Salvo’s serves up dishes for growing corporate market

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A WELL-KNOWN family restaurant has launched a number of innovative revenue boosters to tackle changing consumer attitudes to dining out.

The owners of Salvo’s in Headingley, Leeds, have created a new pop-up restaurant concept and are targeting the corporate events market to grow the company.

They also plan to create an online deli shop in the next 12 months.

The 38-year-old family business, which comprises Salvo’s restaurant and Salumeria, a nearby sister café and Italian deli, is owned by John and Gip Dammone, sons of the late founder Salvatore Dammone.

Over the years the restaurant has attracted a number of famous faces including Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae and actor James Nesbitt.

The pop-up restaurants, under the name Strano, Italian for strange, started as a social media experiment last September but proved so popular they are now a regular affair.

Events, which take place at secret locations in Leeds, have so far included a meal and club night, called Beatfood, when the restaurant took over the top floor of Munro House in the centre of Leeds for 150 people.

“It was a bit like a 21st Century dinner dance,” John Dammone said. “It appealed to people who had grown up with the Back-to-Basics club music but they had reached an age where they wanted a bit more comfort than to be stood up raving until 6am.”

Meanwhile, the company has refurbished space above the restaurant to attract corporate meetings and private dining events.

“Gone are the days when we used to get boozy corporate lunches into the restaurant,” Mr Dammone said. “We really have to go out and fight for the business now.”

Mr Dammone plans to launch the online deli shop by the end of 2014. The company already imports food from Italy for the restaurant and sells some of the products in the deli but it aims to expand the retail side with an online division.

“We want to create a place where people can buy quality produce that is hard to source,” he said.

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