Ricardo Tello and Alexandro Monteiro are the duo behind On The Pigs Back, another great addition to Capel Street’s thriving and eclectic food scene. Here’s their story.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in the restaurant business?
Being surrounded by food has become our reality since December 2015 when we decided to finally invest in something that we both are deeply passionate about: burgers. It took us almost one year before we could open On the Pig’s Back Eatery. Searches about techniques, visits to the best burger places in town, in addition to countless tests. I won’t lie to you: It was one of biggest challenges we have ever faced. But now, after working together for more than a year and seeing our dream of welcoming people with simplicity and equality every day shows us that we are on the right path.
What has been your greatest professional success and biggest setback?
I would say that our greatest professional success is seeing our customers coming back again and again, recommending our restaurant to their friends, and seeing that they are enjoying spending time with us. For example, the ‘wow’ look on their face when they first see the milkshake; you can’t put a price on that. I am also immensely proud of our vegan options, which attract a wider variety of people to the restaurant. Without all this support, and constructive criticism, we would not be here today.
The greatest setback we experienced was when we expanded the menu and began exploring more contemporary cuisine. The dishes we produced were very tasty and beautifully presented but unfortunately they just weren’t what our customers were looking for.
This was a valuable learning curve for us and as a result we decided to invest in simplicity, process and the freshness of our products.
The burger scene is quite competitive in the city – what are you doing to try and differentiate?
As I was mentioned in the previous question we are investing in a simple menu but with options that attract every type of customer. Apart from our food, we provide a great atmosphere and service thanks to our wonderful staff.
We try to share our ideas as much as possible and work in close collaboration to ensure our customers always leave with a smile on their face.
What are the next steps for On the Pig`s Back Eatery?
Customers often ask for a cup of tea or coffee or sometimes they just want a sandwich or something lighter so we’ve been working on that aspect of the menu. Since August we have been in contact with Baobab Coffee Roasters who provide us with amazing coffee beans select around the world and our brand new Synesso machine is ready to start now in December. For the next year we will start opening in the morning with new sandwiches and cakes as well as new vegan sandwiches and desserts.
Capel St is a hive of multicultural culinary delights – where else do you rate on the street? What gives it that special energy?
We usually say that we are in one of the best spots in town because everything is within easy reach, creating that lively culinary atmosphere everyone is so familiar with. I love Brother Hubbard, they are an inspiration for us. Besides us on the right, there is Mish Mash which is a lovely place to have a chat. On the left, there is The Black Sheep which offers an amazing range of craft beers. And obviously there’s us, offering juicy burgers, homemade fries and soon, an amazing selection of coffees – all day, every day.