Antica Locanda Del Falco: "Enoweb helps us to grow and become a business"

“I fell in love with this place, the Antica Locanda del Falco”. To write in such enthusiastic terms about the local of this new testimony is not just any keyboard but that of Paolo Massobrio, the journalist and food and wine critic who through his guide Il Golosario enhances not only the best of our restaurant but also the work of many producers of quality food and wine.

"In the meantime - continues Massobrio - the ancient village of Rivalta di Gazzola (Pc), with the beautiful old stone houses, the church, and then this restaurant which has an amazing shop of local products ... a unique, welcoming and 'unsurpassed quality / price ratio ”.

Antica Locanda Del Falco is exactly all of this. An extraordinary place, rich in history; a cuisine firmly rooted in the gastronomic tradition of the Piacenza area and its extraordinary products which, however, doesn’t lack unexpected and surprising evolutions towards a more contemporary interpretation; a gourmet restaurant that attracts customers from Piacenza and other nearby cities, which however has absolutely not lost its vocation as a place dedicated to refreshing travelers and locals, so much so that even today the Antica Locanda del Falco preserves the tradition of offering at noon a "substantial" business lunch for only 12 euros, inherited from the seventies, when what was then a simple trattoria was frequented from the first light of dawn by the men who worked in the stables and in the fields.

The restaurant walls have 700 years of history. A story that begins in the mid-fifteenth century with the granting of the right to exercise the activity of inn and tavern when the Milanese and Lombard merchants were also going up the Trebbia in search of those products (especially cured meats and cheeses) considered at the time the best ever, that "robba de Piasenza" so different from other ordinary cured meats and cheeses, a kind of DOP ante litteram, highly sought after by gourmets then as today. When you enter the Antica Locanda del Falco you must necessarily go through the amazing pantry - grocery store that displays a cornucopia of all good things. Not only the local wines, the famous cured meats produced by the best farms, processed at home and refined in the cellars of the Antica Locanda, the seasonal vegetables coming daily from the general markets, the homemade pickles, cheeses and everything else you need even to the kitchens of the restaurant.

Managing the Antica Locanda del Falco, after the death of her parents, is Sabrina Piazza, the youngest of five siblings, all involved in different ways and with different times in the family business. The Piazza took over this special place forty years ago in 1977. “My father - Pucci Piazza the eldest of the five brothers tells us - had been a great butcher and butcher. He loved his job and was the first in Piacenza to understand the value of the quality meat that was being produced in Piedmont at the time ... My mother Rina, on the other hand, was a solid family cook who knew all the secrets of traditional home cooking, accustomed to not wasting anything and dealing with fresh and quality raw materials: 'where we eat and how we eat our customers can do it too' she used to say and this was the philosophy with which she enthusiastically threw herself into the commitment of having to take care of the restaurant's kitchens ".

Initially, the Antica Locanda del Falco was a classic tavern. A trattoria open all day for the local public but it has also always been a point of reference for the Piacentini who, during the weekends, loved to frequent this area to enjoy the coolness of the Trebbia, then much richer in water. For some years now, Sabrina, in charge of the kitchens, has picked up the baton from her parents and is leading the Falco towards a new phase: “Tradition is always respected in our menu - Pucci Piazza tells us – but slowly, with caution, our cuisine is changing gear by offering new preparations and a more dynamic and modern menu, with greater attention to the needs of today's consumers, also offering vegetarian and gluten-free dishes ”. The presence of Tomohide Nakayama and Yurika Koeda undoubtedly helps to facilitate this evolution, helping Sabrina in the kitchen for the salty and the sweet respectively. The two Japanese chefs brought with them not only a breath of fresh air but also the weight of the many years of experience gained by both in the shadow of Maurilio Garola in the starred cuisine of Ciau del Tornavento.

The Antica Locanda Del Falco therefore continues to be faithful to its nature with a cuisine treated in all aspects but without special effects where the concept of quality and freshness wins and where everything is prepared day by day. "The many fashions that have occurred over the years and have pervaded Italian cuisine - Pucci Piazza tells us - have never found a match here: we have gone our own way with the will to do better and better. If today in our kitchen there is some concession to the aesthetics of the dish and an innovative proposal, this is the result of our internal evolution, of the fact that in all these years, with patience, we have educated our customers and waited for them to understand how much we went proposing to them. In the Piacenza countryside, gastronomic prejudice is still a very strong feeling, but today the first to ask us what's new on our menu are our regular customers ".

But if the evolution in the kitchen is slow and skilful, the same cannot be said for the aspects concerning the management of the restaurant. Here it was necessary to keep up with the times quickly and give ourselves a structure and organization that have transformed a family-run business into a real business.

“This was a very complicated period and in recent years the Falco has gone from a quiet family-run business to a different reality. It has become a real company. So while in the past the different tasks and responsibilities were shared between us family members based on what there was to do and the time made available, today everyone has their own duties and responsibilities in their own sector. Today my sister Sabrina is no longer just the cook who learned the secrets of family cooking from our mother but a real entrepreneur who coordinates and manages the business of about twenty people. He is responsible for a company where sectors of fundamental importance for the first time are entrusted not to brothers and relatives whom one trusts (even if they are not always able to deal with them professionally) but to other people connected to us from an exclusively employment relationship. Skilled and capable people - certainly - but they always leave you with bated breath ".

In this sense, the events experienced by the Antica Locanda Del Falco can be considered paradigmatic of what has been happening in recent years in an important part of Italian catering, where the generational handover is no longer sufficient to guarantee business continuity if it isn’t accompanied by the introduction of elements of entrepreneurship in the management of the company.

One of these elements is represented precisely by the possibility of managing and always keeping under control the cellar which represents the main shopping center for a restaurant like Falco. “In a modern management context - underlines Pucci Piazza - you gradually realize that you need specific tools that can help you in this phase of evolution and transition. You understand that you can no longer rely solely on the people you trust. We need tools that allow you and your collaborators to work better, easier, faster, more effectively and also to be in control of everything quickly and safely ".

“Enoweb gives an answer to all this but also does something more. All of us entrepreneurs make use of external consultants (the labor consultant, the accountant, the communication expert, the various management programs and so on) but these frame your business in a way that is distant, artificial and often deeply false, in other words, they describe something that does not correspond to the true essence of your business. In conclusion, if on the one hand you realize that you need solutions that help you manage your business in an entrepreneurial way, very often those who provide these services don’t take into account your real needs ".

"This is exactly what happened even when, after receiving the task of putting order in the management of the cellar from my sister Sabrina, I decided to search for a management program that would help me in this huge task. The first solutions that I had identified, despite being excellent programs, didn’t exactly correspond to my expectations and the reason became clear to me immediately: they had been tailor-made for the wineries of the producers. Of course they could also work for the cellar of a restaurant like ours where almost six hundred labels are kept but they weren't exactly what I was looking for. "

"Then - continues Pucci Piazza - looking on the Net I was able to learn about the reality of E-Group and as the head of the company, engineer Chinchio, explained to me the features of the program, I recognized myself. I understood that this person was talking to me about things that concerned me, that provided a solution to the problems I had to face every day and all this - I thought - is truly extraordinary. "

Enoweb at Antica Locanda del Falco has been fully operational since September 2016. It took three months of intense work to put the cellar in order, create a truly updated inventory and start using the program, but since then, however, Pucci Piazza's professional life has completely changed. His previous day was completely absorbed in this commitment. "The inventories - more or less reliable - happened all the time but they were never completely certain and reliable because there was always the employee who forgot to say something, a price that had not been noted correctly, in short, this kind of monster, even if we tried to put order in the end it was always unmanageable and keeping the cellar in order required all my efforts and those of my collaborators for most of our working days. " But the best was yet to come ... "Initially it seemed to me that - even with a reduced commitment - I had to continue to keep the threads of this thing, coordinating the work of my collaborators with the help of this new IT support. Nothing more false. Because the quick and efficient support that Enoweb gives us at all times has enabled our cellar manager (a person who in his life has never had to deal with IT support in his work) to be totally autonomous. Before, I talked to him at least ten times a day: 'these bottles have not arrived, here the cap is missing, here the label, this bottle is not found and this other one where it comes from, etc ...) today instead we only hear about trivial problems (for example the lack of an invoice) and he isn’t only completely autonomous in the management of the cellar but also has much more time available to deal with the most interesting aspects of his profession. "

“Today I am absolutely happy when I see that these collaborators of ours close the month with a simple click of the mouse, update the wine list in a few moments and have the satisfaction of seeing everything perfectly restored and perfectly updated. It is an extraordinary thing because - I will never tire of repeating it - this program is built on our needs and when I talk about our needs I am referring not only to those restaurants that have important and very demanding wineries but also to the many restaurateurs who like us they have smaller cellars with a few thousand bottles and a few hundred labels. And if I really had to express a regret from this whole affair - concludes Pucci Piazza - it consists in the fact that there are no IT products with the same sensitivity as EnoWeb towards our operational and organizational needs that help us to deal with the other management aspects and operations of our company. "



Piergiovanni Mometto [www.mometto.net]




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