Power List 2016: Market Marvels – Mark Sainsbury, Michael Benyan and Jason Catifeoglou, The Zetter

The Zetter Group exploded onto London’s hospitality market in March 2004 with a model that was value-driven, rich with character and distinctively boutique. The very first Zetter Hotel was the brainchild of fellow restaurateurs Michael Benyan and Mark Sainsbury, who transformed the old Victorian warehouse in London’s Clerkenwell into a 59-bedroom boutique to wide acclaim, praised by The Times, Time Out and Wallpaper magazine among others.

In 2009, Jason Catifeoglou joined the company, with extensive operations and development experience at boutique hotels and large international chains including myhotel and IHG. Now as a partner at The Zetter Group, Jason heads its operations, sales and marketing, finance and human resources functions.

Mark, Michael and Jason are hands-on and all about the detail. They are passionate about hospitality but they don’t believe in following the pack and are always ready to challenge the norm.

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Today The Zetter portfolio consists of four properties, The Zetter; The Zetter Townhouse – a 13-bedroom Georgian townhouse with an award-winning cocktail lounge; The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone which launched in August 2015 and the group’s standalone restaurant in London’s Kings Cross, The Grain Store, headed up by top chef Bruno Loubet.

The bedrooms at each of the properties are quirky, featuring individual collections of antique furniture and curious finds. While the Townhouse in Clerkenwell is known as the home of Zetter’s ‘Great Aunt Wilhelmina’, the Marylebone property is that of ‘Wicked Uncle Seymour’.

But behind all the imagination, there is a tightly-knitted strategic business model that manages to dictate the trends and with Sainsbury co-founding the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) alongside his Zetter commitments, the trio are certainly here for the long haul.

Former general manager Ashley Ely said of the founders: “The owners had a vision to create something unique and individual, and ten years on, it’s still that individuality through the concept, the design and the sustainability that drives the business today. Having the conviction to play with something new and not changing things on a whim with every fickle trend or demand that comes along has been crucial for The Zetter too.”




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