At 33, the entrepreneur Gabriel Fullen join the new scene restaurateurs that are moving gastronomy in the city of São Paulo. Alongside his brother Nicholas, he commands the local group, which controls the restaurants Locale Caffè, Locale Trattoria and Oguru Sushi & Bar. In six years of activity in the sector, he created establishments that serve around 28 thousand people per month.
The trajectory as restaurateur officially started in 2016, when he opened, alongside his brother, the Oguru Sushi & Bar. The duo does not have investment partners, acting as the group’s own managers and brand investors, which took shape during the pandemic, when Fullen opened Locale Caffè and Locale Trattoria, in 2020, in Itaim Bibi, an upscale neighborhood in São Paulo. .
The cafe already had the opening triggered when the government ordered the closure of restaurants and bars to prevent contamination by covid-19. Fullen decided to wait two months, until May, to reorganize the plans and invest in the delivery operation so as not to postpone the opening any longer. The establishment was inspired by the concept of an Italian café bar, open from 9 am to 1 am, welcoming different audiences. “We’re trying to teach something common in Europe, that in moderation, every time is a time to celebrate,” he says.
Known for brunch and cannoli, the Locale’s menu goes beyond the breakfast classics, also serving drinks signed by award-winning mixologist Márcio Silva and pizzas.
To circumvent the financial impact caused by closed doors, the group bet on the sale of vouchers to be used when they could receive customers. In less than a week, they sold R$ 1 million. “We were ‘lucky’ to be behind Europe and the United States, so we had time to research what they were doing outside of Brazil. We were the first group to do this action on social networks”, he says. The amount collected was used to structure the delivery and pay the costs with suppliers.
In November, the brothers opened Trattoria, in the space previously occupied by Côl, which served seafood. As Brazilians usually consume seafood only on special occasions, the businessman thought it wiser to invest in Italian food, which is consumed more often here, accompanied by bottles of wine with better value for money.
In March of last year, Oguru won the brother Poke by Oguru, which works only for delivery. Currently, the group has about 210 employees and plans to open two more Oguru houses in 2022, one in Campinas, scheduled to open in November. Fullen did not disclose the group’s revenue, but said he intends to double the number this year. “We see that people are excited to go back to eating out and we are eager to provide happy times, but inflation is picking up really hard. Macroeconomic issues affect our business in this resumption of revenue”, he emphasizes.
the entrepreneurial vein
With a degree in business administration, Fullen worked until 2014 in multinational companies. He had stints at Groupon and BRMalls, where he worked in store sales. He then served as a headhunter for a year and a half at Michael Page. “When I left there, I already wanted to undertake strongly. I jumped into it in 2015 and I still am today,” he recalls.
The first experience in the segment took place between 2014 and 2015, when Fullen joined as an investor in Brexó Bar e Cozinha. Alongside 20 partners, he took a liking to the gastronomy universe and decided to leave his other work aside. “Several partners put a little money into creating the place we wanted to go, with the dishes and drinks we wanted to consume, from a little bit of each one,” he says.
The entrepreneur credits his professional experience with the necessary skills to act as a restaurateur nowadays. With an academic background and position at BRMalls, he claims to have learned to work on results, based on a lot of analysis and sales measurement. As for the discipline to achieve goals, he believes it came from childhood, when he played basketball. “No one wakes up every day motivated, but discipline makes you get up, work and achieve results”, he says.
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