07/10/2003 - 22:00

Staff help drive Trimboli

07/10/2003 - 22:00

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THERE’S no doubt Perth’s entertainment culture owes a big thank you to Nic Trimboli and the team at Matilda Bay Brewing Company – just think of venues such as the Sail and Anchor, the Queens Hotel, the Brass Monkey and The Como.

Staff help drive Trimboli

THERE’S no doubt Perth’s entertainment culture owes a big thank you to Nic Trimboli and the team at Matilda Bay Brewing Company – just think of venues such as the Sail and Anchor, the Queens Hotel, the Brass Monkey and The Como.

While working at Matilda Bay in the late 1980s, Mr Trimboli was closely involved in the establishment of the iconic pub/ cafe/dining venues that redefined the meaning of a night out for so many. He has since gone on to create success on his own, in the form of city restaurants e’cucina and Balthazar.

He also co-founded Little Creatures Brewery three years ago and is currently working on a new restaurant in Leederville called Duende.

Mr Trimboli doesn’t believe there is any one secret behind his ability to create a string of good restaurants, but says his staff plays a big part.

“It’s not just one thing that makes something successful, it is a combination of doing lots of things better and having good staff,” Mr Trimboli said.

“It comes down to having good people who are committed; they are hard to find. They need to be committed and passionate about what they do.”

His belief in the value of retaining good staff was one reason he set up Balthazar, an opportunity that came several years after he opened e’cucina.

“There was a new opportunity for them [the staff],” he said.

Mr Trimboli said there was no limit to the number of restaurants an individual could open if they had enough staff resources.

“Restaurants are a function of people and of your staff and the team you have working for you,” he said. “Look at ALH. They have a whole chain, you need to look at your people resources.”

Mr Trimboli said that managing more than one restaurant at any one time required good delegation.

“It is the same as any other industry. If you go from one to two you give up control. Do you trust people enough to do that? What are your communication skills? How do you get your message or vision across? And how do you ensure that things that are happening in the place when you are not there don’t impact detrimentally?

“Why is Balthazar successful? Because of my people.”

According to Mr Trimboli, opening new ventures gets easier over time but operating them is always difficult. 

“It’s always hard, it’s like juggling things at the same time. It gets easier because you get used to it. It’s like having children,” he said.

Mr Trimboli said restaurants that stand the test of time do so because the venue gains and maintains customer trust and, as a consequence, customer loyalty.

 “It’s that the customers trust you, particularly in the City which is where I have operated mostly,” Mr Trimboli said. 

“When you take someone out for dinner or lunch you don’t want them to be let down. No-one is perfect and there are always things that can go wrong but it is a case of knowing how to deal with that and minimise the error rate. You have to be passionately focused.”

A very good understanding of the market in which the restaurant operates is also essential Mr Trimboli said.

“You can have the best location in the world and if you put the wrong product in, it won’t work,” he said.

“You need to understand the market and who you are catering for. If you don’t get that right then it won’t work.”

Creating something that works and works well attracts investor interest and Mr Trimboli believes knowing when to sell is largely based on instinct.

When he sold e’cucina two years ago Mr Trimboli was preparing for a major renovation but a good offer was presented to him, and the timing “felt right”.

 “”There is a lot of instinct and gut feels in this business. There is no formula you can provide that will make it work.”

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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