Running a Restaurant in Ibiza - Interview with Antonio D'Ambrosio, Owner of Trattoria Del Mar
In this interview on The Logros Show – in association with The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce – Lee Dinsdale talks to Antonio D’Ambrosio, Owner of Trattoria Del Mar about running a business restaurant in Ibiza in the first of the Making Ibiza series.
Interview with Antonio D’Ambrosio, owner of Trattoria Del Mar – The Real Sound of the City.
Lee: Good afternoon this is Unity Radio, The Real Sound Of The City and we are broadcasting live from Trattoria Del Mar in Marina Botafoch and we are delighted to be joined by the owner Antonio D’Ambrosio. This is the first time we have done this kind of broadcast in Ibiza and we are going to be talking to the real entrepreneurs of Ibiza actually and hearing Antonio’s story. He will be giving us some practical tips about running a restaurant in Ibiza, and how he came to be here. First can you tell us about the restaurant Antonio?
Antonio: My name is Antonio D’Ambrosio and with my two brothers Luciano and Alessandro am the owner of Trattoria Del Mar. I come from Napoli in Italy and I grew up there. I studied accounting and hotel management and then I decided to leave Napoli. I wanted to get some experience abroad so when I was eighteen I went to Germany. I just wanted to get some experience but it’s like thirty years since I left Italy!
Lee: What was in like in Germany for you?
Antonio: I always did this work, hotel management and I spent ten years in Germany. I got married there, had children and we moved to Ibiza in 2000.
Lee: So you have been in Ibiza for twenty years?
Antonio: Yes so it was a big change and a good change.
Lee: This is a beautiful restaurant in a lovely spot.
Antonio: Yes it is. We are located in the harbour and we are a family restaurant. Luciano is the chef and Alessandro and I manage the restaurant. We have a lot of homemade pasta and seafood. One of our best plates is pappardelle with lobster.
Lee: It’s quite a cosmopolitan restaurant so how do you cater for all the different palates from all nationalities?
Antonio: Well we do a lot of pasta and seafood as I said and also a classic Italian kitchen. So we do lasagne, bolognaise and chicken. We don’t make any pizza but we have a classic Italian pizza.
Lee: What is your favourite dish?
Antonio: Pappardelle with lobster.
Lee: How has the covid crisis affected the restaurant so far?
Antonio: It’s affected us as it has everybody. So we have to make sure the tables are a safe distance away. We are cleaning our hands all the time and lots of cleaning of the restaurant. There is always someone cleaning the restaurant.
Lee: Have you been impacted by the UK governments decision which says people have to quarantine when they come back from holiday?
Antonio: Yes we have. We are lucky though because Marina Botafoch is still a very popular place.
Lee: In your opinion what makes a great restaurant here in Ibiza or in general?
Antonio: Well I think that good location is the first thing. Then it’s good staff and a good relationship between quality and price. I always say to my staff you have to make the customer feel the same way that you would like to feel when you go to a restaurant.
Lee: You’ve been in the hospitality industry for quite a long time. How did you come to own the restaurant?
Well I think that good location is the first thing. Then it’s good staff and a good relationship between quality and price.
Antonio: I studied hotel management in Italy and when I was eighteen I wanted some experience abroad so I moved to Germany. I wanted to do a season or so. I’ve also been to Switzerland and Austria. Then my two brothers came for the first year in Ibiza for the opening of the other restaurant which was the Trattoria del Sole which was very popular. After that I came here and we always wanted to make something together; that was our dream. We found this location in 2007 and opened in 2007.
Lee: What kind of hours are you putting in? How much hard work are you finding it?
Antonio: A lot, we work hard. Maybe I didn’t see a lot of my children when they were growing up.
Lee: I think these kind of things are important. When we speak to business owners they always share how much hard work it actually is and I imagine being here it’s just the same. How do you stand out from the competition because I imagine it is quite competitive here?
Antonio: One of the things that I think is important is the hours that we are open. So we start at 1pm through until 1 am every day. So you can have a late lunch or a very earlier dinner. So I think that is one of the things people know us for and that is important.
Lee: So you have a bit of a usp – you are known for always being open. I want to ask you about Ibiza in general. You have lived here for twenty years, how have you seen the island develop and change over those twenty years?
Antonio: I came here because I wanted a good life. Twenty years ago it was good but there were not so many things on the island. It was quieter than it is now.
Lee: In the UK Ibiza sometimes has a bit of a bad press. You have the San Antonio element which sometimes the way the news criticises it is quite negative and people get the wrong impression, but Ibiza has a beautiful side to the island as well. Tell us about the other things you can do here besides the party side.
Antonio: Ibiza is an island for everybody, so everyone can come to the island. It depends which life you want, you can find everything. So if you want a very quiet holiday and go to the beach you can have it. If you want to go out for the night to the disco, you can find everything. I think that is why it is so popular.
Lee: How do you spend your free time?
Antonio: Well in the summer I’m in the restaurant! I like the winter very much. The weather is really nice; it’s about 15 to 20 degrees. I don’t move the tables inside. You can eat outside in January and February and enjoy the sun. It’s a nice time in the winter. In the summer I work a lot, so I don’t have time to do anything!
Ibiza is an island for everybody, so everyone can come to the island. It depends which life you want, you can find everything. So if you want a very quiet holiday and go to the beach you can have it. If you want to go out for the night to the disco, you can find everything. I think that is why it is so popular.
Lee: Do you go back to Napoli much?
Antonio: Not a lot because my parents are living here with us and my brothers. I still have another brother in Napoli so maybe every couple of years I go to Napoli.
Lee: What are your top tips for running a successful restaurant and why?
Antonio: I think one of the most important things is to make the customer feel comfortable. Always make the customer the centre of attention. I think that’s very important when running a restaurant, that’s the way it should be. The management of the money is very important as well, managing the finances. Also trying to do new things is important, so now we are starting to do a delivery service now, so that’s something new for us.
Lee: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Antonio: Well I’m hoping we can finish this year and stay open all winter as well, that is my hope for this year. Hopefully next year will be a normal year with the discos open as well.
Lee: Thank you very much for joining us here. This was our first interview on location here in Ibiza and I think it has worked well. We’ve got some practical excellent tips on what it is like to run a restaurant here. Everybody have a fantastic day.
Antonio: Thank you so much graci.
Article Transcription by Terry Capostagno
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