Intuition and innovation: the origins of the Rana Restaurants

Since the beginning of 2000, the number of people choosing to eat their meals outside the home has continued to increase. Such a trend could potentially have posed a problem for a company that produces food products for use in the home. But Gian Luca Rana transformed this new trend into a new further opportunity for Pastificio Rana to grow.

Thus, the Rana Restaurant project came into being; an opportunity to create a new experience linked to eating out that, at the same time, could also be combined with the purchase of Rana products in the supermarkets.

“The restaurants are our monitoring post for understanding consumers’ different demands”, says CEO Gian Luca Rana. “They are the place where we can dynamically experiment with new recipes and obtain immediate feedback from consumers.”

Home and restaurant become one

The restaurants’ distinguishing formula is their focus on “show food”, combined with speedy service. “Show food” is a format in which the concept of transparency is revealed to the public in a simple and natural way. Central to this concept is the open kitchen that can be clearly seen from the dining area so that customers can watch the entire preparation process of their meals, which are ready to be enjoyed within minutes. The Rana Restaurants are in effect large kitchens where the creativity of the recipes, the quality of the ingredients and the speed of service all come together to offer the customer a new experience in true Rana style.

Much more than a restaurant: Gian Luca Rana’s philosophy

The numbers show clearly just how successful this choice has been. The restaurants, of which there are now 22 in Italy and one in Germany, serve more than a million refrigerated pasta dishes each year, offer a different menu every month, and try out 45 new recipes a year. In short, they are a company within the company, providing employment for more than 200 people.

“For me, each new restaurant represents a house with a large kitchen where new friends are always welcome”, says Gian Luca Rana. “So great care is given to welcoming guests and special attention is focused on preparing the menus, which must meet the differing demands of our guests. At the same time, it is an extraordinary window on the world of food that enables me to better understand people’s tastes and to experiment with new recipes that could become future products for the retail channel.”