HE’S more used to measuring up some of the country’s best dressed, but Louis Copeland has now turned his hand to dishing out fine food in Limerick.
After boasting on radio several weeks ago that he would make a fine entrepreneur, RTE’s radio business show decided to put him to the test.
Last week Limerick’s Cornstore restaurant on Thomas Street welcomed the celebrity tailor to their eatery, which has a sister restaurant in Cork, as part of an Entrepreneur Exchange being run by The Business on RTE Radio 1.
Restaurateur Padraic Frawley invited Copeland to swap tailoring for the role as head waiter for a night to see if he has the right ingredients to measure up in a busy restaurant.
Mr Frawley said the tailor took to his new role with ease, ‘just waltzing in and chatting to customers’, but he soon learned it would take a lot more than personality and natural charisma to survive on a busy night.
Mr Copeland, whose family have been in the suit business for 50 years, admitted the job was “not that easy” and even had a discrepancy with head chef Maura Baxter when he tried to blame the kitchen for a mistake he had made on a customer’s order.
He explained he “cocked up a bit” when trying to recall that night’s special dishes.
A customer had to point out that she ordered lamb korma, not lamb shank, and got a free dinner for his mistake, “which is not how we like it to work”, said the proprietor.
“I really enjoyed the experience down there. On a Thursday night in Limerick the place was buzzing. They really worked me hard down there,” Mr Copeland told George Lee on RTE Radio One.
Mr Frawley praised the well-known tailor, saying he was “absolutely brilliant” and he would hire him in the morning, but cautioned that running a restaurant is a tough business which takes many years to master. “I’m at it about 20 years, still don’t think I have it all the time,” he said.
“The Dub was made feel very much at home in Limerick.”
He laughed that his new head waiter tried to keep selling from the a la carte rather than the cheaper menu, which he too would prefer to do, and encouraged people to “have a few chips while you’re waiting” to increase their profit margin.