When your friends are also your forward-slash: mentor (though they probably don’t know it yet), you know you have to make the most out of every meeting! Last week I met up with catering co-ordinator and expert of all things Italian (especially pizza), Mr “Made in Italy” aka Luigi, for a catch up at Pizza Pilgrims in Soho. Checking out the competition, we sampled Neapolitan wood oven-style pizza adapted by the Pizza Pilgrim brothers which has earned them a devoted following here in the UK.
I opted for “margherita with smoked anchovies, black olives, capers & oregano” forming together the Smoked Napoli from the menu. Thankfully the flavours of my chosen toppings more than compensated for my pizza being slightly undercooked, leaving me with no choice but to leave behind a small hill of abandoned crust on my plate. Luigi however went for the Filetti – white pizza with fior di latte, baby plum tomatoes, basil, parmesan & olive oil (opt for buffalo mozzarella instead – AMAZING), perfectly made. No complaints from him, in fact just compliments.
So whilst fuelling up on pizza, we caught up from where we last left off, which ironically also included eating pizza at Made in Italy (I sense a re-occuring theme here!) It just happened that the Let’s do Lunch promotion flyers arrived that afternoon so I was still beaming with excitement as I explained the events and book projects I’m working on. And of course, I couldn’t end our meeting without putting him on the spot for his advice on making a business successful.
- Be passionate (no surprise there coming from an Italian!)
- Learn from unsuccessful ventures. Having a business means being able to sort out problems
- Delegate to the right person. Most (family run) businesses fail when they become too big to be run like a family business and they are not able to delegate to proper managers.
“But you know which one is the most important?” he adds, “Respect your cooperators! At all levels, from the cleaner to the top manager. A business is a team, not a place to use people. All members of the team have to feel the victory!… Like in Sport!”
And on that note I looked around at the staff exchanging banter between themselves and making their job look, well, like a fun sport; pizza passing from the chefs to the waiter and the manager making sure her team is running smoothly. I couldn’t help think this could be part of the success of Pizza Pilgrims, their team work; victory achieved when we responded positively to “how was your meal?” … But then of course, it helps that they produce great tasting pizza too!
Pizza Pilgrims, Soho
11 Dean St
Soho W1D 3RP
TEL: 0207 287 8964
Share your experience/thoughts in the comment box!