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Student co-founds business to support restaurant

1 May 2020

Alberto Cessel, final year Business Management student has co-founded business Si Mangia, helping local restaurants and food retailers in Siena, Italy to continue trading and deliver food during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Established as a direct result of the global pandemic, Si Mangia has allowed local Tuscan restaurants who would otherwise have to cease trading, to continue doing business during the Covid-19 crisis through centralising their order and delivery processes. The concept has developed into a support system for the small, family-owned businesses, eliminating the need for over-the-phone orders, and creating an easy way for restaurants to receive a high volume of orders.

The platform has centralised payments online to reduce the effort needed by the food retailers, whilst also removing the need for cash payments, subsequently helping to reduce the spread of the disease. To increase cash flow for businesses suffering due to economic circumstances, Si Mangia sends the businesses their earnings bi-monthly, with some weekly payments being made to ensure the retailers can pay for rent and ingredients. The low commission and absence of entry-fees ensure businesses can sign up to the platform despite the difficult situation.

Alberto explains that their “commitment to social responsibility has seen Si Mangia further its support to the community through connecting restaurants to delivery drivers who they can hire directly. Not only is this helping to combat unemployment issues due to the crisis, but the direct-hire business model means the drivers receive higher pay, protection and insurance than they would through a delivery company.”

On top of this, Si Mangia has been donating left-over commission to local charities, with restaurants also contributing one euro from each order to support families who are suffering from poverty, terminal illnesses and disabilities.

The change in Siena

Alberto said “We’re honoured to see the support that the platform has gained throughout Siena. At 23 years old it is amazing to see my face in local newspapers and be contacted by several journalists. The population in Siena is typically reluctant to change so we’ve received many compliments on managing to convert the locals to ordering food online. Si Mangia is a huge innovation for businesses in Siena.”

Si Mangia is a huge innovation for businesses in Siena.

Alberto Cessel, final year Business Management student

Si Mangia success

The platform has seen such rapid success that they are now at capacity. Through looking to automate their inventory management process, Si Mangia are hoping to increase capacity and expand their area of activity throughout the crisis and beyond, as well as broaden their market from just food retailers, to the wider tourism market throughout Italy.