Wolt Merchant Stories: Alena Kirchnerová, the heart and soul of Brno’s Fabrik bistros
With their bare brick walls, traditional high-end comfy furniture and industrial-style lighting and accessories, Alena Kirchnerová has endowed her two ‘Fabrik’ bistros in the Czech city of Brno with an ambiance that is both rustic and modern.
She says she wanted to create a “soul atmosphere” and that she found inspiration for her designs from hospitality venues in Germany and the Netherlands.
A hospital nurse and office worker in a previous life – before she became a mother -, Alena decided to re-enter working life with a leap of faith and become a gastronomy entrepreneur.
She first worked as a bistro manager on someone else’s payroll for two years. Then, in 2018, she bought her own real estate to open Fabrik Food Factory near the city center, followed two years later by her second bistro, Fabrik Urban House, in the heart of Brno. Alena now employs 20 people, including a team of chefs.
Seeing people being happy
“To see people being happy with our food and service gives me a dopamine rush,” she says. “This is what I wanted to do with my life.”
“I am independent and every day is different,” Alena adds. “Different people, different challenges, different happy moments.”
“It can, for example, be hard to predict the amounts of fresh ingredients needed on any given day. One day, for some reason, everyone seems to want the salad, and the next day the jacket potato. Sometimes that means you have to move supplies from one bistro to the other. Or you may need to reach out to suppliers in the middle of the day in order to secure your stock.”
World cuisine, big on fresh
Her young adult daughter and son have started helping out in every aspect of the business: from serving customers to innovating the menu, and from dealing with suppliers to taking care of administrative overhead.
The menus, interiors, and service concepts of the two establishments are virtually identical.
The bistros serve a range of world cuisine, with vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and more conventional dishes. The Kirchnerová’s are big on fresh vegetables alongside their curries, burgers, and jacket potatoes.
While seatings in the Food Factory and Urban House are limited, Alena built her gastronomy concept around takeaway and deliveries, and Wolt has been part of her personal success story from the start.
Many restaurants in Brno take part in an eco-friendly packaging program whereby customers pay a deposit for a commonly accepted food box. The customer can use the same packaging with all of the associated restaurants and return the box at any of the restaurants to have their deposit reimbursed.
“There is only so much you can do to emulate the unique style and branding of our bistros with the packaging,” Alena explains. “One thing we try is to make the visual appearance of the food itself align with the soul of our physical restaurants: colorful, fresh and tasteful.”
A symbiotic business relationship
Alena says that her business has benefited from using Wolt’s platform as a marketing and sales channel.
“The system is well thought out; it functions really well. Wolt’s support to customers and to the restaurants is fast and service-minded. Also, our communication with Wolt’s business manager in Brno has been very smooth and easy.”
“The platform allows us to test how to structure our menu, and to test the potential of new recipes,” she adds. “And while we have our own marketing presence on various social media, Wolt’s advertising campaigns, for example on Instagram, are very professional and helpful.”
With International Women’s Day in mind, Alena’s message is: “Be powerful!”
“Don’t be afraid to start new things. Together, women can achieve anything. Especially when young, energetic women and more experienced women look for synergies.”
This blog is a part of our International Women’s Day celebration. This year we’re giving spotlight to some of the amazing women-owned businesses on the Wolt platform. We hope you enjoyed the series! 💙