Considering they’ve been in the game for over 30 years, Stefano Manfredi and Julie Manfredi Hughes know a thing or two about the secrets of success.
The Manfredi story began in 1983 when the pair opened The Restaurant Manfredi, which went on to be awarded the maximum three chef hats by the Good Food Guide. In the intervening decades, the Manfredi’s Midas touch has created hospitality gold at Bel Mondo (1996), Manfredi at Bells (2007), Balla at The Star (2011) and, of course, with the signature Espresso di Manfredi premium café blend.
The hospitality landscape is littered with casualties and in this business even a high profile name is no guarantee of long-term success. How, then, do you transcend culinary trends, business pitfalls and the whims of a fickle dining public to become more than just flavour of the month?
For Julie Manfredi Hughes, it’s about having a very clear idea about what it is your enterprise is all about.
“For instance, Manfredi hospitality is defined by generosity, warmth, finesse, conviviality and, of course, Italian-ness,” Manfredi Hughes says. “And it’s vital that these values are inherent in everything we do.”
A successful café, she believes, is about creating an accessible neighbourhood meeting place with personality and style. “There must be a distinguishing reason why I would want to visit,” she says.
And while competition can often make or break a venue, Manfredi Hughes advises taking the time to learn about and be inspired by peers in the profession—use them to bring out the best in your own business.
“It’s important to visit other venues at all levels of the hospitality spectrum, check what you like and don’t like,” she says. “Be inspired by what others are doing and aspire to be better at what you are doing.”
Julie’s 10 Tips for Success
- Define what you do, do it well and stick to it. “This is one of the quality attributes of the Espresso di Manfredi blends as they offer consistency of flavour, taste and freshness.”
- Learn about business.
- Study your product.
- Develop your staff and work as a team.
- Put time and effort into the look and feel of the menu or menu board. “Check your spelling—there is nothing quite like a misspelt menu item to lose face with your customer.”
- Use quality equipment and items in your store.
- Service and upgrade equipment regularly. “Keep everything clean, tidy and organised.”
- Attention to detail and consistency is key. “It does not cost anything to make sure a coffee cup is put in front of your customer in the right direction and that your cup and saucer is clean. But the opposite may cost you a customer.”
- Customers need to know what to expect and have their expectations met every time.
- Enjoy your customers and greet them warmly.