January 4, 2019
Ritorno – premium Cocktail Bar, the brainchild of Giacomo Longo
Hailing from north Italy we introduce to you the restaurant owner ‘Giacomo Longo,’ his background in oil and gas is very different to the empire Giacomo Longo is building. Ritorno is a chic and premium cocktail bar and restaurant, the brainchild of the amazing Giacomo Longo. Ritorno is bringing the aperitivo-dinner lifestyle from Milan to London and is currently the buzz word on everyone’s lips. Ritorno first opens its doors back in 2017 in the fashionable and hip Chelsea. Ritorno Covent Garden will offer all day dining with an Italian-inspired menu incorporating modern European cuisine. At 1,500 square feet, the Covent Garden location is double the size of its sister Chelsea restaurant. Ritorno, Covent Garden is a stylish and tropical oasis with teal and jewel toned accents, modern art deco inspiration, the flamingo-themed design is their definitely their signature. Italian culture is evident when you dine at Ritorno, great food, fine wines and cocktails in a chic yet relaxed environment.
Diners can enjoy Italian cuisine at its finest, the best Italian regional pizza from Rome to Puglia. Ritorno offers perfectly made pastas and fresh seafood dishes all sourced from the finest Italian produce. Please don’t leave Ritorno Covent Garden without trying the ‘Micotherapy’ a new martini exclusive to Ritorno Covent Garden; Absolut Elyx is matched with the spores of Porcino Calabro Liquer and the Balsamic and antifungal qualities of the kios skinos mastiha! You will not be disappointed…
Luxuria Lifestyle sat down with Giacomo Longo to discuss where it all started, what was his impetus to move from corporate to being a successful restaurant owner.
LL Start from the beginning how did you get to where you are now.
GL Hard work, day to day focus on business.
LL What is your greatest achievement and biggest challenge?
GL As above, second site opened in Covent Garden less than 2 years from the first one in Chelsea. Every day is a challenge since day one, when you own a business you have a lot of responsibility so you have challenges on a daily basis.
LL How is your business moving with the new millennial, social media presence, bookings etc.
GL PR and marketing are fundamental tools to make your business successful – a strong Instagram page is very important nowadays.
LL What advise do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners? What do you wish someone told you?
GL Always believe in people that work for you, motivating them because you cannot be a successful entrepreneur without your team. I wish someone told me to gain some experience as a waiter in a restaurant in London before opening a restaurant, this would have helped me understand better level of service.
LL What personal item could you not do without and why?
GL A mobile phone, with this you can go everywhere and you can work; you can do everything you want. It’s unbelievable how nowadays an electronic devise is fundamental to live.
LL What 3 individuals famous or not would you like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
GL One Chef as Antonino Cannavacciuolo, I would love to listen to him talking about receipts and kitchen ‘stories. Silvio Berlusconi, I would love to ask him questions about the last 30 years of politics in Italy and worldwide and also many questions about his life as successful entrepreneur. Last one could be a legendary tennis player like Federer or a Juventus footballer like Del Piero or Buffon.
LL In your opinion what makes a good entrepreneur?
GL His capability to understand every situation of the working life and take the right decision for the business.
LL In what way do you think your background shaped you to build a restaurant.
GL My degree definitely is a plus because I have studied Business Management with subjects as Marketing, Operational management and Finance so when you know the basis then is easier to transfer it every sector. Also I have been working in a corporate for 5 years; it gives you methods and attitude for the work.
LL What gave you the impetus to take the Ritorno brand to Covent Garden?
GL Because I strongly believe that our concept is successful in this upcoming area of London where many famous brands are landing (Sushi Samba is one for example)
LL What are the highs and lows of being a restaurant partner?
GL High is the satisfaction in business result because it’s something yours 100% and seeing guests satisfied is one of the best thing that could happen in a restaurant. Lows is the lack of time for you, I can see that since I have opened Ritorno in Chelsea 2 years ago I have less time for myself than before, less time for your family, friends and hobbies.
LL How did you manage to thrive in an industry when others fail?
GL It’s tough to say, but day to day work/commitment will always pay off.
LL What are the main differences between the restaurant industry in Italy and London.
GL Big difference, in Italy you cater for Italians only (practically) in London you cater for everyone, for people from all-over the world. You need to find the right concept and match the customers demand.
LL What are your 5 pearls of wisdom?
GL “Find a solution otherwise you become part of the problem”
LL What does the future hold for Ritorno?
GL Consolidation of the business is very important and maybe other openings in the next few years. Our plan is to expand the Ritorno Brand and enter in new markets. A pop-up for summer season is one of our goals.
W: Ritorno London
A: 442 King’s Road, SW10 0LQ
T: +44 020 3301 6333
Written by Rene Byrd for Luxuria Lifestyle International