Salt Bae's London restaurant trims costs and serves up golden rise in profits

Switching off the lights and turning down the heating helped Nusr-Et Steakhouse battle rising energy costs, while customers' hunger for £600 steaks boosted profits by 44%

The golden steak is Salt Bae’s signature dish. Photo: Instagram / @nusr_et
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A hankering by customers for steaks costing in excess of £600 ($756) has helped the London restaurant Nusr-Et Steakhouse boost its profits by 44 per cent to £3.3 million.

But the restaurant, founded by the seasoning-scattering showman chef Salt Bae, who has a penchant for wrapping his steaks in edible gold, also demonstrated in its accounts filed with Companies House in London that it has not been immune to rising energy bills and the cost-of-living crisis.

Nusr-Et Steakhouse, which is in the Park Tower Knightsbridge hotel in west London, said it had taken several measures to improve energy efficiency, including "turning off central heating systems after closing or during peak hours when heating demand is lower" and switching the lights off when the restaurant is closed.

The restaurant said it would limit the usage of the air curtain, essentially the heated fan above the door which stops draughts blowing through when the front door is opened.

Meanwhile, the restaurant's turnover was £13.6 million for 2022, compared with £8.2 million the year before. Profits before tax were £3.3 million, up from £2.3 million in 2021, but the restaurant only opened in September of that year.

Salt Bae's flourishing salting technique of meat, combined with his trademark T-shirt and dark glasses, created a buzz that helped the London restaurant turn over £7 million in its first three months after opening.

'Money comes, money goes'

The Nusr-Et Steakhouse in London has cut its prices in recent times and removed some of its more extravagant items from the menu, such as the £1,450 gilded tomahawk steak. Indeed, for gold-hungry patrons, the only glittering item left on the menu these days is a £50 pistachio baklava.

Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gokce, hit the headlines in his homeland of Turkey recently when he posted a customer's bill at his Dubai restaurant on Instagram that came to £85,000 and included three golden steaks at £1,700 each.

Salt Bae captioned the photo "money comes, money goes" and the post drew the ire of the Turkish media, which accused the former butcher of flaunting his wealth while his fellow countrymen struggled with the cost of living.

The chef does tend to thrive on controversy – following Argentina's win over France in the Fifa World Cup final in Qatar in 2022, he gained access to the pitch and chased several Argentina players around in celebration, though he was not thought to have been invited.

Nusr-Et Steakhouse has branches in more than 20 countries, including the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the US.

Updated: February 21, 2024, 5:27 AM