Building a Career from the Ground Up: JCU Welcomes Eataly Representative Gregorio Baffigo
John Cabot University welcomed Eataly representative Gregorio Baffigo in the context of Professor Antonella Salvatore’s ‘Made in Italy: The Italian Business Environment’ class on February 6, 2020. The ‘Made in Italy: The Italian Business Environment’ course won the Adriano Olivetti award in 2017, for its effectiveness in educating an international audience about Italian culture.
Founded by entrepreneur Oscar Farinetti, Eataly is a large Italian marketplace with a variety of restaurants, food and beverage counters, and a cooking school. Eataly opened its first store in Turin (Italy) in 2007, and gradually expanded to other cities and countries. As of today, Eataly has forty stores all over the world and has become a leading Italian brand.
“At Eataly, we want to share our passion for Italian food,” said Baffigo, who started his career at the Eataly’s Rome store in 2012, where he started his training while he was still a student. Later on, Baffigo moved to Turin to complete his training, and then to Milan to represent Eataly at the 2015 World Expo. He also worked in Munich (Germany), and Boston before returning to Rome to work for the Eataly Online Store.
Finding a good location for your Business is an important first step, and many things need to be considered for it to be successful. Working at Eataly is not always easy, as one needs to find ways to attract customers, and then find a way to make them return and try something different. According to Baffigo, there is a difference between working in Italy and abroad, because even though Italian food is famous and recognized worldwide, sometimes foreign customers are not aware of the quality of the products, and of the proper cooking process. All Eataly stores have to follow specific procedures and remain faithful to the original recipes.
A good Eataly employee needs to be flexible and willing to learn. Making mistakes is allowed, as long as one learns from them. “Eataly gives you space to grow,” said Baffigo, who believes that the best way to do so is to start at the bottom and to slowly work your way up. “Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty,” he added, and he explained that he often found himself performing tasks below his position of Business Planning Analyst, such as spending the night working on the store’s inventory. A good dose of patience and willingness to understand your customers and colleagues is key in this business.
The most important thing, however, is to be passionate. “Eataly is a company made by people, for people. Build a good team and your colleagues will become your family,” said Baffigo.