Let us introduce you to Métis’ new General Manager, Thomas Raguzzi. Approximately seven months ago, he joined the family and gave Métis a makeover it deserves. He had been working in the F&B industry all over the world, from Singapore to NYC to Miami and Las Vegas, and now he is residing in Bali. Align with our entrepreneurial edition, we had a one on one interview with Thomas, and he shared with us why he decided to jump into F&B business, what makeover has he been giving the restaurant, and what we need to do if we want to have our own F&B business.
There are so many restaurants in Bali, especially around Seminyak, even though Métis has been around for a long time, the competition is tight. How do you deal with this situation?
I changed everything hahaha. No, but seriously, I changed everything. I changed the menu regularly, I changed the mindset of the staff, I changed the way we all work, I changed the concept of this place. Métis is known as a fine dining restaurant, but fine dining is boring. We need fun, and we need this place to be alive! So now our concept is FFD – Fun Fine Dining. Did you know we have DJ nowhere?
Oh, do you?
Yes, we do! We start doing it once a month, and we are still working on it.
Continues to show me a video of a party that just happened there last weekend. It looks like a club kind of party.
Was it here?
Yes! Haha, see! We are way more fun now. We have live music as well. We are still the best restaurant here, and I believe that with all my heart. Otherwise, I won’t be here. But it is a challenge to light this place up. But we are doing really good now.
Speaking of the challenges, what are those, and what do you do to overcome them?
Challenges are good, and I love it. At first, it was a challenge trying to communicate the changes to the staff. It was rather shocking for them. But I have to talk to them, guide them, and make them understand my vision and goals. Talking to the staff is really good because then you know what they are thinking. You work as a team. You will know where their headspace is at, and you’ll know how to straighten it if they weren’t on the same page. But now they all are keeping up with me pretty well. We have to be super creative now.
Who is your inspiration, and why?
It’s Joel Robuchon. I used to work for him for ten years. I learned everything from him. I learn not to think too much from him, as well. And to believe in me. Because if I don’t believe in myself, nobody else will. When I was working in Singapore, I was told I had to bring the Michelin Star award. I asked the boss: “How?” and he said, “You figure it out”. So for three years that was my focus, and even though it seemed impossible, I began to meet people and it led me to make my previous restaurant awarded with Michelin. So anything is possible.
That’s a very inspiring story! Let’s talk about the changes you’ve made here once more; tell me more about the FFD concept.
Basically, it stands for Fun Fine Dining. We have more entertainment here from live music to DJ. Every Friday we have regular live music now, so please come and bring your friends. And every big day like Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year and so on, we will have a special thing going on. Also the changes in the menu. I created dishes that are not just delicious but freshly made, and they all look pretty. And it is all about the quality, quality, quality. If people don’t like your food, they won’t come back. So quality is very important. Now we are also flexible if our customers have allergies or on a specific diet. We have vegetarian and vegan food — also gluten-free food. We want everyone to be able to enjoy Metis.
Mr. Raguzzi then continues to get me their new and delicious dessert, and these are the must-try: Le Chocolat Sensation, Le Dome Dulcey, Vacherin “Colette”. Those are the best, and recommended!
That’s amazing. I can’t wait to come to one of your parties!
You are definitely invited!
Businesses in Bali nowadays are focusing on sustainability, eco-friendly and more conscious and mindful not to destroy mother earth. Do you apply it here as well?
Of course. We don’t use plastic bags anymore, and we use a reusable box for delivery. We changed our straw to Bamboo, and we also give some kind of scholarship to a few members of our staff. I think it is important to help them out that way, and we want to see everybody grow.
I think for sure Metis will still be standing tall in Seminyak, no doubt about it. What are your tips though, for our readers who might want to start opening a restaurant?
Start small. Seriously start small, less staff, and learn from it first. Remember, quality is number one. After you got the hang of it, you can always expand.
Thank you for the tips, and thank you so much for your time. I really enjoy these conversations, and your food is delicious!
I also tried the Le cabillaud, if you love fish, do try this one!
Great chat! Don’t forget to come by Métis every Friday, you will love our live music!
Address: Jl. Petitenget No.6, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
Phone: (0361) 4737888