Blog Post / December 8, 2020 / Blog

A Seat At The Table: Getting to Know GM of Europe, Danilo Mangano

by Mikayla Walzog
Mikayla Walzog

In this series, we’re showcasing SevenRooms’ special ingredient: our employees! Read on to learn more about our team members as they navigate life both professionally and personally.

Meet Danilo Mangano, SevenRooms’ General Manager, Europe based in London, who shares a little bit about his daily life and his time so far at SevenRooms.

Why did you join SevenRooms? 

Before joining the team at SevenRooms, I had a very corporate background and was involved with companies like BlackBerry, Visa and American Express. At American Express, I managed the global dining and lifestyle program; this is where I became familiar with hospitality from an operational perspective. I saw so many global operators and restaurants around the world use SevenRooms and I was amazed at the product and the potential that the company holds. The people and culture were also main drivers in my decision to join the team!

Why do you think SevenRooms guest experience platform is so world-class and why is that such a benefit to clients?

The SevenRooms guest experience platform is so world-class because of the simple fact that we aren’t a marketplace. We give our operators full ownership of their guest data, a huge differentiator compared to other aggregators and marketplaces in our space.. We are committed to putting the operator at the center of every interaction they have with their guests in order to help them maximize their profits. SevenRooms is a major benefit to clients because we offer such unique features on our product, including upselling, cross-selling, upgrades, marketing automation and so much more. We cover the end-to-end customer journey as a comprehensive platform. Today, not being a point solution is definitely an advantage. There is no one else who can offer what we have today.

How are you balancing your relationships with international clients during a time like this where every region is operating under different safety protocols? 

Our industry is standing together through this at different levels. The approach I usually take when balancing my relationships with clients around the world is to put myself in their shoes as an operator. We are all sharing different pains and challenges in this industry. I make an effort to offer constructive compassion, empathy and understanding. With clients operating under varied safety protocols, I take a localized approach when I interact and engage with my clients and prospects. Even though individual markets are all really different right now, luckily we offer a broad range of products that anyone can leverage depending on their unique needs.

Talk to me a little bit about your strategy when expanding SevenRooms’ footprint in Europe.

When I joined SevenRooms, London already had a solid client base. Zooming out to the entirety of the United Kingdom, we’ve built and continue to build an even stronger presence. That speaks volumes to the product itself, since we initially scaled our customer base without a team on the ground. That being said, after we opened our UK office, our sales seriously took off. There are a few big players in the space in Europe, but none that offer a product as rich as SevenRooms. Since nearly 80% of restaurants in Europe are independently owned, it poses a unique and large opportunity to expand throughout the European market.

What are some trends you are seeing sweep across Europe that will continue to shape the future of hospitality technology? 

I see customer data really becoming front and center in operators’ minds. They are definitely focusing more and more on leveraging data and seeing what they can do with it, resulting in stronger guest loyalty, additional revenue and higher satisfaction, all of which contribute positively to the overall success of the brand.

Another trend I see sweeping across Europe is online ordering. Before the pandemic, online ordering was representing 10-20% of revenue for restaurants, but now that number has risen to 70-80%. This is something that won’t go away after the pandemic is resolved since it’s proven to be a very solid revenue stream for restaurants. Operators who implement a concrete online ordering strategy and leverage their guest data are setting themselves up for success.

How do you ensure you stay connected with SevenRooms’ NYC-based HQ in an international WFH environment?

Technology has been really helpful to stay connected with SevenRooms’ HQ and my colleagues around the world. Thankfully, I have experience in working at global companies. It is always top of mind for me to keep a strong global mentality, regardless of where I am based. I think it’s been really important to remain connected through regularly scheduled team regroups where we mingle and chat about our personal life and things in general, not just business.

What has been the most rewarding silver lining you’ve encountered during COVID? Personally? Professionally? 

Personally, I have spent more time with my kids and family. In a pre-COVID world, I traveled every 2-3 weeks for the last 9 years. Frankly, I was never home for more than 3-4 weeks at a time! My kids were also home from school for a period of time, so it was an amazing silver lining to spend time with them while I work from home.

Professionally, there has been a shift in some demanding markets, pivoting to more of a digital approach instead of in-person. Europe is heavily dependent on in-person interactions for sales demos, pitches, etc. This digital approach has built trust between us and our clients and prospects. Before the pandemic, there was an extremely slim chance that a prospect in southern Europe would sign for a product if it was not shown to them in person. Since we don’t have that option anymore, it’s simplified the ability to close deals without having to constantly travel.

Restaurants (anywhere in the world) you can’t wait to dine at again?

  1. Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy
  2. El Celler de Can Roca in Catalonia, Spain
  3. Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. Barr in Copenhagen, Denmark

About the Author

Mikayla Walzog

Mikayla Walzog writes about the intersection of technology and hospitality for SevenRooms. Her passion includes all things food & beverage and chipping away at her ever-growing bucket list of new restaurants to try.

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