“All the establishments that are part of the Group are a family, the Burning family”
Carlos Torres, chef of the restaurant Abrasador El Capricho de Los Torres, located in the Toledo municipality of Villacañas and gastronomic advisor to the Abrasador Group, tells us in this interview what are the keys to success in a restaurant.
Villacañas Natural, Carlos Torres has dedicated his entire life to the restaurant sector: "My professional career began in the family business, created by my father does 37 years, which currently offers hospitality services, catering, wedding organization, events, etc. It all started with a “traditional bar” business, that over time evolved to become a leading hospitality group in the area, after betting on high quality and avant-garde cuisine ”Torres points out.
Trained in Toledo School of Hospitality, this chef has worked in different restaurants and this has allowed him to “learn from the best hoteliers”, as he himself says. He currently runs the kitchen of the Abrasador El Capricho de Los Torres restaurant and is also a member of the Association Eurotoques Castilla- La Mancha, and is part of the Board of Directors of the Provincial Association of Hotel and Tourism Toledo.
A lifetime dedicated to the catering sector, Carlos tells us his best kept secrets, because as this businessman emphasizes, "Hospitality is their way of life, his talent, his passion… ”
"Definitely, what I like the most in the world is to make others happy and I achieve this thanks to gastronomy. I do not need anything else"
Carlos, let's talk about your restaurant When was it created and what characteristics does it have?
Burning El Capricho de las Torres, formerly called Torres Restaurant, was built with the aim of giving, especially, food service for companies, always oriented towards high quality hospitality.
After the crisis of 2008, my brothers and I decided to convert the restaurant to a new format of hospitality that, at those moments I was succeeding in Madrid, and that's when we introduced the concept of gastrobar, with the aim of achieving a modern kitchen space more dedicated to gastronomy itself.
On the other hand, in those moments the concept of ember began to take, more and more great recipes were made using this type of technique. It was there when we met the Burning Group, to the Ramírez family. First, we test your product, and from that moment, we realized that the client increasingly demanded that gender, that good product that the Burning Group offered us, and after a few months we decided to associate with them.
At present, our kitchen could be described as a modern kitchen with certain avant-garde touches and charcoal. And what am I going to tell you, the truth is that we are very happy with the decision we made with the Ramírez family.
In Abrasador El Capricho de Los Torres we can reach the 350 diners in the restaurant area, we also have other spaces such as, for example, the “tapería” area, that we could describe it as the “usual bar space” and, by last, we have the "gastro" zone, where our clients can enjoy rations downtown to share.
That is to say, We have adapted our spaces so that our clients do not come to our restaurant exclusively to eat, but they can enjoy our establishment whenever they want because for that "we are multi-space". (Laughs).
Your restaurant has become a success story for Grupo Abrasador, What can you tell me about it?
I would say that this is possible thanks to the dedication and passion that we put into everything we do.. I also think that our personnel management is very important, there is nothing worse than not knowing what you are doing, no matter how motivated you are. You could say that we combine passion with management.
Why is it important to have a good quality policy in the catering sector?
Currently we don't go out to eat, to eat we have left it for the day to day. Now what we are looking for in a restaurant is the experience it offers us but, Of course, if at the moment of truth you don't have a quality product to back you up, customers will not return.
With Grupo Abrasador I know that quality is guaranteed and that gives me peace of mind, I used to go to the butcher shop and they would sell me what they wanted, but now thanks to the product, which is always the same, we managed to build customer loyalty.
What differentiates your restaurant from other establishments in the area?
I would say that our identity makes us different. Thanks to this we can serve experiences. We have a clear objective and that is our client. Today traditional hospitality has changed and there are two options: or do you have identity, or you are one more and, It is already very difficult to be the best!
Sincerely, I think you shouldn't try to be the best, you have to try to be different so they don't compare you. When we put our product on the table, no one can compare us to others, because our clients leave with an experience.
Do you have any upcoming goals?
In these difficult times it is difficult to talk about upcoming goals or challenges. In our company we had in mind to launch a new project "agriculture to process pistachio" but this has changed today.
Right now our main objective is to save the year, serve people as best as possible and, especially, take care of our staff. At this time, businessmen have to give the best of ourselves because in the end the team is the 80 percent of work. I think the numbers this year are not going to be good and that's why you have to think about us and take care of our team. Without a doubt, our goal today is more personal than professional..
Now let's talk about your relationship with the Burning Group
How many years have you been associated with scorching brand?
We met the Ramírez family in the year 2015. And it was in the year 2016 when we join the group. I have to say that this decision has changed our lives, we have changed the concept of thinking, thanks in part to the training provided by the chain. We are a family Y together We have learned to manage teamwork so that everything works out, regardless of the product, which is also very important and, As I said before, diners are delighted (laughs); together with Abrasador we have grown hand in hand both personally and professionally.
What do you think are the keys to success of your restaurant?
Passion: working with passion is the key to job success.
Constancy: Pablo Picasso said that we are a 10 percent inspiration and a 90 percent work, So I believe that consistency is one of the keys to achieving that success..
Humility: Absolute truth has no one and thanks to humility we can continue learning. I think we all contribute knowledge and ideas and without humility we cannot learn.
Have you had a sales increase in recent years?
Yes and no, we from the first day we opened the restaurant as a gastrobar in 2014 we have always worked very well, although it is true that when we changed from molecular cuisine to scorching cuisine we did notice that people repeated more.
We have had a very weekend public for a few years, people coming from Madrid, who are used to this type of cuisine, and that's why he likes our restaurant, but now we also have families that come to celebrate any type of event, or simply a group of people looking to meet and choose us.
What values you highlight this Restaurant Group?
Passion, constancy, humility, ability to team up and, especially, I would define them as family, family is the word that best describes them. All the establishments that are part of the group are Burning family and we understand this as well because we all have one thing in common: we don't work just for the money and that's the basis for success. The economic issue is a consequence that comes, that is there, and of course it is necessary, but it is not the primary key.
Hospitality is a way of life and we all love what we do
What you are positioned as in your city?
In Tripadvisor and Google we are positioned as the number one restaurant 2, and our score is 4.6.
¿It is important for a restaurant your online reputation and digitization? Why?
As a person who likes to learn, I have always had an internal debate on this topic. At first I did not bet on this type of tools, preferred offline communication, the word of mouth of a lifetime, but with the passage of time we have realized that the client has changed and this means that we no longer only have clients from Villacañas, We also have external clients from other towns.
Thus, Both me and the rest of the team have learned that having a good online reputation is basic and that the door of our restaurant is not glass, it's digital. When you carefully analyze what you do in your daily life, is when you realize that if you go out to eat somewhere, the first thing you do is call an acquaintance and, Secondly, search the Internet, Read the comments and also read the owner's responses.
Today I understand that digital reputation is so important, how to turn on the coffee maker in the morning, in that order, because if you don't have a good digital reputation you will still be one more, you will have fixed clients, that over time they will get tired, because people demand changes. Definitely, good reviews can help us a lot, but the bad ones can help us even more ... and, yes, online reputation is very important.
And to end, As an advisory chef to the Group, do you think that in the world of restaurants a little more training is needed in the sector? Why?
Of course, in our case a 10% of our annual budget, whatever it is, we dedicate it to training, either books, courses, seminars, gastronomic escapades that serve us as learning…
Keep in mind that training is basic, there is no life without training, I've been a cook since 13 years and I have never stopped training, because cooking is easy, the difficult thing is to be able to combine all the emotions and manage them within a company. Without training we couldn't do that. So much for the kitchen, as for team management, from a restaurant, or even for digital management ... training is basic.