Monday, August 25, 2014

Knowing the Difference

Choosing where to eat can seem like a simple decision, especially when there are so many options out there, but knowing the facts can make a HUGE difference to where you eat.
Corporate restaurants are vastly taking over making it difficult for family owned businesses to survive.
As a family owned restaurant in the heart of Oakville for over 20 years, we can say there are several things that separate us.
For starters…quality. The quality of food is not comparable. For instance, let’s use a seafood pasta course as an example. A chain restaurant will use frozen clams, shrimp, fish, etc. and add it to the pasta using canned pre-made sauce. We use suppliers for our produce which is delivered fresh DAILY. Once we run out of something, that’s it, it’s sold out for the night and the next morning we get more fresh shipment. Every sauce is made from scratch, there are no MSG’s and no preservatives added. When you choose to eat here, it is like eating at home because it is simply homemade.

Consistency…while some may argue that chains are very consistent in that they don’t change, you’re right, they are, but that’s not the same kind of consistency you should be looking for. How many times have you gone out to a chain and you order a meal but you say, “I don’t want the onions” and they reply, “I’m sorry it already comes with onions.” Why? Because it is pre-made. When you come here, you will find consistency in quality and service, but if you order a pasta and you want to add chicken, change the sauce to rose, remove the artichokes, etc., you absolutely can because we make everything fresh on site. 
ServiceOur servers are professional servers that do this for a living. Most of our staff has been with us for many many years. 
The owner is chef Michel Fronteddu who started this business and still works in the kitchen and is the genius behind the tasty menu that we all enjoy, including myself! Anna, his wife, works at the restaurant and customers love to chat with her and the idea of having both of them around is not only reassuring but it also it is part of the whole package deal - you will never walk into a chain and see the owner. Why? Because it is all corporate, the owners are not involved, they are simply investors. 
Every morning, the same staff comes in and preps in the kitchen and works through the whole day until night time. In the dining room, the same managers, servers, bartenders come in and they know that Mr. so and so likes only lime with his water and not lemon or the regular that sits at the bar and has been doing so for years, so our bartender Maciek has the place setting ready for him with a newspaper. The hostesses know the regulars who always come in and sit at a certain table and not just because they like that spot, but also because they’ve shared birthdays, anniversaries and other special moments at that table. We have customers who have been coming here when their children were babies and now they have children of their own and they’ve shared all those special moments with us, which makes us one very fortunate restaurant.

The other thing about service is that we care, we care if you don’t like something, if your upset, if you love something or if you’re happy with what we are doing. We definitely care about you - our customer.
These are just some of the small touches that separate local restaurants from corporate. Wherever you live, you probably know a local spot similar to ours and if you don’t take the time to know the difference and support local owners, the fear is that we will disappear. Corporate chains will take over and you won’t have a choice. It will become harder to find that local restaurant in your hometown that cares so much and makes everything with the top ingredients who also supports other local suppliers and farmers.
Please know the difference and keep that in mind when you make your next choice on where to dine. We care, we love our customers and we want to continue striving at what we love to do.