Success Stories

Trattoria Fabrizio

Teresa Fabrizio’s cozy trattoria is located in Stratford, ON, a town known for its many Shakespeare festivals. So, in addition to many local regulars, Teresa also works to earn repeat business from theatergoers who return to see their favorite plays. That is why she says that her food has to be so flavorful that even seasonal guests will count on returning, time after time!

Given the popularity of cooking shows on the Food Network and elsewhere, Teresa has discovered a unique way to differentiate her place, boost sales at slower times, and attract tour groups by the busload. That is, Teresa puts on “cooking show” style meals for large groups.

During regular restaurant hours, the long wooden table which separates Teresa’s dining room from her large open kitchen is heaped with freshly baked Italian cookies, pastries, and other delectable desserts.

But when a group books a “cooking show” event, the long table is cleared to become Teresa’s center stage. And while her “audience” enjoys each prearranged course at their individual tables, Teresa demonstrates how to make the exact same dish at home! Along the way, she shares family stories about cooking, food, and growing up Italian.

In addition to trying to draw each guest into “the moment,” Teresa also likes to spoil them (like her nonna would) by treating them to an unexpected taste of something special, like warmed chocolate for dipping their Italian “doughnuts!”

By combining story telling, Real Italian hospitality, and her great tasting food, Teresa not only enchants her guests, she makes her restaurant that much more appealing to the tour directors who decide where their buses will stop for lunch.

Similarly, Teresa boosts business at other times by hosting smaller scale cooking classes, which tend to appeal more to locals.

Given her love of cooking and story telling, Teresa has committed many family recipes and stories to paper in several cookbooks, which she sells in the restaurant. To keep costs reasonable, she produced the books herself by hiring an editor to polish and proofread her stories and recipes, a graphic designer to make each page look its best, and a commercial printer who could print and bind a small quantity of books at a time.

While the cookbooks sell especially well at Teresa’s special events, they are also popular with her regulars, who enjoy leafing through them at their tables as they await their meal’s arrival! While it makes Teresa feel good to share her Real Italian heritage with others, she also welcomes the extra $25 that comes from every book she sells!

While new ways to engage customers help boost the bottom line, Teresa knows that ultimately it is consistently great tasting food which brings her customers back for more!