Davide Oldani and the sustainable lightness of his Pop cuisine

Davide Oldani

The protagonist of this new interview, Davide Oldani, certainly needs no introduction. Oldani is not simply a chef (awarded with two Michelin stars) but the creator of a new way of proposing haute cuisine. What he calls CucinaPop (pop cuisine) is a real revolution capable of combining high quality and accessibility.

His restaurant, D'O, is located in Cornaredo, in the province of Milan, his country of origin. His training path is almost legendary: Gualtiero Marchesi, Albert Roux, Alain Ducasse, Pierre Hermé are just the most important references of a unique path for completeness and depth.

Oldani has always placed the search for simplicity, the enhancement of raw materials and respect for seasonality at the center of its creative process. All this allows him to reinterpret the great Italian cuisine with extremely original results.

But there is one element in particular that marks the "Oldani style" more than others, the choice - made in unsuspecting times and therefore absolutely outside any fashion aspect - to place at the center of his work and his creativity the concept of sustainability.

Being sustainable, for a contemporary restaurant, does not only mean the careful choice of raw materials, attention to the way in which they were produced, continuous research to eliminate and minimize waste ... it also means the ability to enhance all those tools that modern technologies make available to reduce the environmental impact of our work.

The D'O was recently also awarded the Michelin Green Star for sustainability. This umpteenth gratification rewards the constancy and consistency with which Oldani pursues its goal towards a restaurant that is increasingly attentive to sustainability issues to achieve which - in a very small part - even Enoweb and Prenota-Web have given their contribution.

Davide Oldani

Chef Oldani, can you tell us what were the reasons that led you to choose Enoweb, the management software for the cellar and the wine list. Was this something new to you?

Yes, it was new, but only partially. If we talk about digital wine list, you should know that it has been more or less 10 years that in my restaurant between orders in the dining room and the wine list there is no longer a single sheet of paper. It all started with our precise choice of wanting to make our business as sustainable as possible and for this reason we have long equipped ourselves with tools that have allowed us to transfer these features to digital.

Starting from this assumption, with the arrival of Enoweb we had the opportunity to further refine and improve our service. In particular, I am thinking of the aspects relating to the loading and unloading of wine, the advantage of always having a map updated in real time.

Davide Oldani

We bring our wine list to the table using Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Fold. When we adopted it, it represented an absolute novelty as it was the first folding pc ever produced in the world. It is an extraordinary tool for its ability to make my work even more sustainable thanks to technology, which is fundamental in the communication process in the dining room with customers and in the kitchen.

The choice to use Enoweb application allowed us to make this tool even more effective. Now in our wine list there are no more annoying deletions or notes with 'out of stock' next to the finished references. There is none of this anymore. When we bring the Fold to the table we are sure that all the references indicated are actually available. And then when a bottle is ordered, the order is activated with a simple click, the warehouse is updated and - at the same time - the wine list is also updated. This means that thanks to Enoweb today when we go to the customer's table we are sure to always deliver true and reliable information.

So, your customers were already accustomed for years to using the digital support to consult the wine list?

Yes, of course, but compared to before this solution allows us to have a much smarter smart relationship with our customers - if I may say.

Furthermore, the features of Enoweb today also help us to take a step forward in warehouse and order management.

Davide Oldani

Other advantages?

A further advantage that we have found compared to before concerns the possibility of being able to load the descriptive card of each single label with a simple click.

Before adopting Enoweb we had started to build our own database internally but its updating took us a long time and we were not always able to keep up with new arrivals.

Now, thanks to the Enoweb database, we have refined everything in order to provide the customer for each label with all the information they need to be able to make their choices.

Chef Oldani, in the meantime, thank you for the positive opinion you have given of our program for managing the cellar and the wine list.

At this point I would ask you for your evaluation of the other E-Group product that is used in your restaurant. I am referring to Prenota-Web, the software for managing reservations. How has your way of operating changed?

Davide Oldani

In reality it is not accurate to say that we have changed the way we operate but rather that we have given a further push to an evolution already underway. The choice of Prenota-Web has allowed us to almost completely eliminate the no-show problem and this has been of considerable importance to us because it has allowed us in some ways to secure our work, protecting it from the unpleasant consequences of misconduct on the part of some.

But it is not only for this reason that we have decided to adopt Prenota-Web because, if it is true that no-shows represent a serious problem for our entire category, it is also true that in reality for us it was still a matter of a few cases that caused us a partially limited damage. The real boost was given to us by the choice to equip ourselves with cutting-edge tools, given that now the trend leads all of us restaurateurs towards innovative technological solutions.

This is why we thought that the time had come to look for a definitive solution and, after careful research, we identified and chose Prenota-Web. A happy choice, also because we have found on your part ( from E-Group, ed ) a wide availability to customize some aspects of the program so that it matches our needs as closely as possible.

What are the aspects that convinced you to make this choice?

Davide Oldani

First of all - and I like to repeat this thing - the availability of the technicians and people with whom we relate: always ready to give an answer and a solution to our requests. And then the efficiency of the system that allows us to keep an eye on the entire booking process, table organization, customer confirmations and everything else.

Did the introduction of Prenota-Web change anything in your relationship with customers, or was the transition painless?

No, absolutely no problem. Also because we all have a smartphone and likewise we all have little time available. This applies not only to us but also to our customers. So with Prenota-Web they can do everything by themselves and enter the data calmly, without the risk of errors. And above all, they can do it at any time of day when they have the time and comfort to do it.

Until recently in the context of Italian restaurants, even the starred one, it was really difficult to make restaurateurs accept the idea of ​​introducing the request for a credit card for the authorization of the penalty in case no-show. It was believed that the Italian market was not reasonably ripe for this step. Has anything changed from this point of view today?

Yes, something has changed. Now it has also become natural for us to request credit card data even if we restaurateurs do not yet enjoy all the possibilities granted to hoteliers who can withdraw the money directly. And in any case we do not withdraw any amount of money in advance.

This request created some problems with your customers?

Absolutely not, because people now travel, know things and are used to these kinds of requests. Indeed, many even compliment us precisely because they understand our situation, they put themselves on our side, they realize that it is only a form of protection of our work and for this reason they gladly accept to provide the information requested of them.

How long have you installed Prenota-Web?

Davide Oldani

It's actually not a very recent thing because we adopted it about a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, however, the arrival of the pandemic, the intermittent closures and all the rest…. this has slowed down the whole system operation a bit. So it is only since the last few months that we have been using it at full capacity.

How do you rate it after this first period?

Very positively because it has helped to improve the relationship with our customers by making it more efficient.

To conclude, what is the reflection that you feel you can share with us about the two applications?

I think that the choice that led us to use Prenota-Web and Enoweb represented a further step forward in the management of reservations, the cellar and the wine list. For us this has been a positive path because it has allowed us on the one hand to make our performance more efficient and on the other hand to use new technological solutions to make the impact of our work even more sustainable.

[February 7, 2022]

Piergiovanni Mometto [www.mometto.net]




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