Today one of the customers said to me that our pizza was the best he’d ever eaten. Not the best vegan pizza, but the best pizza. Period. For me, this seconds-long exchange was a moment of tangible success.
We envision Tolstoy as an innovative software-driven restaurant company. Why software?
While working on the Tolstoy menu we kept in mind two main things: the traditions of the past and the technologies of the future.
First time we had heard of Tolstoy, we right away thought about a colourful, funky and fresh-looking place (think vegan, young, trendy).
A right kitchen concept is a deal breaker in the food service industry. That is why we have given our Tolstoy kitchen concept a lot of thought.
A bit more than a year ago, I decided that I wanted to open my restaurant. However, I’ve never before worked in a restaurant. Where do you start, what do you do? I didn’t know.
The fact that we didn’t manage to finish the Tolstoy construction came to be a blessing in disguise (we were supposed to open before corona).
We started to look for a location for our first restaurant in the beginning of March 2019. We got the location by October 2019 – so, it took us around 8 months, which is forever to be honest.
When we first had an idea of opening a vegan restaurant chain, we right away started to think how to name it.
As a business owner, my first answer is, of course, financial attractiveness. There is a lot of money in this market.
Why did I decide to go into the food/restaurant business, one of the toughest businesses there is? It is a conventional wisdom that 90% of the restaurants fail in the first year.
How do you start a project, which sounds crazy and, in the beginning, makes sense only to you? How do you even start anything? I personally have faced all of these questions in the last several years.