In 2008, Italian-born Adriano Paganini took a risk by opening Beretta, a restaurant with innovative cocktails and contemporary Italian comfort food, in the then-evolving Mission District of San Francisco. At the time, the neighborhood wasn’t the trendy hangout for 20- and 30-year-olds that it has become. Paganini followed his instinct and opened a concept that went on to pioneer the neighborhood. After immediate success with Beretta, Paganini has since quietly grown a culinary empire that encompasses some of San Francisco’s most beloved neighborhood dining destinations including San Francisco Chronicle’s “Top 100 Restaurant” Belga and multi-unit fast casual concept Super Duper Burgers. Over the past seven years, Paganini’s has thoughtfully grown his company from a single unit to 18 thriving locations, eight unique concepts, and nearly 900 employees. With continued growth on the horizon, Paganini brands his group BACK OF THE HOUSE to enhance company culture and competitiveness for talent recruitment while also increasing visibility for real estate opportunities.
In the next year, BACK OF THE HOUSE plans to introduce new projects in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley and Marina districts, in addition to the expansion of existing concepts in the South and East Bays of the California Bay Area. At least three new concepts are slated for 2016, two full service concepts and an additional brand new fast casual concept, with Paganini setting sights on other regions of the west coast.
With a different method than other restaurateurs, Paganini’s success is attributed to his thoughtfully curated and accessible concepts designed to reflect the neighborhoods they are in. “When creating a new concept, we are careful to select the right personality to build a brand,” says Paganini. “We start with their passion and take into account the neighborhood to create a place that we ourselves want to frequent.”
With approachable price points and a focus on the guest experience, Paganini’s strategy is working. The concepts continue to succeed in the Bay Area landscape where other restaurant groups have notoriously struggled. The collective restaurant group has increased sales by 30 percent year over year with Beretta’s sales also continuing to increase by 30 percent annually. Paganini credits a large part of his success to the management’s ability to seek out and recognize talented individuals with the potential and drive to contribute in an invaluable way. BACK OF THE HOUSE is built on an individualized culture that provides growth opportunities for every team member.
Employee and industry facing by design, BACK OF THE HOUSE was created to support the brand while ensuring that each property stands on its own. The name itself is a clever play on the common restaurant term for what happens behind the scenes, highlighting the fact that while the team is the critical backbone of each concept, the restaurants themselves are the stars. This philosophy is thoughtfully emulated throughout the brand and culture of the company, with even their website and social media channels presented in black and white. BACK OF THE HOUSE keeps it simple and real in a way that resonates with both employees and consumers.