Italian restaurant in heart of Edinburgh’s theatre district gets back on track with help from Coca-Cola

A family-run Italian restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh’s theatre district is getting its business back on track post-lockdown, thanks to a support programme from soft drinks giant Coca-Cola.

Frizzante, which is located on Edinburgh's Lothian Road, was one of several small, independent customers given help as part of Coca-Cola’s 'Project Open' business accelerator programme. Picture: Sandy Young/PinPep

Frizzante, which is located on the city’s Lothian Road, was one of several small, independent customers given help as part of Coca-Cola’s “Project Open” business accelerator programme.

The initiative is designed to help cafes, pubs and restaurants mitigate the long-term impact of the pandemic on their business and support their recovery.

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Firms were given exclusive access to senior experts at Coca-Cola GB, Coca-Cola Europacifc Partners, Costa Coffee and Innocent, to gain a look under the bonnet of top brands and discuss how their own business can respond to the challenge presented by the coronavirus crisis.

As part of the programme, Frizzante was visited by Influence at Work – a team of behavioural scientists and authors of a best-selling suite of books on the psychology of ethical influence and its application to business – with the aim of increasing footfall and customer spend amid such challenging times.

Jonathan Chierchia, co-owner of the capital restaurant, said: “Although we were able to operate a takeaway service during the various lockdowns, we were anxious about attracting customers once we could reopen and about growing our business in a post-Covid era.

“We had built a loyal customer base before the pandemic, but were uncertain as to whether we were taking the right steps in this ‘new world’.

“We were put at ease during the Influence at Work visit. It was reassuring to see the science confirm that we are implementing the right processes and only need to make a handful of small changes to continue on the right path.”

Jon Woods, general manager, Coca-Cola GB, said: “Last year was the toughest in memory for hospitality businesses and we know it’s our smallest customers who have been, and continue to be, the worst affected.

“With many of these important Coca-Cola customers struggling to navigate the challenges of the pandemic and concerned about their futures, we knew that our business expertise could play a vital role in preparing them for recovery – together with insights from external experts in human behaviour and psychology.”

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