S.P.B. : Tell us, who is Silvano?
S.M: I was born in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, formerly known as Santa Isabel. Equatorial Guinea is a former Spanish colony, the only country in Africa whose language is Spanish, and gained its independence on October 12, 1968. I consider myself a citizen of the world, I have lived in Milan, Lisbon, Andorra la Vella and Alicante. I studied Communication, Advertising and Public Relations Management at Eserp Business School and took a postgraduate course in Gastronomic Communication at the UAB and I have taken several specialization courses in marketing, as well as in brand creation and management. I am passionate about branding.
When I arrived in Spain, my dream was to be a journalist, but then I realized that Marketing, Communication and Public Relations was my field and that’s why I focused on this profession to help brands define their competitive advantages and communicate them in a different way based on a strategy. Then I discovered that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and businessman, almost nothing, that meant living always with uncertainty and added to the fact that I had no experience or training in business, I didn’t mind at all and I took the plunge because my passion was stronger. It was a roller coaster, but I learned a lot.
In 2019 I decided to do an MBA to continue growing and have a solid foundation of what is the management and administration of a company, but I found that I had to take a mortgage to train in business and so I came to ThePowerMBA the best investment I’ve made. Little money, tremendous learning and a high level of acquired knowledge that I am putting into practice by combining marketing, communication and business. “Now agencies are no longer good for us to bring happy ideas, now we need to create ideas that turn into business.”
I define myself as a very persevering man, curious, observant, seeker and fighter, I don’t like NO as an answer and constancy is in my DNA. I like to dress up, I’ve never visited a fashion blog for inspiration. My favorite color is pink and two of my big hobbies are collecting watches and socks.
S.P.B. : What is your relationship with Barcelona?
S.M. : My parents and my siblings have all passed through this city. I arrived in Barcelona when I was a teenager from Malabo with a stopover in Paris because there was still no direct flight from Malabo to Barcelona and many years have passed since then. For me it is the best city in the world, Barcelona has given me everything and I am very grateful to this city. Its beauty, its diversity, its architecture, its people, the sea, the mountains and its incessant growth as a technological and business center worldwide makes it unique and I continue to live it to the fullest.
S.P.B. : What do you like most about the city?
It is impossible to say or mention anything in particular about this city. I sincerely love its uniqueness, its neighborhoods, that mix between cosmopolitan and modernist, open to the world and globalized. For me the most important thing about a city is the people, its people, and the greatest gift I would highlight is the sense of belonging and how I have felt welcomed and the opportunity I have been given to be part of this community. I feel Barcelonian!!!
S.P.B. : Do we know that you have an agency that deals not only with marketing for food brands? How was the idea born?
is a digital creative communication agency specialized in food brands, foodtech start-ups, tourism, agri-food and hospitality.
Before Restauraniza he had launched another first agency in 2012 with two partners and was specialized in marketing and external commercial department of restaurants. The idea of starting a business in this sector comes from 2010, it was born when I was working in the hospitality industry as a PR and there was no specialization. To be honest, I think I was one of the first entrepreneurs in the sector who decided to combine marketing, communication and catering to bring value to the hospitality industry. I wanted to communicate everything that gastronomic businesses did well and people didn’t know about.
S.P.B. Barcelona is Tourism and today tourism is in PAUSE. How do you think hospitality entrepreneurs will have to act in order to survive this difficult period?
S.M. : We are in a very complex moment. I can’t tell you the key right now and I can’t give a lecture. For this complex situation, I am sorry to say it, but many businesses between bars and restaurants that are clinging to survive, but it is impossible for them to do so, are going to disappear. If the government does not make a rescue plan and direct aid to the sector, the ruin will be tremendous. I think that each entrepreneur has his or her circumstances and resources. What was clear to me was that at the onset of the pandemic two things had to be done; try to analyze what costs can be avoided and what cash is available, and create long-term action plans. At the point where we are now is to start all over again and for those who survive I do have an opinion and it may or may not be wrong, but I repeat I cannot be a lecturer. But I think they will have to draw up short-, medium- and long-term objectives. To follow up on these objectives, to become more agile companies, to digitize processes, for those who have support and financial muscle, they should create a contingency fund or a lifeline until we get out of the uncertainty, and this is linked to defining strategies for business continuity and a crisis plan with follow-up. And another key, I think, is that if you have this financial muscle you will have to rethink the business, i.e. how to deal with the implementation of new security measures to give confidence to the customer and at the same time have a balance in terms of capacity and operational organization of the restaurant. Basically how can we build trust with security measures in every way, bring in people and manage the restaurant with an overall operation that impacts profitability. On the other hand, in order to continue rethinking the business, it must be taken into account that reinventing oneself depends on the creativity and capacity of each entrepreneur and his or her resources; not everyone can reinvent themselves by turning delivery into the solution. Those who bet on delivery will have to think about issues such as operations, type of gastronomic offer and profitability. Then facing this situation will involve focusing on the customer than on the product, it is about being very CUSTOMER CENTRIC as it is understood that your basic cuisine will be good and under a concept. Finally, I believe it is necessary to have a communication and action plan, that is to say, it is essential to know what you want to communicate, when, how, and to whom. “If you have a budget, it’s time to leave the business in the hands of professionals to deal with this uncertain situation.”
S.P.B. What is your favorite corner in the city, where you feel like escaping when you can and why?
S.M. Barcelona has infinite places where to make a getaway, for example, I could tell you one of my favorites; Tibidabo for the power that gives you this mountain to contemplate the beauty of the city from the top and walk km after km breathing fresh air, it gives me peace and strengthens my creativity. But I am also very urban and cosmopolitan and if there is any place where I make many escapades when I can are in the halls of hotels. I sit in my favorite corners of the Pulitzer Hotel, Seventy or The Corner and there I practice one of my passions, reading, and I accompany it with a glass of wine. I have met many people sitting in a hotel lobby heh heh heh heh.
S.P. B. Your favorite neighborhood?
S.M. I like to live in the Putxet area, which is where I live. But without a doubt my favorite neighborhood is the Born. The mixture of its medieval layout that combines the traditional and modern make it unique, it is pure sophistication. Wherever you come from, it is a neighborhood that makes you feel and live Barcelona. El Born makes me enjoy art, culture, fashion or meet an oasis of people from different parts of the world and above all discover a lot of eclectic cuisine thanks to the high-level restaurants that predominate throughout the neighborhood.
S.P.B. Your TOP restaurant?
S.M. Fismuler without a second thought. Going to Fismuler is like going to a haute couture fashion show. Your head is always turning from one place to another between passes of the plates.
Fismuler Carrer del Rec Comtal, 17, 08003 Barcelona
The cuisine is market cuisine and everything they prepare there is simple, but the level of the dishes exudes freshness with haute cuisine elaborations and this is difficult to find in any other restaurant. It is a modern, bright, pleasant and versatile space with an exquisite wine cellar.
Fismuler for me is the first restaurant that has managed to take people from the upper area of Barcelona out of their comfort zone and bring them to the Born.
. It is pure magic not to be missed. Ahh and I tell you the first time I went I was up all night doing my PR work to win them over as clients hehehehehe.
S.P.B. A restaurant you would like to collaborate with your agency?
S.M. Fismuler Madrid and Barcelona. To manage this account with these two restaurants at the same time considering the powerful people behind it would be wonderful.
S.P.B. An ideal Sunday for you …..
S.M. In the summer I enjoy a good rice “Del señorito de toda la vida” contemplating Barcelona from the top of Montjuic and this wonder is only possible in Terraza Martinez with its spectacular panoramic views and in winter to have a snack of chocolate with churros in the legendary Granja Viader in Xuclà street.
S.P.B. How would you define Barcelona in three words?
S.P.B. If you were the tourism councilor of the Barcelona City Council, what would be one of the first things you would do?
S.M. If I had been asked the question before COVID 19 I would say in capital letters and very generic I would go back to the policies of XAVIER TRIAS and look that I never voted for CIU, but there was a lot of wisdom in the management of tourism policies. Tourism and hospitality are closely linked and feed back on each other, I think I have said a truism, but now let’s ask those who in his day said Turists, Go Home and mounted a circus and big campaigns against a sector that is the engine of the city representing almost 15% of GDP.
We came out of the confinement and Albert Adrià’s restaurant group elBarri had to close all its restaurants due to lack of tourists. Therefore, “an indicator of taking better care of the people who visit us”. If I were the councilman you are referring to right now, one of the first things I would do would be, together with the Generalitat, to create a rescue plan and direct aid to the sector without hesitation. The next step would be to launch a permanent anti-pandemic committee for the hospitality sector and finally, no doubt when designing the post-pandemic recovery plan for the city, to create a new strategy that would enable a better balance between tourist activity and the daily life of the people of Barcelona. Because COVID 19 has been just a bad dream that has changed our way of life to which we are already adapting more and more and Barcelona will surely become again the mega visited city it has always been and the homework must be done.
Thank you @silvano_medehue for your availability and kindness in wanting to unveil us your Barcelona.
See you soon!