It seems the word is well and truly out on the good food and atmosphere at Soprano’s in South Perth, as Julie-anne Sprague reports.
SOME restaurants have a knack for creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere that makes going out for dinner a memorable experience.
In this regard, Soprano’s at South Perth definitely fits the bill. And judging by the number of bookings phoned through while Gusto was interviewing co-owner Phil Timmermans, it seems the word is well and truly out there.
Soprano’s is frequently booked out on Friday and Saturday evenings and, according to Mr Timmermans, its success comes from providing good service and good food. The setting is another factor, of course, with the restaurant housed in a house built in the early 1900s on Mill Point Road.
“Italian food is something you can eat a lot of the time and we do good food here. Dino (Russocaronte, co-owner) and I buy the food and the chefs let us know if something is wrong,” Mr Timmermans says.
“We use home-made sauces and pasta and our pizza is woodfired. We make our own bread here and we find it is the little things that matter.
“We have good service and we have this building. You put that all together and it works.
“When people get home from work and they want to go out for a meal they want an experience that is good. If you go somewhere and the food is great but the service was slow or the music was too loud you most likely are not going to go back. It’s about delivering the whole package.”
And it would appear Mr Timmermans’ formula is working.
Previous owners of the Mill Point Road site have only lasted a year or two in the venue but Soprano’s is entering its fourth year.
Mr Timmermans says a key to that is making sure his customers have a good time, and to do that his staff are encouraged to have a bit of fun.
“We like to have fun but it’s a matter of knowing what you are doing,” he says.
“Once you are confident you can make light of things because the service aspect comes easy; you know what you are doing.”
Mr Timmermans is keen for his staff to work as a team, no matter which part of the business they happen to be involved in. Some of his staff have been with him since the doors first opened.
“When it’s someone’s birthday we all chip in and get a present or if someone is leaving we do the same,” he says.
Meals are under $20 and the restaurant is BYO wine. Mr Timmermans says that, because the restaurant usually seats 120 people, he is not forced to quickly turn around tables in order to make good margins.
A good local following and plenty of functions also help.
“We get regulars who end up booking the room upstairs for their kids’ 21st birthdays or for christening functions, and we’ve done some weddings,” he says.
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