Every restauranteur wants theirs to be the best restaurant in the world. Especially in the competitive field of Italian cuisine, a restaurant has to be great to really make an impact – but what makes a great Italian restaurant?
Nothing is more important for an Italian restaurant than authenticity. If a restaurant can capture the essence of a little eatery on the streets of Rome or a bustling restaurant in Florence, then it’s got authenticity. Different restaurants pursue this in different ways – some mimic the architecture and décor of certain regions of Italy, while other use only Italian music or Italian ingredients, and some, like Quattro’s Ormskirk, hire expert Italian chefs to prepare their food to traditional recipes. Authenticity is more than just decoration and ingredients, however – it is something which permeates every aspect of a restaurant, an aura. Having the right expertise helps, which brings us on to our next point…
An authentic Italian restaurant is only as authentic as the skills of its chefs, waiters and management. Proper expertise extends through all aspects of a restaurant, but it is most prominent in the chefs, whose skills will make or break the establishment. Expert Italian chefs can create a taste sensation from simple tomatoes, garlic, herbs and pasta, so investing in talent is crucial. However, the skills to run a restaurant aren’t just in the kitchen – the ability to source excellent fresh ingredients, friendly, conversational waitstaff, and smooth people management are all necessary for an Italian restaurant to really become great.
Speaking of ingredients, these couldn’t be more important than they are in Italian cooking. Many of the most famous Italian dishes are made with only a few ingredients, and there are even entire regions of Italy in which this simplicity is the celebrated basis of their cuisine, like Rome.
When cooking dishes like this, it’s important to source the best ingredients possible. For example, in a simple carbonara, the quality of the cream can make a huge difference to the overall taste of the dish, and the freshest vegetables, best locally-sourced meat and dairy and the most delicious local breads are all vitally important in taking your Italian restaurant from merely good to truly great.
You could serve the best food in the world, but if your restaurant has no atmosphere, you’ll be running something more like a takeaway. If you want your guests to enjoy the best possible meal at your restaurant, a good atmosphere is crucial! This starts with the restaurant itself – what sort of atmosphere do you want to create? A small, cosy and intimate eatery or a vibrant, busy and bright place to chat and meet friends?
Once you know what you’re after, you can start to work towards it, tailoring every aspect of the restaurant towards making the ideal atmosphere. The décor, the music, the lighting, the spacing and number of tables, the materials chosen for furniture, flooring and wall decorations, the design of the menu, and even the appearance and demeanour of the staff all contribute to your restaurant’s atmosphere – make sure that atmosphere is one that your customers will love!
Lastly, a great Italian restaurant can never really realise its full potential if no-one can find it! Location is key – many great Italian restaurants choose to fight for space in the hugely competitive arena of city centres, where they will have maximum exposure to possible customers, but others, like Quattro’s Ormskirk, take a different approach, situating themselves between close population centres to make themselves into the perfect place for friends to meet! In the case of Quattro’s, its position on the Rainford Bypass by Bickerstaffe makes it an absolutely perfect midway point for Liverpool, Ormskirk, Wigan, Blackpool, Rainford or Southport – so you can meet in the middle for a fantastic meal.
These are the ingredients to success for your Italian restaurant. However, just as your chefs have to skilfully combine ingredients to make good meals, you will need to be skilful in combining these ingredients to create a great restaurant. Good luck!