Tag Archives: food

Facts & figures about Retail, Franchising and …

What’s a concept?

Retail design is a creative and commercial discipline that combines several different areas of expertise together in the design and construction of retail space. Retail design is primarily a specialized practice of architecture and interior design, however it also incorporates elements of interior decoration, industrial design, graphic design, ergonomics, and advertising. Read more

How big is Christmas for Retail?

Christmas is big, no doubt about it. How big depends on what type of retail. Highest honors for big holiday volume goes to sporting goods, electronics, and clothing, but general merchandise and non-store retailers (like Amazon) are close behind. Lower holiday season sales occur at car dealers, building materials stores and gas stations. Read more

MENA: Franchise scenario

The total population of MENA region is 320 Million – 60% > 25 years. Regions population growth rate is 3-5% per year. One of the highest worldwide. In the next 3 years 500.000+sqm of new Retail will enter the Dubai’s market. Read more

What a brand today?

Are you aware of this?

DESITA slogan

Follow the three cyrcles

I am currently working on a new challenging project, at DESITA, merging some of the latest food trends.

Food Retail scenario is changing and we are surfing the big wave.

After months passed studying the market and the food products related to this awsome project, I came across to the following article.

You will not read about the project (next time) or about something trendy but you should read it to understand yourself, if you wish to live in a better way:

“The universe really is amazing. There are cycles in everything in the universe. There are cycles in weather, the seasons, the economy, wars, moon, sun, animal populations, geological formations, sea, physics, clocks and a million others I don’t have room to mention.
But did you know that your body also has a cycle?
And I am not talking about the obvious, nor am I talking just to the ladies here. This information is important for Everyone, so listen up! If you are not familiar with body cycles yet, so much is about to make sense…
Your body runs on 3 eight-hour cycles per day. Formally referred to as the Circadian Rhythms, and known for thousands of years via Ayurvedic teachings, to me understanding and applying these body clock principles has been the reason behind enjoying easy digestion, keeping my weight from fluctuating, never experiencing fatigue and maximizing my metabolism.

These are the cycles:

4AM-12PM Elimination
12PM-8PM Appropriation
8PM-4AM Assimilation

During the hours between 4AM and 12PM, your body is in the Elimination Cycle. It never stops to work on your digestion and you can still eat or drink or whatever at this time, but understanding that this is the period most important for cleansing and releasing toxins (‘Eliminating’), we can make the right food choices if we are going to eat. It is best to stick to liquids and most hydrating living foods, as we let our body shed the toxins (think how you wake up tired, sweaty, headachie and with bad breath- all are signs of detox symptoms).

So if you do choose to eat during this period, it is important to go for anything that will require minimal digestion and supFreshiiGreenport this cleansing cycle, such as fresh fruit or green juices.

This is why you often hear experts refer to breakfast as ‘the most important meal of the day’, exactly so you can make a careful choice on what’s light on digestion, not so you can eat the most gigantic feast. You are breaking the fast (break-fast), so do it right or proper elimination won’t get a chance.

“The elimination cycle is without question your greatest ally in the preservation of health and prevention of disease”; “If a blood test was to be taken every hour for 24 hours, it would show that the bloodstream is most heavily burdened with the by-products of metabolism during the hours between 4am-12noon, indicating the stepped up elimination cycle, because it is the blood that carries waste material to the four channels of elimination: bowels, bladder, lungs, and skin”- Harvey & Marilyn Diamond, Fit for Life

During the hours between 12PM and 8PM, your body is in the Appropriation Cycle. During this period, we are most awake, active, present and therefore efficient at digesting, metabolizing and burning through the majority of our heavily concentrated foods. This is why the majority of meals (lunch, dinner and snacks) also occur during this cycle. The most important thing to do during this period however IS NOT to be dictated by the clock or so called ‘norms’ of mealtime, when we are too starving to care what we have for lunch and tend to shove so much food down ourselves too quickly, that by the time the body registers what happened, it is too late and we overeat, get bloated and ‘too tired’ to digest. The most important thing to do then IS to eat only when hungry and in smaller portions, so you give your body plenty of breaks and chances to break down through the food with the least required effort, so it reserves the energy for everything else you need doing, not merely wasting it on digesting your meals.

During the hours between 8PM and 4AM, your body is in the Assimilation Cycle. This is the time you are most likely to be relaxed or sleeping. This period is when all the ‘assimilating’ or absorbing of nutrients and minerals from your food occurs and gets transported to your organs, bones and cells via the blood. It is when all the rebuilding, renewing and healing takes place. It makes sense to eat dinner early, so that the foods you eat are digested and out of the stomach in preparation for this phase. As all the goodness gets drawn from the food for you to strengthen, the remains get ready for Elimination, the start of the next cycle all over again.


Try this for yourself and be mindful of these three cycles for 10 days. Once you learn to pay attention to them, it will become second nature and your body will reap the bounty of benefits.

I wish to thank Tanya Alekseeva for the above great article!

Food, time and business. All good!

Yesterday I had the possibility to do what I like the most; combining business with pleasure.

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I was meeting with a very important and great person to discuss about business and we choose the lunch time instead of any other time in the day in order to relax a bit and not to be bored by the usual meeting in the office. Yes, nothing so new or special maybe but trust me if I tell you that sometimes combining good food, good persons and good times, it really makes your day.

We went to one of my favorite fish restaurant right on the beach which is luckily not observing the season timing. It’s always open and with fresh or quality food. As you can see from the above photo, shot upon arrival, the beach was almost empty and the general atmosphere was really quite. Perfect temperature to eat outside.

Well, we ordered “Passatelli with seafood”. Tasting, light and delicious. And we start talking about business. No wine was requested just to keep the mind clear and to pay full attention to the important subjects.

Yes, one day I will move my office in a restaurant or in a coffee shop.

So, at the end of the story, in few very pleasant hours I’ve been commitment for one project in Canada and one in France. What’s first?

When good food, good persons and good times makes also good business.

Add your own creations to the menu

Tokyo’s Logbar uses iPads to enable its patrons to make their own concoctions and add them to the menu for other guests to buy.

During my daily research on the web I usually find great ideas or new trends that help me to enlarge my professional know-how and related vision but today, thanks to my friend Silvia who forwarded me this news, I’m glad to share with you something which sound to me like a new era of social entertainment or social involvement and why not a new way to make profit.

20130808-130933.jpgHere how it works: “Each customer is handed an iPad Mini upon entering Logbar and is required to create an account and fill out their personal profile before they can use the device. When they do, they can access the bar’s drinks menu, place an order and take advantage of a number of social features, such as liking and sharing their favorite cocktails and chatting with friends and other guests. Each account holder gets a news feed which logs their recent orders, shows them what other people in the bar are drinking and offers recommendations based on their choices. While Logbar stocks many popular cocktails such as Mojitos and Martinis, the platform enables users to make their own cocktails by selecting the glass, alcoholic ingredients, mixers and adornments. They can then order the creation, name it and add it to the menu for anyone else to try.
Important: Creators receive JPY 50 whenever someone else orders their creation.
The video below explains a bit more about the concept:

The system aims to better connect customers through fun, creative activities and communication channels, and the possibility for guests to make money while they drink is certainly a unique one. (source)

Do you think this kind of interactivity could be healthy for the business?

espresso : “giornate” = Italia : business

No, non è un’equazione! Comunque la mettiate.

Cosa significa? Presto detto, ma prima una giusta e breve premessa, ovvero: “il prossimo 12 aprile, si “torna” a celebrare l’Espresso Italiano Day, la giornata dedicata al nostro caffè”. Così recita il comunicato stampa pubblicato dall’Ansa che riprende la notizia dell’Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano.

Analizziamo assieme la news: la prima cosa che mi salta all’occhio è che si “torna” a festeggiare, quindi vuol dire che si è già festeggiato almeno una volta, ovvero, si è già fatto esperienza. Ma allora perchè si ripetono gli errori? La seconda cosa che noto è la confusione tra lingua italiana ed inglese. Se si vuole festeggiare un prodotto ed una tipicità italiana, perchè questa “giornata” deve diventare “day”? Perchè dedicarla al nostro “caffè”, che non è nostro, infatti non lo coltiviamo ma lo trasformiamo solamente; e perchè quindi chiamarlo caffè, quando si chiama espresso?!?!

d9bd77f9181e907cf4a1947ef829eeceMi domando: se si festeggia l’espresso, bevanda realizzata dal o con il caffè (chi ne sa di più mi corregga pure), perchè si continuano a confondere i due termini? Perchè in Italia, patria dell’espresso, continuiamo a chiamarlo caffè?

Ma avete notato la foto pubblicata dall’Ansa? Nulla da dire a loro, non sono del mestiere, ma se fossi dell’Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano o un barista professionista, mi indignerei. Secondo voi quello è un espresso? A me sembra più che alla barista gli si sia addormentato il braccio o forse è colpa del fotografo che ha chiesto tempo per mettere a fuoco? Mah!

Povero espresso!

Torniamo alla non equazione. Cosa vuol dire? Significa che mentre in Italia si perde tempo a far le “giornate” – vedi anche la giornata europea del gelato – all’estero si pensa a fare business.

Traduco: noi creativi italiani, ci perdiamo in chiacchiere e progetti macchinosi senza fine e senza esser capaci di fare rete (che sia Franchising o semplice ATI), mentre all’estero si concretizza molto e subito. Se l’esperienza insegna, ci hanno già sottratto l’identificazione del caffè (vedi Starbucks e grazie a illy per quanto fa), la pizza (vedi Pizza Hut, a breve anche in Italia), la pasta (vedi Vapiano, La Tagliatella, ecc) e probabilmente a breve anche il gelato, visto che le uniche vere “reti” italiane si sviluppano solamente all’estero e chi sta approcciando il settore lo fa più per disperazione (leggi disoccupazione) che per vocazione o vero spirito imprenditoriale.

Una recente ed accesissima discussione su facebook, con amici e colleghi professionisti del settore, proprio su questo tema, mi ha fatto ribollire il sangue verso il pressapochismo italiano nei confronti di noi stessi. Ci si preoccupa delle giornate, di fare un prodotto DOP piuttosto che DOC ma quando c’è da sviluppare un business, esempio un progetto di Franchising, che tutelerebbe a priori molto di più, ci si perde in “giornate” fine a se stesse, cavilli burocratici, organizzativi, di invidia verso gli altri ed in domande fuori luogo come quelle dei torrefattori, che davanti ad un progetto imprenditoriale per lo sviluppo di una rete di caffetterie, ancora si domandano: “ma quanti chili di caffè vendiamo?”. Forse, più che le giornate per diffondere la cultura del caffè o di altri prodotti presso i consumatori finali, bisognerebbe fare più formazione imprenditoriale, soprattutto in ottica di internazionalizzazione.

Vorrei infine chiedere al Dott. Zecchini, presidente dell’Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano cosa intende, parlando di espresso, quando afferma che: “la cultura italiana del caffé è basata sulle differenze regionali”. Ma l’espresso non è uno solo, unico ed inimitabile? Le differenze regionali non si riferiscono forse a declinazioni della stessa bevanda che viene miscelata con altre, per lo più alcooliche? Non è forse vero che anche Lavazza ha realizzato delle “ricette regionali” ispirandosi a cinque tipicità italiane? Ovvero 5 declinazioni regionali dell’espresso?! E poi, qual’è il criterio con cui un esercizio pubblico di dovrebbe o potrebbe  registrarsi per aderire a questa iniziativa? Chi controlla la qualità dell’espresso servito?

15 days of travels and food around the world

Last 12th of February, with a colleague of mine, I went to Ljubljana to meet some potential clients willing to develop a new food concept project. It was snowing and as soon as we entered in Slovenia, the panorama changed. slovenia0

Beautiful. Striking.

We arrived at the perfect time to make the check-in at the hotel and to have some free time to enjoy Ljubljana downtown. Have you been there? You should, its beautiful! Again the time was perfect to have an aperitif. We went to one of the most beautiful wine bar I ever seen, the Movia. The atmosphere you can brief there is totally brought from the vineyards. We had Movia Cabernet Sauvignon. Outstanding ! Dinner at River House.


On the 14th, I flew to Madrid to meet an architectural and engineering group for Retail and Food & Beverages projects. Their great services are complementary with those of DESITA, therefore we met to find a mutual benefit business collaboration agreement. We succeed! Later on, we went to visit some of their projects. Dinner at La Tagliatella an impressive franchising concept.

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Last week I was in Dubai to attend to Gulfood. I was there together with FCSI EAME colleagues to guard the booth at the exhibition. We have been successful. Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) is the premier association promoting professionalism in foodservice and hospitality consulting. With over 1300 members in over 46 countries, FCSI members offer a wide range of consulting services including concept development, feasibility studies, food safety, design, marketing, operations and training. FCSI is changing a lot in its structure, philosophy and mission and we are all proud of this huge effort made by the Board of Directors. The website is brand new like the “foodservice consultant” magazine that provides authoritative insight, opinion and intelligence to help foodservice professionals keep in touch with the tings that matter.

It was nice to meet with clients, colleagues and old friends.

Dubai-Burj-KhalifaFor an important meeting I went to the Armani Hotel at Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. It was my second time there after its opening and to meet with my guest, I went to the coffee shop in the lobby. Time was nice so we decided to share an Italian bottle of wine. With all my surprise, the young waiter served us the ordered white wine with apparent difficulty and … the white wine wasn’t cold and not even fresh. Unbelievable.

We pointed out the regrettable inconvenience and the waiter brought us immediately a new bottle … with the same warm temperature. We had to call the waiter back and ask at least for an ice bucket and wait for a more pleasant wine temperature.

The fact is that I paid that bottle like 70 Euro and I didn’t receive any good service. It’s a shame as we were in THE Location. Now I probably understand why the f&b manager didn’t reply to my emails last year when I had my dinner at Mediterraneo. Beautiful atmosphere but very normal food. I think Armani Hotel has a lack in training human resources. Mr. Giorgio, please do something!

While I was in Dubai, I’ve been invited from a Sheikh friend of mine to attend the Peru Food Festival at Madinat Jumeirah’s Souk Amphitheater. What a surprise the Peruvian food. It’s just great! And it’s considered on the the next food trend worldwide.


So hurry up my friends, let’s organize a trip to Peru and all its wonders. Ready?

Well, I can’t write about everything happened because 15 days are quite long and things are many. I hope you enjoyed these few facts.

Traveling and sharing time with great people while having good food. Yes, that’s life!

A Pop-up revival in retail marketing – n°2

0a12719a9afee4890dd8842682a896cdThe pop-up phenomenon dates back 2004, when fashion brand Comme des Garcons opened a guerrilla store in Berlin, followed by a long list of known brands, such as ony Ericksson, Levi’s, Breil, Uniqlo or the most recent ones of Apple, Nokia, and Adidas Originals. (full article here)

Other interesting articles have been published last year such as: Oliva e Marino – The pop-up store of Pavesi, Barilla and H&M in the quicksand – A very short pop-up story.

Pop-up are still interesting as marketing tool?

Are they a sustainable business?

What is the difference between a pop-up store and a “movable structure” like a small truck selling food?

Can we still consider it a new trend?

What can be done next?

Well, you kind opinion is very much appreciate because I think that within the general economic crisis, we need to find a new way to engage with consumers and to be able to drive investment beyond the life span of the pop-up store. So, any idea?

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Food bloggers

Avete mai letto un blog che parla di cibo? Sicuramente.

Ce ne sono alcuni molto belli, sia nell’estetica – cosa che favorisce e allieta la lettura – sia nel contenuto – cosa estremamente importante – dove spesso e volentieri ci si immerge in racconti che profumano di buono tra indicazioni semi professionali o di pura esperienza.


Da buon amante del mangiar bene in generale, leggo spesso questi blog, quindi seguo i bloggers anche su twitter. Un mondo che mi affascina e sono sincero, ancora oggi mi meraviglio di come riescano a trasferire la loro passione attraverso uno strumento freddo e distaccato come internet. Bravissimi, c’è da imparare. Applausi.

Non posso dire di averne di preferiti, perchè tutti hanno quel “qualcosa”.

Perchè questo post sui food blogger? Sia perchè, avendo tempo, mi piacerebbe esserlo – forse vorrebbe dire che sono bravissimo a cucinare (sorrido) – sia perchè per lavoro mi trovo spesso a seguirli. Ma il vero motivo è che mi piacerebbe sviluppare un progetto con loro, infatti avrei alcune belle idee da condividere perchè essere un food blogger non è soltanto scrivere ricette, giusto?

Mi piacciono molto quelli che sono riusciti a differenziare, a dare al contesto il proprio stile, carattere e personalità, condendo (mai aggettivo fu più azzeccato) il blog con servizi dedicati, trasformando una passione in un vero business. Ecco alcuni esempi: food confidential; the kitchen times; dissapore; honest cooking; the chef is on the table; amaranto e melograno e naturalmente the fooders ed eco cucina con il suo laboratorio di ricette per una cucina a costo e impatto (quasi) zero. Altri li potrete trovare qui.

Attraverso blog che parlano di cibo, specialmente quelli stranieri, passano anche alcuni trend che legano il cibo ad alcune tendenze di mercato, sia per quanto riguarda i consumi di determinati prodotti alimentari, sia per quanto riguarda specifiche attrezzature.

Ancora nessuno però che si è spinto oltre. Chi di voi, vuole rispondere alla chiamata?

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