Big Mamma: Tigrane Seydoux explains the recipe for great success in Europe

7 years ago, two friends united by a passion for Italy opened a restaurant in Paris. They are now at the helm of about two dozen organizations across Europe, serving 10,000 customers daily. Their recipe is simple: going to their trattorias is like a trip to Italy. Customers love it, employees are pampered, and Big Mama is growing.

Behind Big Mamma’s catering group, there is above all a meeting of two students from HEC, Tigrane Seydoux and Victor Lugger, both passionate about Italy. “Crazy Victor Cooking –Says Tigrane Seydoux, co-founder of Big Mamma. He loves Italian gastronomy and I, his lifestyle. In addition, all my life, I have wanted to work in the catering and hospitality business“.

Tigran Seydoux and Victor Luger / Joanne Bay

The democratization of Italian gastronomy

The problem is that Paris was already full of pizzerias. “You can’t go 10 meters without going through an Italian restaurant –Explains Tigran. But what was frustrating was thatYou had to choose between cheap and bad eating or having to pay a lot of money to really get quality. In the end, we wanted to democratize quality“.

And so in 2015, they opened their first restaurant in Paris, “East Mama”. Success exceeds all expectations And within a month, the trattoria appears Three times the number of potential customers. Then they decided to open a second restaurant, then a third, etc. Since then, the pace of opening has not slowed, with an average of two new establishments per year. In 2019, it was the start of the international adventure, with a first jump in London, then in Madrid in 2020, and this year in Munich and Berlin.

Big Mamma: a trip to Italy for an average of 25 euros

How did they get this far in such a short time? Simple but effective: good value for money, 25 euros on average, excellent cuisine and a warm atmosphere, this is the secret of the success of the Big Mamma catering group. “meal time –Tigran Seydu says– Our client travels to Italy. The products are Italian, the staff is Italian, the venues are immersive, with Italian decor and cutlery and finally very good value for money. it’s a A unique culinary experience for the customerYou“.

One of the salons of Villa Capri in Madrid
One of the salons of Villa Capri in Madrid / Jerome Galan.

To get these high quality products, The two friends toured Italy To find the best ingredients. In all, 180 artisanal producers make for the originality of their kitchen.

Very excited team

In addition to excellence, the second pillar of their philosophy is a highly motivated team. “Serving food is a tedious and repetitive task.Tigran Seydoux confirms– And the If the team is excited and happy, customers will feel it. Finally the restaurant is a bit like football. You are a team leader, you take on a project, and you really have to love and share what you do. Each service is a bit like a football match. It’s crazy how effective team cohesion and strength can be in a restaurant’s performance. And this is how you create a company culture, because you should be proud to work there“.

Changing people’s lives with pizza

And it’s not just words. Merit is an integral part of Big Mama’s culture: “Our motto –He explains a little jokingly, but seriously TigranIt’s “Changing people’s lives with pizza.” At Big Mamma we don’t necessarily recruit people for their experience, the important thing is the energy and desire to share happiness. Internal promotion is very strong and Catering is a real social uplift for us. We can say that Big Mamma has changed not only my life but also the lives of all my collaborators.The group’s new CEO is proof of this, since he started working as a waiter seven years ago.

One of Bel Mondo salons in Madrid
One of the salons of Belle Mondo in Madrid / J. Galland.

Spain, a personal bet for Tigrane Seydoux

Five years after opening their first restaurant, the two partners decided to try their luck in Spain. This project is particularly close to the heart of Tigrane Seydoux, the Mediterranean due to its Monegasque origins. He even decided to move and move to Madrid with his wife and children. “We left Paris two years ago.Tigran remembersBecause we wanted another life and we are very happy, we love Madrid, its people and their way of enjoying life. The reception from the Spaniards was crazy. Spain invaded us and we don’t want to leave it anymore“.

However, they arrived shortly before the Covid crisis! “The restaurant was scheduled to open in Madrid in June 2020 –Says the co-founder of Big Mamma– But it had to be postponed to September due to the effects of the epidemic. Obviously, it wasn’t the best time to open it up, but finally, during the pandemic, Bel Mondo was the only group restaurant open in Europe“.

One of the salons of Villa Capri in Madrid
One of the salons of Villa Capri in Madrid / Jerome Gallan

Bel Mundo, Trattoria Big Mama set in Madrid

Bel Mondo is the name given to the first trattoria of the Big Mamma group in Madrid. This is another feature of Big Mamma: she never repeats formulas. “We are not a chainExplains Tigran Sido. Each of our restaurants is different from others, and is uniquehis identity and personality. The name is different, the appearance is different, the decoration is different, the menus are different. On the other hand, DNA is common, and of course, in all of these cases our differential value is the product“.

Entrepreneurship: Knowing how to reinvent yourself

In this DNA, which, as we have seen, includes excellence, originality and merit, entrepreneurship also has a good place. “We have to be creative every day. Tigran Seydu says. Rediscovering yourself is essential. Every six months, we change jobs because the company is growing and we have new challenges. We always ask ourselves“.

From Covid the delivery service was born in Naples gang

This is also how they have been able to deal with Covid. From this terrible crisis was born the “Naples gang” serving them Italian style delivery of food. “We started this delivery business very defensively. Explains Tigran-, when we saw that it was finally possible to do quality, because otherwise, we would never have started. When Covid appeared, customers wanted it to continue, so this time, we developed this business in a really offensive way, and a month ago we learned that we were the first pizza delivery player, in terms of volume and value, ahead of other pizza chains in Paris. It proves that when you do things right, they workWith a more modern, more committed brand“.

Neapolitan pizza
We wanted to democratize quality/ Photos by Sophie Shanimbo.

Initially hesitant about the concept of delivery, the co-founder now sees it as an additional opportunity for Big Mamma. The group now has about fifteen kitchens dedicated exclusively to this new activity: 15 in Europe, including two in Madrid, will soon become three. Today, the Napoli Gang accounts for about 10% of the group’s sales in Europe.

All Big Mamma brands are branded with B.Corp. its environmental impact and respect for the planet It is another priority for both partners. “Five years ago, we were two, and today we’re 1800.Remembers the co-founder of Big Mamma. For us, it was essential to create a group that would be so Pride for our children later. And for this, you have to make good products, while being good for the planetFixed bet. Change the life of the planet with Pizza!

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