Condé Nast, best known for its magazine titles such as Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair, is making a foray into the restaurant business. To strengthen its brands and experiment with new business models and revenue streams, Condé Nast plans to capitalize on its popular magazines through licensing its brands in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
After the success of licensed venues in Moscow, including the Vogue Café, the company is establishing a new division, called Condé Nast Restaurants. The venture will be based in Hong Kong and run by Stuart Nielsen, a regional director of food and beverages for Intercontinental Hotels Group.
Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman of Condé Nast International “hopes to open one or two restaurants in 2011 and as many as five per year after that,” reports The Wall Street Journal. Initial plans are to enter Hong Kong and Dubai with licensing of Vogue and GQ, which have 17 and 15 international editions, respectively. Istanbul and Kiev are also potential venues.
Condé Nast is a family-owned company and expects to enter the restaurant licensing venture with careful consideration and “a long-term view.” Its Moscow restaurants—Vogue Cafe, GQ Bar and Tatler Club—were done through a deal with Arkady Novikov, a successful restaurateur.
photo credit: stephen au