Success Stories

Vinny’s Ristorante

Some restaurateurs think of themselves as being “quality oriented” because the ingredients they buy are a cut above their mediocre competitors. But Vinny Migliore isn’t interested in being “better than some.” Instead, he attributes his 44 year success to always striving to be “best of the best.” It must be working because Zagat patron surveys consistently rate Vinny’s food as “extraordinary to perfection.”

Located in Somerville, MA, Vinny’s Ristorante continues to attract a highly loyal following, despite the fact that its neighborhood lacks the magnetic charm of Boston’s famous “North End.” In fact, Vinny credits having to work doubly hard to attract patrons to his less atmospheric location (compared to ristoranti in Boston’s “Little Italy”) for his passion for continually enhancing his quality.

Vinny’s goal in choosing ingredients is always putting flavor first, regardless of cost. He isn’t interested in attracting the type of customer looking for bargains because he has watched too many former competitors “fool themselves out of business” by trying to cut costs with mediocre ingredients.

Instead, Vinny prefers quality oriented patrons who don’t mind paying a bit more for the very best flavor. So he focuses on “saving customers, not dollars.” In other words, make your food so flavorful that customers can’t help but return and costs will take care of themselves.

For example, to make his recipes more intensely flavorful, Vinny prefers cooking with 100% extra virgin olive oil instead of cheaper, yet less flavorful, olive oil blends. Similarly, he pays a few dollars more per pound for ultra premium quality pork chops because his ultimate goal is to make them so mouthwateringly tender and flavorful that guests can’t help but say, “That’s the best pork chop I have ever had!”

Because his food quality is truly exceptional, Vinny’s most effective “marketing” is personally inviting potential new guests he meets around town to come enjoy his food for free. Writing his offer on the back of his business card helps them recognize his offer as genuine so that they will follow through.

Interestingly, comping their entire meal (vs. offering a dollar value or discount) helps recipients recognize the offer as genuine hospitality aimed at “making a friend,” not a marketing gimmick aimed at “making a sale!”

For the same reason, when Vinny notices other newcomers trying his place, he tries to make a personal connection with them by visiting their table while bringing them an unexpected treat, like a plate of his signature hand ground meatballs “on the house.”

These types of marketing tactics can be highly effective, but only when your food quality is truly exceptional relative to your best competitors!