How I Got Here: Gianluca D'Angelo

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Gianluca D'Angelo Zia Luca

Related tags: Gianluca D'Angelo, Zia Lucia, Pizza

The co-founder of Zia Lucia and Berto Zia on his passion for Italian food and why those looking to climbs the rungs need edge and an original idea.

Why restaurants?
I have a passion of food, it’s heritage and eating well which is the underpinning factor of the decision to open restaurants - we wanted to create a warm familiar Italian brand which feels personal. 

Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
You don’t need to know everything about a specific thing to be successful in that field, but you need to have the right mindset, mental curiosity and flexibility to connect the dots and figure it out. 

What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants?
Atariya, which operates three restaurants in London including Tokimeitē. 

What motivates you?
Doing new and exciting things which push me out of my comfort zone. 

What keeps you up at night?
Constantly thinking how to keep the brand fresh and interesting. 

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
My business partners and co-founder of Zia Lucia Claudio (Vescovo) – we are very different and our strengths and weaknesses complement each other extremely well. 

Best business decision?
To use four different doughs for our pizza and pasta, this has been a sustainable USP for us and is appreciated in the market. 

Worst business decision?
To shut down Matilde Genuine Salads, which we ran online. We didn’t invest into digital marketing enough and logistically was too tough at the time, but the feedback on the food was amazing. 

What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
You need to have an edge and a strong idea – the market is saturated so you need to know what you offer isn’t already there and why will your product or service will be successful in the long term. 

If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
Ability to find good staff across all levels. Brexit has made this extremely tough for the industry. 

How often do you check your email?
A lot… triple digits probably. 

What’s your signature dish to cook at home?
Peruvian ceviche. 

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Moved to London to follow my partner.

Favourite holiday destination?
Puglia. 

What are you currently reading?
How To Avoid Climate Disaster​ by Bill Gates. 

What was your dream job growing up?
An actor. 

Bio

Born in Rome in 1978, D'Angelo attained a MBA from the University of Geneva and followed this with a masters in Economics at the University of Rome La Sapienza. He was previously head of EMEA at Eaton Partners, UBS and Credit Suisse, respectively. He founded Zia Lucia with Claudio Vescovo in London in 2016, and now operates six sites across the capital.

Related topics: People, Profiles, Casual Dining

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