28 MARCH 1998, Page 20

I'll have the Grill

FOR half a century Fortress Savoy has fought off all corners, from Harold Samuel through to Charles Forte. Now, though, I sense some of the garrison are ready to run up the white flag, on suitable terms. The Savoy has come out with some timely good figures, and a committee of directors will run the rule over would-be bidders. So the way must be clear and the time ripe for my own long-cherished proposal: a lunchers' buyout, mobilised from the Savoy Grill. Every day of the working week, the Grill draws in enough financial firepower to take over Shell, let alone the Savoy. Not for nothing has it become known as the Deal- makers' Arms. I imagine that pink forms for preferential applications would go to the favoured customers on the banquettes by the wall, but the key to my proposal is pleasingly simple. We would be allowed to put the Grill on the bill. After all, many of its regulars believe that they have paid for it already. I see my role in this as essentially non-executive, though I could pass as a rep- resentative of the consuming interest. I look forward to discussing it with the Savoy's directors, over lunch.