How I Got Here: Philip Inzani

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Philip Inzani restaurateur London’s Polo Bar

Related tags: Bar, Restaurant, Casual dining

The London-born restaurateur founded London’s Polo Bar, which stays open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Why restaurants?
My dad was a chef in the army and we have always owned cafés and restaurants, they have been in my family for years – it must be in the blood.

Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
It’s hard work, and there is no such thing as easy money!

What do you do in your spare time?
Anything to do with food! In the autumn I like to forage for mushrooms, near Guildford.

What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants (besides your current one)?
Roka and Ruya in Mayfair

What would you be doing if you weren’t in restaurants?
I would have taken on my dad knife sharpening business - he has sharpened for Buckingham Palace.

What motivates you?
A sense of achievement and meeting happy customers.

Where was your last holiday?
To my family home in North Italy (Madonna di Campiglio) – best ski resort in Italy!

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
Peter Ispani, Founder and Managing Director of Ponti’s. He was a wonderful bloke and brilliant in every sense of the word.

What keeps you up at night?
Making sure my business is in good shape to serve customers properly, and ensuring my staff are happy, motivated, and thriving.

Worst business decision?
Staying in a job for 22 years.

Best business decision?
To leave that job after 22 years.

What are you reading at the moment?
The Life Story of Muhammad Ali.

What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Go for it, give it everything and don’t expect it to be easy. Don’t be frightened to speak your mind and enjoy the success.

If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
Wastage and the use of plastic in our industry

Born: Lewisham, 1970
Education and/or training: Studied marketing at University Greenwich
Companies worked for/founded:
1994 – 2012, Ponti’s Group Limited, Kitchen Porter – Commercial Director
2012 – present, Polo 24 Hour Bar, Founder

Related topics: People, Profiles, Casual Dining


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