Eating, drinking, being together

Interview with Kent Hahne, Managing Director of apeiron restaurant & retail management GmbH

apeiron restaurant & retail management Pizza
L'Osteria serves typical Italian cuisine

Not least due to the pandemic, going out behavior has changed. Socializing, the convivial being together, is increasingly in the foreground. The apeiron restaurant & retail management GmbH from Bonn is precisely addressing this with its gastronomic brand concepts. In addition to authentic cuisine, feeling comfortable and togetherness are in the foreground. Thus, the company sets a counterpoint to system gastronomy.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Hahne, which brands do you unite under the roof of apeiron?

Kent Hahne: I founded apeiron in 2008 in order to support young concepts. But then, I started to build brands and develop concepts myself. Today, apeiron has a holding structure and takes over purchasing, marketing, IT, legal – everything you need to run a brand. Under the roof of apeiron, we unite the brands L’Osteria and The ASH. We are franchisees for L’Osteria and franchisors for The ASH. The ASH is our own brand and our passion.

Wirtschaftsforum: What characterizes L’Osteria and The ASH?

Kent Hahne, Managing Director of apeiron restaurant & retail management gmbH
Kent Hahne, Managing Director of apeiron restaurant & retail management gmbH

Kent Hahne: L’Osteria embodies the typical Italian osteria. Here, a variety of people come together to enjoy delicious food and drinks. It's lively and warm, and smells of Italian cuisine. At The ASH, eating and drinking is celebrated as a communal experience, whether in a large or small group. American cuisine from the casual-fine-dining segment is served. There are steaks, burgers, fish, and a selection of plant-based dishes. The ASH is neither a pub nor a dining restaurant, but combines restaurant and bar, inspired by the supper clubs of the 1920s and 1930s. The nightlife and going-out needs have changed in the last few years, also due to the pandemic. The bar segment is becoming increasingly important.

apeiron Brunch in The ASH
Brunch in The ASH
apeiron Surf & Turf at The ASH
Surf & Turf at The ASH

Wirtschaftsforum: Does this mean, apeiron operates in system catering?

Kent Hahne: We call ourselves brand gastronomy, because we build brands with commercial systematic thinking. Currently, brand gastronomy is popular with landlords, as it offers security. We are more in demand than before the pandemic.

Wirtschaftsforum: You say your concepts are in line with the spirit of the times. How important is sustainability in your concepts?

Kent Hahne: Sustainability is a central theme in all our areas. We are increasingly buying locally and offer many vegetarian dishes. In the real estate sector – we are also landlords, build buildings, and purchase plots of land – we intensively use sustainable materials, work with geothermal energy, and cover parking lots with photovoltaic panels.

apeiron - a look inside a L‘Osteria in Berlin
A look inside a L‘Osteria in Berlin

Wirtschaftsforum: How digital is your business, are your premises?

Kent Hahne: Our premises are full-service restaurants. We resist too much digitalization. We have service staff and bar tenders as well as real menus. But, for example, we use screens for communication in the kitchen because it saves paper, chaos, and inventory. We cooperate with Bar Brain, which is a start-up that has developed a solution that can automatically count bottles via iPhone. Of course, we also have a digital cash register system.

Wirtschaftsforum: Which target groups do you cater to?

Kent Hahne: The focus target group of The ASH are people between 20 and 60 years old. But there are also offers for children as well as a Sunday brunch and a business lunch. We have consciously positioned ourselves broadly here. L’Osteria targets a similar audience but is cheaper, with pizza and pasta.

apeiron - The ASH Locations
Inviting, cozy, modern - The ASH Locations
apeiron - The ASH Sunday Brunch
The Sunday Brunch at The ASH

Wirtschaftsforum: How internationally do you want to expand your concepts?

Kent Hahne: L’Osteria is present in Germany and we have three branches in Luxembourg as well as in the Netherlands and Belgium. We will soon open The ASH in Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. We recently purchased a plot for The ASH in Florida. We will continue to internationalize, but with a focus on Europe.

Wirtschaftsforum: What are your plans for the coming months?

Kent Hahne: The year 2024 will be entirely focused on internationalization for us. In the coming period, we will consistently occupy the market. Currently, many venues from the catering, retail, and real estate sectors are becoming available. We will take advantage of this – opportunities have arisen for us. We are solidly positioned and are currently growing counter-cyclically to the market.