Sara Pantaleo exits CEO role at La Porchetta
Sara Pantaleo, who heads up Italian casual dining chain La Porchetta, is moving on from the CEO role. However Pantaleo will continue to play an integral part in the restaurant business as a shareholder.
Pantaleo joined the family firm 23 years ago and has led the business since 2005.
Her brother Rocco’s death in 2010 has kept her in the boss’s seat for far longer than she had planned.
Now she is ready to step back from day-to-day leadership.
The search for a replacement CEO is ongoing with the right fit a priority over a speedy appointment, Pantaleo told Inside Franchise Business.
“I don’t want to rush it. We’re a family business, so as much as I need experience, culture is really important. It’s about our franchise community and choosing someone who will actually be a part of that community. Franchising is all about relationships and we need to get it right.
“As CEO I’m most proud of our people, the sense of community we have built with our franchisees, our suppliers and all the team.”
Sara Pantaleo’s legacy as CEO
Pantaleo’s legacy is also about organisation, she said. “I’m proud of the way I have put all the structures in the business. We started out very green in franchising.”
Trust and transparency are crucial elements in the network today, she said.
Pantaleo announced her departure as CEO in the last month and at the annual La Porchetta conference recently she also delivered a strategic vision for the business.
“The franchisees were very supportive. I’ve been working with the team in the background, and it’s business as usual. I have an amazing team.”
Pantaleo’s swansong as CEO is a project that takes the hospitality business into a new sphere.
“We’ve developed a QSR takeaway and delivery neighbourhood pizza pasta joint with a funky young feel, and beautiful dishes on the menu. It’s a very exciting project.”
The small 120sqm footprint with lower costings will allow the business to develop interstate and overcome the challenges of high rents, particularly in Sydney.
Pantaleo expects the first takeaway/delivery store to open end of 2020/early 2021.
Alongside the new project, Pantaleo has overseen the reshaping of the La Porchetta restaurant to accommodate a smaller footprint for a more cost effective investment option.