Today we’re picking Giuseppe’s brain, a restaurant expert and founder of Casa Tua, in this open interview about what it takes to start a food business in London.
Giuseppe Miggiano (above) is very passionate about the things he does, especially when it comes to food and coffee. He is from Italy, a country where cooking and eating homemade meals are still a cherished part of everyday life. Together with his chef and business partners, Giuseppe decided to infuse the authentic flavours of Italy into the British culture.
Casa Tua was founded by Giuseppe whose background is in hospitality. After moving to London he gradually worked towards his dream of opening his own business. Along the way he won several competitions as a mixologist and managed a fine dining restaurant. All this benefited Casa Tua when it finally opened in 2013 in Camden. Earlier last year, Giuseppe opened a second branch in King’s Cross.
In Italian “Casa Tua” means “your home” and fits the restaurant ambience perfectly. Giuseppe and the team would do anything to make you feel at home. As befits their name, they offer homemade Italian food. Brunch dishes are simply yummy and they look splendid on the plate. And of course there is the highly praised coffee called “Verona” which is well balanced and not too acidic.
Having a sheer number of customers posting great reviews about the restaurant, Casa Tua has become the Italian place in Camden for all the foodies enjoying authentic Italian dishes. Better let Giuseppe share the story behind his success….
Casa Tua has become the Italian place in Camden for all the foodies enjoying authentic Italian dishes.
1. It’s no wonder that Casa Tua has become a landmark in London for all coffee lovers. I heard that celebrities like Russell Brand and Eric Cantona are regular visitors. What made the restaurant so popular?
My dream has always been to open a place in London that could replicate the Italian culture and cuisine that I have back home, where those who love Italian food or they are faced with nostalgic memories could pop-in to have a taste of Italy. No need to buy a Ryanair ticket, just come down to Camden. I have been living in London for more than 8 years and sometimes I miss my home terribly! I call this “La Nostalgia Italiana”!
As you well-spotted “Casa Tua” means “Your Home” and the restaurant is known for having a very warm and casual atmosphere where our guests can feel at home. We are inclusive and opened to everyone that’s why celebrities enjoy coming here. For them Casa Tua is a gem where they can relax and meet old friends away from the spotlights. From the moment you enter our doors, you forget that you are in London. You find yourself right in the heart of Italy and that’s why people love it. I finally feel at home too…
2. How do you select what makes the menu?
Our Executive Chef creates our menu using authentic Italian dishes like melazane di parmiggiana, carbonara , burratina mozzarella and much more. The team at Casa Tua is using valuable customer feedback to refine the menu. We keep a close eye on the most popular dishes and we try to be bold and constantly innovate. We want to please all our guests including the more adventurous customers.
3. You’ve been working in the hospitality industry for over a decade. What’s your stance on food- delivering services like JustEat and UberEats? How much value do they provide to your business?
Everybody talks about food-delivering platforms like the two, but I am not that sure anymore about the value they provide to businesses like Casa Tua. I am using them every now and then.
I would rather use a service that encourage customers to visit us in store rather than delivering food. Having direct interaction with our guests is key to keep them happy and show that we care about the quality of food we provide. Especially when they order fresh past, I like to give them a few tips about how they can make the most of it using authentic Italian recipes.
I don’t understand why professionals don’t stop take a 20 minutes break to enjoy proper lunch with their fellow colleagues; ordering takeaways whilst sitting behind a desk is not healthy at all.
4. As an independent restaurant, what are the key challenges that you are facing at the moment?
As the business grows and we expand to more locations we must ensure that the quality we provide meets our guests expectations. We value our loyal customers and we are thriving to deliver on our promises, always! When your tummy is rumbling, we know what we have to do. Casa Tua’s early success relied on a fine balance of great food combined with unique entertainment.
Another challenge is to find great suppliers with a good record behind. London is becoming ever more expensive and it’s difficult to find high quality vegetables and ingredients. I am also mindful of Brexit and the impact it could have on our business.
5. What is a popular misconception about running a restaurant?
That we are “selling goods” instead of experiences. People dine with us to experience an unique ambience where they can exchange stories and have a great time with their dear ones. The food and how it is displayed on the plate is much like a cherry tops off an ice cream sundae. Your table is your canvas, design it with spectacular dishes and surround yourself with the people you love.
I believe Local Spoon is a really interesting concept that could beat this misconception by bringing restaurants and local customers together. This platform will help people find independent restaurants and to share unique dishes and special offers with their friends. It’s all about the experience…