This time I would like to write about something really special; the Trattoria da Motorino, loosely translated in English as ‘the scooter drivers’ tavern. I guess, you immediately start asking yourself what all this has to do with our industry. At first sight, there might be no direct link, but if you read this entire story, you’ll discover some useful business inspiration.
A couple of weeks ago, the legendary Italian floral wholesaler, Furio Melani, also dubbed Livorno’s King of Flowers, threw his retirement party at the restaurant of one of his childhood friends from Livorno: Franco Nesi alias Motorino. Franco is known for being a people’s person, very intelligent but with a modest cultural background. Apparently, one of the running gags at the restaurant table is that of the young schoolboy Franco who was asked to name Italy’s Hero of Two Worlds (Giuseppe Garibaldi). Following a deadly silence, his class mates started to semi whisper the answer… Ga… Ga…Ga … …after which Franco responded unblushingly: Gary Cooper.
In his book Livorno: Through the Eyes of a Citizen of Pisa (Felici Editore, 2001), the Italian author, Renzo Castelli, aptly describes Franco’s tavern as a ‘room with 5 tables’ and today the place echoes the same atmosphere, even if in summer Franco is allowed to put some extra tables outside.
The Trattoria da Motorino is also a place where the impossible sometimes becomes reality. For example, when the aforementioned Furio held his party in the 5-table restaurant heaven and earth had to be moved to accommodate 67 people. And even if they were packed like sardines, they had a wonderful evening.
Trattoria da Motorino is located at Oberdan Street, somewhat hidden behind the cathedral. To find a parking space is a nightmare and without reservation you probably won’t get in as people from all over Italy have discovered the place. But once you sit down at one of the five tables, you will enjoy the intimate setting and fabulous seafood.
Nearly impossible to reach and with only fish on the menu, yet jam packed every evening. What’s the secret of this bistro? You might draw a parallel to your own business, your garden centre or nursery which is ideally located on a busy road, with plenty of free parking space, a wide range of products, and …a disappointing turnover.
Take Franco’s example. He gets up very early to purchase only the best quality fish available. He is personally acquainted with his suppliers, the fishermen and knows the product inside out.
If Franco brings home a fish, you can be sure that it will be one of the finest quality.
Above all, Franco is a great chef who knows to prepare his dishes giving attention to the smallest detail. He excels in tasteful and fresh food, no fuss and simply delicious. In Livorno, nothing compares to Franco’s fish restaurant. Owner Franco can make a good living out of it.
The moral of the story is that, if you don’t stand out from the crowd then your business might be in danger. No matter how large, structured or well- organised your company is. We have the luck to work with an extremely beautiful products where the choice in varieties seems endless. Make the right choice and be superbo!!!
Viva la vita