We talk to Kent businessman and restaurateur Terry Pullen. The owner of The Bickley in Chislehurst, 7 Hotel and Diner in Polhill and the Little Dudley restaurant in Dorking.

Your three restaurants all seem very different – is there a reason for that?

The Bickley and the Little Dudley are both quite individual, lovely buildings with gastro-restaurants but I felt I needed to create another concept that was more family friendly. My executive chef and I generally have a huge passion for food and there is no compromise on that at the 7 diner. We still like to have handmade, fresh food using the best ingredients –it is going to be a little bit more expensive but we have worked out it is no more than one pound per person per meal.

How did you start out in the restaurant trade?

I’ve been in the business for 20 years now. At one time I had four businesses in central London – which were restaurants and private members’ clubs. It was a phenomenal time but I felt that I didn’t want to outstay my welcome. I decided to go down the suburban route and moved out to Chislehurst.

How have you become such a successful businessman?

I wouldn’t call myself a success yet. Anything I’ve got has been down to hard work – I think the harder you work the luckier you get. I haven’t had anyone I see as a particular role model. I have the greatest respect for Richard Branson – I like his business acumen and he has a way of treating people as he would like to be treated.

It must be a 24 hour job – how do you manage to have a homelife?

It is a full-on 24 hour a day job but my priorities have just completely changed. My daughter Poppy is four weeks old so I’m having to make changes. I’m still massively ambitious – I’m just working out a new way of achieving what I want to do!

What ambitious plans have you got for the future then?

We’ve got a deli opening in Chislehurst in the next few months, opposite the Bickley so we’ll be able to produce everything ourselves – pastry, bread etc and we hope to compete in the takeaway market but in a different way – we’ll be selling freshly prepared food for people to take home.

We’ve also got options on two new venues for 7 Diners – one in London and one at Bluewater.