“Opsarion”: An innovative gastronomy proposal in Rhodes
Osparion is a Greek ‘fish and chip shop’ I visited in 2020 on the Greek Island of Rhodes. The owners despite the pandemic have huge aspirations for 2021 and beyond and perhaps even hope for a London version via franchising soon
The inspirers of ‘Opsarion’ spoke to Greek www.ka-business.gr about the reason why they chose to follow the path of innovation, authenticity and quality in this project, in a period just before the first lockdown – where an opening new business seemed at least catastrophic.
Opsarion is a unique Greek fast food restaurant with the theme of fish and seafood which opened its doors last April in Rhodes. Costopoulos Michalis Co-Founder Michalis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management. In the past he has worked in large hotel units in Greece as well as in the United Kingdom as food and beverage manager. Papanikolaou Dimitris Co-Founder Dimitris has studied Culinary Technician – Chef and in recent years has worked in the business maintained by his family, which is also in the catering category. “We are committed to using only environmentally friendly packaging (biodegradable or recyclable). We also support local producers and suppliers in every way. In all this endeavour, the experiences we gained in our professional past helped me as a Food & Beverage manager in large hotel groups and my partner, Dimitris Papanikolaou as a manager in a family restaurant “.
How did your project come about?
The whole project arose from our common vision, which is to redefine the way fish and seafood are consumed in Greece. “Opsarion” is a store that hardly fits into a category. We would characterize it as a very Greek, modern space, which at the same time has kept many traditional elements of the area in which it is located – in terms of the configuration of the space as well as the menu.
How difficult it is today to innovate and try to differentiate oneself in business?
First of all, let’s say that innovation in business has absolutely nothing to do with technology. It does not depend on it or presuppose it. Technology is an invention; innovation is the creation of new value for the customer. By no means is this an easy task. It requires sacrifices, analysis of various factors such as consumer behaviour, and more specifically the target group to which each business is addressed. What can you do more easily for some, what trades to do better, easier, faster, at a better price? This is also an innovation.
What is your comparative advantage in the growing competition in the catering industry?
We would say that it is a set of things and services that compose our comparative advantage. The atmosphere, the vibe that one spends in the first seconds that one enters the store. It consists of smells, sounds, images, mode of operation and finally value for money. So we have a very good vibe. We have a good time, and the people who work for us, and therefore our customers.
What are the future goals?
We hope that we will be able to expand well, having things first on the island of Rhodes with a second store and then why not on other islands while at the same time we are working extremely hard setting up our franchise guidebook which will be ready in 2021. We remain faithful in our vision and we strictly follow our goals on a daily basis.