The story behind the success of Angelo Martini, owner of Angelo’s Ristorante located in downtown Coeur d’Alene, is typical of nearly every successful business and is very instructive for any enterprise seeking a business of significance.
Growing up in the Seattle area he always told his friends that he would have a restaurant someday. True to his dream he started at age 14 as a dishwasher and worked his way up through several restaurants, learning the crafts and skills of his industry and eventually developed his own menus. Blessed with a good palate and willingness to learn and work hard, he considers the “University of Hard Knocks” the source of his culinary education.
Taking the risks associated with any business venture, he opened his first restaurant at age 20 and yet another at age 24. These were the years where he learned, through trial and error, the running of a restaurant, which by all accounts is a demanding business that requires long hours and careful management of employees and expenditures.
When Angelo moved his family to Coeur d’Alene and opened his restaurant some 13 years ago, he admits that he enjoyed nearly instant success and credits that to the years he spent learning his craft.
Angelo’s road to success included having a burning desire to achieve a lifelong dream that so motivated him that he was able to overcome the difficulties and obstacles that are inherent in all businesses. Condensed, it takes hard work, strong drive, and the discipline to make it happen.
As an observation, not everyone has this ability and the fact that Angelo has achieved significance is a testament to his tenacious nature and desire to succeed where others may have chosen to quit. As Angelo expressed, “Most people who want to have a business and think it’s all glorious, don’t realize that it’s a lot of hard work; however, it does pay off.”
He admits that one of the biggest mistakes he made when building his business was his desire to get to the top quickly. He cautioned that you have to have patience instead of wanting to get there too soon. For example, though he’s thankful that his current restaurant enjoyed a lot of volume almost immediately, there’s always a unique formula to running it and that formula may not manifest itself right away…that only comes with experience, and that’s something that can’t be rushed.
Part of that formula, which includes knowing your bottom line and tracking the costs that can mean success or failure, is knowing what works best for you and your customers. Some time ago, he made a decision to restrict the hours to evenings only instead of serving both lunch and dinner. Pleased with that decision, he finds that he has more energy and clarity of thought and that allows him to perform better during the dinner hour. Not only is he more energized, he finds that his business does just as well, or better, without the lunch hours.
Another key element to the success of the Ristorante is the fact that he treats his employees as part of the family and most have remained in his employ for many years. When employees feel like family they enjoy their work and that goodwill is passed on to the customers by way of remarkable customer service.
Definitely one of the greatest perks to owning his own business is his customers. Many are regulars that enjoy the food, atmosphere and the fact that there’s a feeling of family and belonging. For Angelo, the ultimate satisfaction is when his customers personally compliment him on the food and service.
By way of counsel for other businesses or those who seek to start a business, he shared, “Don’t be afraid to take a risk. The most successful people have failed at least seven times. Don’t accept failure because failure is something that will help make you succeed.”
Anyone who has had the good fortune to experience the fine dining experience of Angelo’s Ristorante may not appreciate the years of dedication it took for Angelo to learn his art, but they do appreciate the ambience, service and excellent dining that keeps them coming back.
As stated at the beginning, Angelo’s road to success is a typical blueprint that any entrepreneur can follow, provided they have the vision, desire and discipline to make it happen. Is this not reflective of the promise of the American dream; that you can have anything if you only work for it? For Angelo and other entrepreneurs, that dream still exists.
Whatever Angelo is doing, it’s working and the proof of that is the fact that he is opening a second restaurant in Coeur d’Alene in just a few weeks (location to be announced pending contract) called Martino Tuscan Grill with traditional Tuscan food of veal, chicken and seafood along with drinks and a full array of appetizers. Given what we now enjoy at Angelo’s Ristorante, we are sure to enjoy Angelo’s latest venture into fine cuisine. “Buon Salute e Buon Appetito”
- Angelo Martini