Success Stories

Richard Accursio’s Capri Restaurant

Over two generations, Richard Accursio’s Capri Restaurant in Florida City, FL, has expanded to more than 300 seats by simultaneously cultivating multiple, distinctly dissimilar customer bases, including upscale diners, working families, and banquet customers.

Sometimes, growth minded restaurants attempt to “broaden their menus” to appeal to a larger audience. For example, a fine ristorante might try to attract more families by offering more child friendly entrées. However, trying to appeal to multiple unique audiences simultaneously risks alienating your existing core customers.

The reason is simple. Part of a restaurant’s appeal to a particular audience is who else already eats there. So families are naturally drawn to other families. Romantic couples relax more around other couples. And so on.

That is why the Accursio family’s approach is remarkable. That is, instead of “trying to be all things to all people” (and risking strongly appealing to no one), they have chosen to operate the restaurant’s two main dining rooms as separate eateries, each aimed at satisfying a specific clientele with its own unique menu, décor, and price points.

On the one hand, the restaurant’s King Richard Dining Room (playfully named for founder Richard Accursio) offers fine Italian dining on white linen tablecloths, surrounded by original paintings.

On the other hand, the Capri Dining Room evokes a cozy 1950s pizzeria with red checked tablecloths and framed Accursio family photos on the walls. Meanwhile, that menu focuses on casual family favorites, like pizzas and sandwiches.

So from a “front of the house” marketing viewpoint, creating a truly unique dining experience in each room has allowed the Accursios to make both audiences feel at home, at the same time.

Even though the two menus are unique, having a single larger kitchen serve two onsite eateries gives the family much tighter control over consistency than if they had to manage two smaller kitchens in separate locations. As Jim Accursio says, “L’occhio del padrone, ingrassa il cavallo!” (“Under the eyes of the owner, the horse grows fat!”)

Unlike restaurants which offer banquet service as a sideline, the Accursios also profitably run their banquet business as a standalone venture. Because large parties could potentially divert staff from pleasing regular restaurant guests, Jim insists on personally booking all catering and banquets rather than delegating the task to an assistant.

From the viewpoint of his upscale clientele of party planners, working directly with the owner (vs. a manager or assistant somewhere else) also gives them greater confidence in choosing Accursio’s to host their special event!