth.

Q: What’s your favourite smell?

A: The first breath you take in when you hit the alps for a ski, the moment you wake up in the Provencal air and the salt of the sea air when you arrive in Cornwall.

Q: Where’s your favourite place in Dorset?

A: Branksome Dene (if you know you know).

Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out on a career?

A: It’s not at all easy. Find a mentor. I never had one and I think it’s the best thing you could possibly have. Find someone to guide you through the various pitfalls.

Q: What was your first record/CD?

A: I think it was ATB and 9PM (Till I Come).

Q: What gets you angry?

A: The wasting of time. It’s our most precious resource. The never-ending conversations of talking about action rather than just getting on with it and making it happen.

Q: Do you have a favourite piece of music?

A: I don’t have a favourite piece of music as such but if you can classify an album as a piece of music then Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks. The album has always been there through every part of my life wherever I been.

Q: What are the qualities you look for in a new employee?

A: Loyalty, hard work, bubbly personalities and passion. We can teach everything else.

Q: What’s your favourite food or dish?

A: Being a restaurateur means I’ve experienced the delights of many different cuisines. If I had to say any dish then the one that stands out is a traditional Sunday roast. It’s a bit of a religion in my house (not to mention most of the UK). Nothing relaxes me more than listening to the radio, chatting or watching an old film, while the kids are playing, enjoying a nice bottle of red while I cook a Sunday roast.

Q: Steamed sponge pudding and custard or a plate of melon?

A: Neither. In our house it’s a New York cheesecake. Again, a bit of a tradition.

Q: Name the best thing about living/working in Dorset?

A: The closeness between, on the one hand, being in the forest and then the next moment being next to the beach and the sea. Both are entwined together down here.

Q: If you were Prime Minister for the day what would be the first thing you do?

A: Cut VAT on food permanently to 5% for the industry. It is a punitive tax which is one of the highest in Europe.

Q: What’s your biggest frustration?

A: People doing bad business. Be honest and treat others like you would like to be treated.

Q:  Where’s your favourite holiday location?

A: The South of France, namely St Tropez. There is something magical down there. It instantly relaxes me when we arrive followed closely by Cornwall.

Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

A: Hopefully with a couple of complementary businesses down here while helping the community on various projects. Also watching my kids grow up as they get ready for their business careers!

Q: What would you like to be remembered for?

A: Honesty, integrity and, hopefully, some memorable experiences.