Work fast, eat slow – power brand Eataly wants to come to Switzerland

Eat+Italy = Eataly. Founded in 2004, the company has grown in recent years to become one of the world’s largest suppliers of Italian consumer goods. Eataly is a successful combination of restaurants, market experience and department stores of Italian culture and biodiversity. Its stores bring the tradition and diversity of Italian cuisine to life. The company’s founder, Oscar Farinetti, came to Zurich and proved to be an excellent ambassador for his Italian power brand.

The first Eataly store was opened in a disused vermouth factory in Turin. The company now employs 5,000 people and has a turnover of over 500 million euros in 32 countries. Founder Oscar Farinetti is a firm believer in the Slow Food movement and lives it in his company: “The key is to work fast but eat slowly”.

The recipe for success is as simple as it is ingenious: create a convivial place where you can buy, eat and learn about quality Italian food and drink. Eataly represents Italian food culture and lifestyle, and aims to make quality products accessible to all. Most of the products are made by small producers who cannot be found in the large retailers. Farinetti is convinced that only direct contact with producers makes it possible to offer affordable prices and sustainable distribution: “Authenticity, honesty, affordability and transparency are the ingredients that make up our credible vision and business strategy”.

When you enter an Eataly store, you experience the Italian culture of welcome and a casual, uncomplicated atmosphere. You stroll along counters and shelves that enchant you with the richness of Italian cuisine. Food and drink are presented in lovingly designed packaging. Not only the product is presented, but also its history and origin. But Eataly is much more than that: it uses traditional products from Sicily to Milan to create innovative creations using the art of Italian cuisine. At lunchtime, the tables are set and the shop becomes a restaurant. It always seems a little improvised, but all the more authentic. The aim is to make the customer feel at home and immerse them in new culinary experiences. Farinetti is convinced: “We have the capacity for constant change – traditions remain, but the potential of Italian cuisine is almost inexhaustible”. At Eataly, customers can also experience this behind the scenes, as a cooking school is an integral part of the concept.

However, success is not only based on the concept, but also on innovative marketing. Farinetti relies not only on an absolutely coherent brand experience, but also on “narrazione”, or storytelling. The experience is sold to all those who love quality food produced with passion. Farinetti sees himself as an ambassador and a storyteller. He wants to make the diversity and traditions of Italian food culture tangible and known worldwide, because he sees a need to catch up: “If we compare ourselves with the French, for example: We produce products of the same quality, if not better, but the French know how to tell the story better”.

Eataly will be coming to Switzerland in 2020. Farinetti is still looking for the best location for the first shop. This is also typical of Farinetti’s approach: he doesn’t hunt, he lures. Should the first store be in Zurich or Geneva? He came to Zurich to give a lecture on the subject, and already the city on the Limmat was in a frenzy. Ben fatto!

Sources: (CC-by-sa-3.0)

Image credits:
Eataly Milano, 2016. Shelves inside Eataly store. @ pio3 (
Eataly Bologna, 2017. Worker cutting ham inside Fico Eataly World. @ pio3 (
Eataly Milano 2015 @ peus (

— Marco Simonetti / 5.11.2018