Founder Stories - Reto Frei - Joint Owner and Founder of Tibits

Reto Frei is the joint owner and founder of award winning vegetarian and vegan restaurant tibits, first opened in the foodie haven of Heddon Street just off Regent Street. Reto recently opened the second London branch of tibits in Bankside.


             1. Who is your greatest inspiration?

I get inspired every day by people who have their own opinion, are authentic and stand up for their ideas. Each day in life is an inspiration if you just open your eyes. Nature and animals are a great inspiration for me too; there are so many unique species to discover.

2.     What are the major moments in your career that have brought you to where you are now? Or How did you kick-start your brand?

At the young age of six, I became aware that I didn’t want to eat animals. Years later, two of my brothers also became vegetarians and it was then that we realised there was a gap in the market for cool vegetarian places to eat. There was nowhere to eat meat-free that was modern and trendy, and didn’t feel too alternative. That is why we founded tibits in 1998, as a result of our own desire to have this. We wanted to create a modern and stylish restaurant, bar and take away with a welcoming feel and tasty food that just happened to be vegetarian or vegan.

3.    What are the items/rituals you can’t live without to do your job?

I love my Sunday jogging or bicycling tour. It’s the perfect way for me to allow my thoughts to run freely, creating and forming new ideas. The ritual helps me keep a clear mind, and prepares me for the week ahead!  Spending time with my wife and my son is also a nurturing and important part of my routine; it helps me charge my batteries with positive emotions.

4.    What’s your proudest moment in your job to date?

When we opened the first tibits; it was this moment of truth, seeing happy guests and people appreciating what we do makes me feel so proud. I am extremely thankful that we have so many loyal team members accompanying us on our journey. 

5.    What made you choose Regent Street as the home for your brand?

Regent Street is a great destination for work, shopping and leisure. Tibits is open to everybody and caters to so many needs; you can have a quick coffee, a take away, a leisurely pre-theatre dinner or a business lunch. The variety of people we attract matches perfectly the mix of people that visit Regent Street, and we pride ourselves on our quality and moral values.

6.    What career advice would you give your younger self?

Do what you do with passion. Remember that success is a result after lots of failures. Do not give up if things do not work out as you’d hoped the first-time round; this is normal. If you do not know certain things, proactively ask for the information and be hungry for information. This way, you learn faster, progress and achieve results.

7.    What do you think makes your brand/in-store experience special?

Tibits as a brand is based on moral values and we aim to deliver a holistic experience; high quality of food, friendly and fast service, cosy ambiance and a sustainable way of doing business. Tibits is more than just a restaurant, it is a lifestyle. It is also an oasis of calm within the buzzing Regent Street.

8.    What do you love most about Regent Street? / What is it that’s special about Regent Street as a location?

I love the old and historical buildings. They are well maintained and visually impressive. I also love the generous feel of the street.

9.    Tell us a special memory from your time on Regent Street

Once a UK guest came back from their two-week holiday in India and they came straight to tibits, after landing at Heathrow airport, because they missed our food. You cannot get a better compliment. We have so many regulars, even from abroad. They visit this area specially to come to tibits and dine with us, when they are in London. Our guests are what make us feel very special and motivate us to become better and better.

10.    Where’s your favourite place to eat/drink/shop/stay on Regent Street?

 Heddon Street is still a secret gem and lovely area with all the restaurants. I like the neighborhood feel and charming ambiance.

Visit tibits at 12-14 Heddon Street or visit their website here.



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