The Mimmo's Story
You’re always welcome with family
You’re always welcome with your family, after all, no one else makes you feel quite as comfortable. The same can be said of Mimmos, South Africa’s number one Italian Family restaurant.
Mimmos accent on family stems from the fact that it has been created, nurtured and grown through family members. The restaurant chain’s special flavour and lips smacking Italian dishes have been lovingly concocted by the eponymous Mimmo Cioffi and his mother, affectionately know as Mamma Mimmo.
Mimmo was one of three friends – including Tasos Demetriades and Costa Nicolaidis – who 17 years ago, signed the ;lease to Kensington premises that would become the site of the very first Mimmos restaurant. Back then, the three couldn’t possibly imagine that their brainchild would reach its current heights. In fact their intention was to open a personalized pizzeria, rather to establish a brand.
However, Mimmos took a decidedly different turn once family members and friends started showing interest in business. They became the proud owners of the very first Mimmos franchises. Since then the chain has grown at a steady arte, and by the end of 2010 diners will be able to choose from 60 Mimmos outlets throughout the country, thanks to the addition of ten new franchises.
While certain aspects of the original Mimmos are still very much in tact, others have changed dramatically. For example the restaurant has unwaveringly maintained it’s commitment to offering food of an outstanding quality, served by highly trained waiters in secure community settings. The chain’s greatest point of pride is its emphasis on value for money: excellent lunchtime specials and weekly discounts on pizzas make Mimmos impressingly affordable. And it’s not only diners who benefit from this ethos. It extends to Mimmos franchisees, whose royalty payments are amongst the lowest in the country.
So, what has changed? For a start, Mamma Mimmo’s delicious recipes have been tweaked slightly to make them even more appealing to the South African palate. Added to that, all-time favourites like steak and chicken have been added to the menu, reflecting the tastes of Mimmos customers. The result is an Italian restaurant with a distinctive South African twist, and this translates into tremendous menu variety.
These changes have been reflected in the subtle evolution of the Mimmos menu. What started out as an American style one pager is now an attractive booklet, full of tempting dishes and proudly bearing the Mimmos signature along with its tagline: Making Life Good!
Mimmos’ attention to catering to all tastes has paid dividends: For two years in a row, Mimmos has been voted as the Best Italian Restaurant franchise chain in the prestigious Leisure Options awards.
In 2006 both The Star and the Pretoria News readers awarded the chain the same title. In 2005, the readers of The Star newspaper named the restaurant Best Italian Family restaurant.
Just as importantly, Mimmos meals are always served with a smile. The chains’ management team – who boast extensive experience in several areas of the food and beverage industry – understand that eating isn’t simply about satisfying a need. It’s also an emotional experience. Mimmos might be one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in South Africa, but we still take great pleasure out of serving our customers, whether it’s a five year old who would like an ice-cream or a franchisee who is opening an outlet in a major mall.
Mimmos for kids
Speaking of kids …. As a family restaurant, it’s only natural that Mimmos values it’s younger customers, as evidenced through it’s specialized children’s menu. More than this, the Mimmolinos Mini Mob children’s club has been specially created for junior diners. With their own website (www.minimob.co.za), each Mimmolinos member has a loyalty card linked to the Infinity Rewards programme, which allows them to earn cash back every time they spend at Mimmos or one of the chain’s partner outlets.
The programme is just one way in which Mimmos shows it acres about it’s diners and considers itself part of their lives. The chain is just as attentive to it’s franchisees, providing them with ongoing feedback and supplying them with marketing plans that entrench them firmly in their communities.
This may well be another secret to the brand’s continuing growth. However Mimmos has made it very clear that it has every intention of becoming not only South Africa’s biggest Italian Restaurant chain it’s main focus is to simply be the best! That goal is being helped along by developments such as the implementation of a test kitchen, where the team will try out new recipes and products. The Mimmos training facility ensures that everyone associated with the Mimmos brand- from franchisees to waiters – receives training of the highest quality.
Mimmos ambitions don’t end there. While we are already represented beyond South Africa’s borders with four outlets in Mozambique, future international expansion is a certainty, based on the strong interest in the brand. Mimmos management would like to see franchises open up throughout Africa, as well as in Europe, North America and Australia. Wherever we go in the world though, Mimmos will hold tight our ethos, maintaining our strong South African flavor. That’s because while you should always be excited about where you are headed, you must remain proud of where you come from – which Mimmos certainly is!
Mimmos "Making life good!"