Show Date: February 21st, 2018
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Gennaro (Jimmy) Centofanti
The concept for Luciano’s Restaurants began in a small town outside Naples, Italy. Our mother Lina ran a trattoria (homemade Italian, very causal, restaurant), teaching us with her own hands the skills and commitment we would later put to use in our authentic Italian pizzas and cuisine. We learned never to settle for less than the finest and freshest ingredients. When our family eventually left Italy for America, we brought our tradition of duro lavoro (hard work), desire for excellence and most importantly – our True Italian Passion. We’ve kept alive this dedication by staying true to the family recipes that have helped define us since we opened our first restaurant in 1971.
Luciano’s has many restaurants, of course, in San Antonio, 12 locations. The thing is keeping things going. We have managers working for us 10-15 years, (with whom) we have a long relationship. We have family members who have been with us a long, long time. I check my emails, make sure to visit all the stores, make sure everything’s going fine, food looks fresh, guys look clean and service is done right. Now when we started doing franchising, I’m busy creating new locations. My brother Jimmy and Luciano work together, Jimmy is the financial guy and Luciano handles operations. We’re dong a few franchises right now, a new location on 151 and Loop 410. We get a lot of interested people looking to open a new franchise, so that’s something we deal with. I try to stay on top of things.
San Antonio, it welcomes you, Jimmy said. It makes you feel at home right away. It doesn’t have the pressures of a big city, but it is a big city. People are very knowledgeable, they like good food. When we first came to San Antonio, people didn’t know what everything was, but they acknowledged us right away and loved the food. That’s one thing about San Antonio, we have a huge variety of people that we serve that come and see us and we know them by name. Families have grown together with us. It’s been a family affair. It probably wouldn’t have happened in another city. It’s still one of the hardest cities to do a restaurant in, but we’ve been doing this for so long. When we opened the location on Huebner, we didn’t know if we were going to get the traffic. But I was amazed at the response and the people that came into the restaurant. It makes you feel good. It’s been an amazing experience.