Takeaway Heroes – Matteo Galletto
For a restaurant that prides itself on service and nurturing its diners in a beautiful, art-filled space, pivoting to takeaway only was a big step for Lucio’s in Paddington. However through taking that plunge quickly, the Galletto family – patriarch Lucio, his son Matteo and daughter Michaela – has managed to keep the restaurant afloat and retain core kitchen and front-of-house staff.
Having a large number of locals and regulars was an advantage, and being a small, nimble team helped.
“We’re in a good position because we’re used to dealing with things on the fly,” says Matteo Galletto. “We sent out a newsletter to our database the morning after the order was given for restaurants to close. We had four or five orders straight away and had to organise them within a few hours.”
Then they spent the next couple of days sorting it out properly. “We had the basics here, a small malleable team, and my sister and I took orders over email. We just did it.”
Matteo and his front of house team even delivered meals locally via Vespa.
Initially Lucio’s full a la carte menu was available but the team soon realised that some things travelled better than others.
They replaced fiddly entrees with generous antipasto platters, removed raw seafood from the antipasti choices entirely, changed the shape of their famous squid ink pasta (fettucine instead of fazzoletti), included kids’ pasta dishes and streamlined the mains.
However Matteo stresses: “We haven’t changed any techniques and the quality of the food is exactly the same.”
The future is uncertain, but everyone is in the same boat, says Matteo. “It’s hard to know what to expect with every news cycle, so we’re just taking it day by day, preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.”
Is there a silver lining in any of this? For dessert lovers there definitely is. “For the first time in 37 years we’re doing a traditional tiramisu,” he says. “All people want in hard times is comfort, and what’s better than tiramisu?”