AHL Insider:

Ruti Broudo

Co-Founder of Israeli Restaurant & Hospitality Group R2M

  • What do you do and how did you get here?

    My journey as Co-Founder of R2M, hospitality and restaurant group, began by understanding what my dreams were; creating not only a product but a brand that is very much in line with a concept. Once I had that fleshed out, I worked extremely hard to actualize everything I had dreamt of.

  • You’re behind one of Tel Aviv’s most interesting hospitality groups R2M, can you tell us more about the company?

    CoffeeBar. We wanted to serve our guests a good cup of coffee with a pastry in a well-lit, clean space. 23 years later, with seven properties around Tel Aviv and a ”Back Office” system that includes a large bakery, a technical unit (the proud “R2M Handymen” trucks can be seen driving around town), and some 700 employees, the idea remains the same. Our priority is to make people happy, to give them a good, relaxing time. We put a lot of effort into serving our guests quality food in an elegant atmosphere. We strongly believe that that the experience of the customer does not begin and end on the plate. The decor, the attitude of the staff, the lighting — it’s all part of the experience. Every time people go out to eat or just have a drink by the bar, it should be a celebration. “We”, are Ruti and Mati Broudo, owners of R2M Corporation, who, upon returning from a 12 year stay in New York back in 1993, opened the above-mentioned CoffeeBar, and changed the face of Tel Aviv Food and Entertainment business over a single espresso.

  • What makes a great hotel?

    A hotel can be quantified as “great” when the guest’s expectations are exceeded. Whether the expectations are high or low, once they have been exceeded, we know our goals were achieved.

  • What’s unique about Israeli hospitality?

    Israeli hospitality is very much influenced by the culture and the area the hotel resides in. For example, Hotel Montefiore prides itself in being an urban escape while still maintaining its status of being a fixture of the city for locals and international visitors. When guests stay with us or dine in our restaurant they know they are in Tel Aviv. The luxurious setting is complemented by the warmth of our employees.

  • You launched some of Tel Aviv’s best hotels and restaurants like Hotel Montefiore, and Delicatessen. Do you have a particular philosophy that runs throughout all your venues?

    Yes, R2M prides itself on providing consistency in service as well as imparting integrity to both our guests and employees.

  • You’ve been called “the Queen of Tel Aviv’s Culinary Kingdom,” how true is that description?

    First and foremost, I am most definitely not a queen! I am simply a woman who has worked hard to fulfill her dream.

  • What one thing would you tell people to do in Tel Aviv that you can’t find in a guide book?

    I would recommend going to the Carmel Market, or the Shuk, as we call it, at 8:00 am. At this early hour, the peddlers and shopkeepers are unloading their fresh produce and fish. Before 10:00 am the market is still relatively clean and isn't flooded with locals and tourists. After 10:00 am, I really would not recommend approaching the area!

  • What is your dream hotel project?

    My dream project would be to open a hotel amidst nature. A place where people go to relax and rejuvenate with a full-service spa that overlooks the Sea of Galilee.

  • What’s the next big thing in the travel/hotel industry?

    The whole concept of an Escape Weekend or a Staycation, is very popular now. The accessibility of the Escape Weekend getaway goes against the notion that relaxing vacations need to be for an extended period of time and a plane ride away with endless planning and prepping. People don't need to leave Tel Aviv for an Escape Weekend. Many guests of Hotel Montefiore are from the area and simply want to indulge with a loved one for a couple of nights while still being close enough to home.

  • Favorite hotel and why?

    Well, my favorite hotel is Hotel Montefiore, for obvious reasons! When I am traveling abroad I prefer to stay at smaller properties that are quaint and homey like the Dorset Hotel in London. I like to stay in places that very much incorporate a human element into the design. I want to feel like I am in a private residence rather than a generic hotel room.

  • Who do you admire in the industry?

    I admire people who are innovative. People who are naturally inclined to do something that hasn't been done before, like for example Chef René Redzepi of Noma.

  • What will you be doing a few years from now?

    I hope to be doing more or less the same thing but better!

  • If you could throw a dream party for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be for and what would the party look like?

    I never dreamed of making parties and I never will. I am 56 years old and at this point in my life I'd rather eat well or enjoy my time at my house relaxing with friends and family.

  • Where will you be in your next day off?

    I don't have days off. I work everyday including days when I’m technically “off”. Two weeks ago, on our way back from New York, we stopped in Tulum for the weekend to go to a Noma pop-up. For me, that was the perfect day off. That’s what inspires me, seeing the work of other innovative people.