Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

A seventh generation pasta maker and two time James Beard Nominee, Francesco Buitoni hails from Rome, Italy. Buitoni worked in some of New York's finest kitchens during his come up and even got some front of house work in at Joe Bastianich Otto working as their Sommelier. In 2006, Buitoni, along with wife Michelle Platt, opened Mercato Osteria and Enoteca. 12 years later, they're still going strong.


Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

BALANCE. My food is balanced, and I like my life to be that way too.

In this episode, we discuss:

  •  What growing up in the Buitoni Family Business was like, with strong family values.
  •  How seeing his grandfather purchase wheat from local farmer's shaped the way Francesco ran his restaurant.
  • Farm to Table- how purchasing food daily is not only good for the food, but also good for relationships.
  • There are no short cuts, how watching his family work together for the same purpose- which was sharing a great product instilled great values and work ethic from a young age.
  • Maintaining consistency.
  • Staying strong until the end! Pushing employees to not "drift" or get too off key even in the last hour of their shift.
  • How Francesco cooked his way through New York, Worked for 5 Restaurant in NY before opening his own restaurant in 2006
    • from San Domenico and Teodora in Manhattan,
    • to Stoney Creek in Tivoli (now-closed),
    • Gigi in Rhinebeck
    • Ca’ Mea in Hudson
    • sommelier and manager for Mario Batali at Otto Pizzeria and Enoteca in New York City.
  • The importance of knowing your market, and being able to fill a need in that area.


Knowledge bombs

Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?

Consistency and balance.

What is your biggest weakness?

Not being able to let go. Trusting that someone will do what I do.

What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

I always look for someone who really, really LOVES food.

What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

Letting go. Haha! Hiring the right people to do the job.

Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

Respect, always.

What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?

We encourage the staff to be themselves and let their personality shine through. We want them to be professional and represent the restaurant well, but we also want them to be themselves, and not scripted.

What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

  1. Setting The Table by Danny Meyer

If you got the news that you'd be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?

  1. Be true to yourself, and be transparent.
  2. Don't take short cuts.
  3. Remain loyal.

Contact Info

Thanks for Listening!



Direct download: 489_Francesco_Buitoni_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT