Artigos e Pesquisas

D’O: Making a Michelin-Starred Restaurant Affordable

Publicado na Havard Business Review em 16/12/2013.

Under the leadership of Chef Davide Oldani, the Italian restaurant D’O balances Michelin-star-level quality with affordable prices. In the following story and video, Gary P. Pisano explains how the chef-owner does it.

by Carmen Nobel (story) and Joanie Tobin (video)

For restaurateurs, receiving a Michelin star can be a mixed blessing. Certainly it’s a rare and celebrated honor—the French company bestows its one-, two-, and three-star ratings only to a select few restaurants worldwide. However, a star begets expectations of quality. To avoid the disgrace of losing the rating, a starred restaurant often invests more money than ever on high-quality staff, flatware, wine, and ingredients. The result: higher prices. Dinner tabs in France or Italy often skyrocket to more than 120€ per person, for instance. Frugal patrons look for affordable alternatives, and the restaurant, failing to fill seats nightly, starts operating at a loss.

But then there’s D’O, a restaurant in Cornaredo, Italy, that opened in 2003 and received a Michelin star only one year later. Under the leadership of chef and owner Davide Oldani, the profitable 35-seat eatery serves dinners at around 45€ to 50€ per head and lunches for half that. D’O not only is filled to capacity year-round, but there’s an 18-month waiting list to dine there. Understandably, this piqued the interest of a veteran organizational strategy scholar.

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