Mon | 14.03.2016
Meet Dragos Panait, Executive Director, Red Angus, the man who thinks that entrepreneurship involves much more than having a great concept.
1. Dear Dragos, please introduce yourself shortly to all our members.
I am Dragos Panait and I am the owner of 2 restaurants in Bucharest, a casual one Red Angus Steakhouse and a premium one, The Beef Club. I have studied university in Vienna, in an American education system which has introduced me to the business field. After that, two years followed specialising in the restaurant segment, learning from famous steakhouse chains in the world.
2. What triggered you to start a niche business in the hospitality industry – Red Angus Steakhouse?
We wanted something different as the market was overloaded with Romanian and Italian restaurants. We based on the fact that the Romanian people are carnivores and that outside the country the steakhouse business is a very solid one. Since the beginning we thought that any business should follow strict rules and standardised procedures in order grow organically.
3. Although the steakhouse segment has grown in the last years, beef meat is still not so popular among Romanians. Was that an obstacle or an opportunity for your business?
We knew from the very beginning that the beef segment was not properly introduced in the Romanian culinary culture and it would be more difficult, but we were patient. For us, it was an opportunity, which we believe it was set on the market on the right time. Through the years we developed different activities and testings, so that our guests would understand the services and the quality of the beef steaks we offer. From our point of view, keeping consistency in quality is the key factor for loyal customers and recommendations. On the other hand, since the beginning a majority of our guests were foreigners, and their positive feedback, made us believe that we are on the right track.
4. How do you see Romanian hospitality industry comparing to the one in The Netherlands or in other European countries, highly appreciated by tourists worldwide?
There are still many things to be done, starting with the staff. There must be time and budgets allocated for your staff in order to perform to a high standard. We all know there is quite a high percentage of people wanting to leave the country for a different life, but even so, we have colleagues working with us since we first open. As a culture, we believe that Romania has developed a lot in offering guests a better culinary experience. The gastronomic shows, so present in the last years in Romania, raised the interest of Romanians toward a healthy life.
5. You launched in 2015, The Beef Club, a new business targeting the premium fine-dining restaurants’ market. What novelty does it bring? How would you convince a new client to visit the Beef Club?
At the Beef Club we offer a premium experience, starting with a menu created by an international Executive Chef Michele Mingozzi, continuing with live music, professional service and a unique decoration which makes it a luxurious comfortable location. The menu will have continuous improvements starting the month of April as the international knowledge that Executive Chef Michele gained in Michelin Stars restaurants is very wide and solid.
A particular novelty it provides is the series of Exclusive Dining Events we organise weekly where a limited number of people sharing the same interests and passions participate to degustation menu evenings. The menu combines seafood, duck and red meat in premium dishes that are meant to stimulate visual, taste and smell senses.
6. In the end, do you have a message for NRCC members?
I would first like to tell the NRCC members that I am honoured to be part of this chamber and be one of their members. I am looking forward to be able to support each member in their business.
NRCC members benefit from special 10% DISCOUNT at Red Angus Steakhouse and The Beef Club.