Bjorn Bartolo

Summer is often the perfect time for many to take some time away from their hectic work routines and go abroad to enjoy themselves.

However, many business leaders’ minds keep on thinking even during their short periods of downtime, constantly coming up with new ideas and possible ways to take their businesses forward.

Manouche Craft Bakery & Bistro Director and Co-Founder Bjorn Bartolo is one such person, as he tends to use his time abroad to reflect on various opportunities to develop the restaurant chain further, and to also get inspired by what is happening in foreign catering industries.

For the latest instalment of this year’s summer interview series, we spoke to Bjorn about his most ideal holiday destinations and how he seeks to invest in himself this summer.

Founded in 2017, Manouche has grown to become a popular restaurant chain across Malta, with various establishments located across the country. Bjorn has been critical to that success, also spearheading the launch of Detroit Style Pizza Malta, a restaurant dedicated to the popular American style of pizza. While the two chains have grown extensively in recent years, he still enjoys seeing new establishments open up, especially as the sun shines during summer.

Are you a summer person, or do you prefer winter? Why?

I’m not that keen on summer days, as they’re way too hot for my liking. Although, I do like the summer nights as they tend to be much more pleasant. After 13 years living in the UK, I have had my fair share of wintertime weather.

Are you looking forward to this summer in particular? Why?

Yes! This summer we will be launching Manouche Gozo. It’s always a pleasure seeing a Manouche sign going up while the sun is shining.

What’s your favourite thing to do in the summer season? Why?

Definitely beach days in the shade! I also enjoy long walks followed by a picturesque sunset, a nice meal by the sea or a BBQ. What better activity is there to do in Maltese summers?

Do you prefer going out or staying inside during the summer season?

If I’m not working, I tend to stay inside in the afternoons, however I tend to enjoy the evenings outside more.

Will you be going abroad this summer? If yes, where to and why?

Yes, me and my wife rented a motorhome in the UK and we went to watch the Formula One at Silverstone Circuit.

What’s your dream summer destination? Why?

Cape Verde, because it’s similar to Malta weather wise, just without all the traffic and madness.

What’s your best holiday experience?

I have to say a cruise, as there’s something beautiful about going to sleep and waking up in another country.

What’s your worst holiday experience?

A few years back, I entered a poker tournament and made it through the national finals which were held in Stoke on Trent in the UK, and decided to make a holiday out of it. The poker tournament went well, but the accommodation was a nightmare.

Companies are encouraged to invest to stay ahead of the curve. As a business leader, how will you be investing in yourself this summer?

I try to read as many books as possible. I also travel to see what’s out there to get inspired and have time to reflect.

From recharging your batteries to taking on a huge task – do you have any particular goals for the summer?

I have plenty of goals that I have been working on and having to go through so many obstacles and hurdles I can finally say the future is very bright. However, I can’t give actual details for now.

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