Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food & beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Matti Rikkinen, owner of Robba da Matti Restaurant Group, a group of authentic Italian restaurants serving fresh pasta, fine wine, and good times with locations throughout Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a group of authentic Italian restaurants serving fresh pasta, fine wine and good times since 2011. We are the place where you keep returning to when you want to relive the best culinary experiences you had last time you were on vacation in Italy.
Tell us about yourself
I’ve been in the hospitality industry my whole life. I lived in Europe for many years and traveled a lot in my twenties. Some of my best memories traveling are finding a small, family-run local hole in the wall, spending a wonderful time with old or newfound friends, and eating dishes that the locals enjoyed.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Seeing the hustle and bustle of the staff right before service. I stand back in wonder sometimes seeing this beautifully designed space and my staff enjoying their work; it’s a great accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Loneliness is something that you need to overcome as a business owner. I can’t share my problems with my staff. Family members who aren’t entrepreneurs don’t understand the pressure. For that reason, I tend to suffer in silence.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Embrace making mistakes because you will make a lot of them. Own them with your head held high, and your good staff and good customers will respect you for it. The business exists for your customers' sake, not your egos'. Surround yourself with staff that is better and smarter than you.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Keep your eyes open for new opportunities. The more successful you become, the more will come your way.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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