Croatian Dream? From Fast Food Outlet to Two Hotels

Total Croatia News

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Source: Peteani Hotel

A couple proves that business success is possible even in Croatia.

They started their business in 1988, opening a fast food kiosk in Plomin Luka in Istria. Nowadays, they own two hotels. They are Armanda and Serđo Peteani, reports Glas Istre on November 19, 2017.

Serđo Peteani is a man of the restless business drive. Even before the closure of the Riva restaurant, he opened the Flanona Hotel (Flanona in the Latin name for Plomin, a small town in Istria). After a four-year renovation, he opened it in July 2010. Last year, again in July, the Peteani family opened another hotel, this time in Labin.

At the same time, they decided to sell the restaurant, with Serđo saying it would be too much to handle. “Three establishments would be too much for me. It makes no sense to have three hospitality facilities within a range of 13 kilometres. It is better two have two good facilities than three mediocre ones,” says Serđo.

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The Peteani Hotel near the old town of Labin has four stars, 14 rooms and looks great. The interior decoration was done by prominent designer Željko Burić. It has already received excellent reviews on all the major websites dealing with tourism and gastronomy. Of course, the new hotel includes a restaurant.

Serđo says that some of the old guests have recognised this and regularly come to the new a la carte restaurant. The difference is visible on the menu. Riva was once almost exclusively a fish restaurant, while the new restaurant offers, for example, Black Angus. “You have to adapt to the location,” says Sergio. Plomin Luka is on the coast and, while Labin is not far away either, the menu had to be changed somewhat.

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Sergio adds that he wants the restaurant to be at a high modern level, with the retention of individual traditional elements. He did not change the menu much, but the combinations are different, and the presentation is no longer the same. The kitchen at the Peteani Hotel is superbly equipped, as is the whole hotel. “I decided to pull out all the stops,” explains Sergio his investment, adding that he was not afraid of the risk.

He admits that, in the beginning, it was difficult to teach people that they could come to a hotel to have a dinner or drink. “People often have a prejudice that only hotel guests eat at a hotel, which we had to prove wrong.”

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Serđo says it is essential to develop slowly, step by step. That is a reason why he is not embarrassed to admit that his business career started with a fast food outlet. Before that, he was a butcher. “Step-by-step progress is the only proper way to develop. You cannot open a hotel all of the sudden. You must first pass some other steps and gain experience.”

The family invested about 11 million kunas in the new hotel. Serđo is proud that they have taken out a loan without a grace period and that, in the first year of operations, they managed to pay all their annual obligations nonetheless.

Translated from Glas Istre.


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