Interviews with clients and friends of Baud
Interviewed: Álvaro Cambra and Albert Nasarre, founding partners.
Interviewer: Andrea Montes, member of the Baud team.
Interview date: April 20, 2020.
Image: from left to right, Albert Nasarre and Álvaro Cambra, founding partners of Cyrclo.
We still remember when this project came to Baud. So, it was a great idea that was beginning to take its first steps towards becoming a reality. Today, Cyrclo is a restaurant whose healthy and Mediterranean gastronomic proposal is not only conquering palates, but, thanks to its efforts, it is managing to find a place in the minds and hearts of many consumers.
We interview Álvaro Cambra and Albert Nasarre, two of Cyrclo's founding partners, who reveal to us how they have managed to reinvent themselves and their restaurant to face this health crisis so damaging to the restaurant sector with optimism and a fighting spirit.
Just two months after its opening, Cyrclo has redefined itself to focus on bringing healthy menus to the toilets that are giving so much to all of us these days. At Baud, we are proud and excited to experience personal and professional growth stories like this one.
Interviewer: How has the coronavirus affected you personally and professionally?
Álvaro Cambra: We created Cyrclo just 3 months ago and we had only been open for 2 months when the pandemic forced us to close. Accepting it and facing it was, at first, a tough process. Entrepreneurship always carries risks and, a context as negative as this one, has made it even more complicated. However, Albert and I are ambitious and fighting people and together we have been able to face it in a much more optimistic way.
Albert Nasarre: On a personal level, we are not living in confinement because our day to day continues in the restaurant. In fact, I would say that this situation has activated us and is allowing us to think faster. The context has presented an even more challenging challenge for us.
"We have implemented an organized restoration model that allows us to establish processes that ensure very good quality."
E: How did Cyrclo react to the coronavirus?
AC: Our first reaction, like everyone else's, was a bit chaotic. We were not clear about what we could do, how far we could go, what impact it was going to have for us or what the consequences would be. We had only been using home delivery services for a week and we didn't know if we were going to be able to continue with them. After those first moments, we took the reins and took the necessary steps to get ahead. We were aware that we could not keep our squad so we had to fight and reinvent ourselves to put ourselves in front of all the processes, cooking ourselves and being us, in the first person, the ones who were going to be at the foot of the canyon.
AN: Perhaps the hardest part of those initial moments was the uncertainty we felt about our team. It was a complicated situation for all of them and our intention was to be as transparent as possible with all of them, reassuring them and being by their side.
Image: Cyrclo kitchens.
I: How has Cyrlo transformed to face the pandemic?
AN: Rafa, Cyrclo's third partner, became interested in the Food For Heros initiative. We contacted them and joined, but in this movement, the restaurants assume the costs to feed the health personnel and, in our case, it was not viable. Therefore, we sat down with María Pascual, our friend, along with other catering companies in Barcelona and with the Ajudant Ajudar association to propose a crowdfunding that would allow us to continue helping. Since then, we have not stopped cooking to bring our healthy restaurant proposal to the toilets.
"Our long-term survival as a company is about keeping our values alive."
I: How dared you take over the kitchen without having experience in it?
AC and AN: Since our inception, Cyrclo has implemented an organized restoration model that allows us to establish processes that ensure a very good quality in the product and the final result. Thanks to this, we have been able to enter the kitchens being able to maintain our quality standards and our recipes intact.
I: What response have you received since then?
AC: The situation is being very complicated and the general response is being very positive. It is something we were not required to do and we are receiving a lot of love and appreciation. At no time did we have any doubts, now is the time to help as much as possible.
Image: toilets receiving menus from Cyrclo.
I: To what extent have Cyrclo's values influenced to face the transformation in such an optimistic and fighter way?
AC and AN: Our brand values are a reflection of who we are and how we think. We are nonconformist, optimistic, innovative, and all of that is reflected in how we are experiencing this whole situation. It is our values and our way of being that has prompted us to be more reactive and to dare. In fact, our long-term survival as a company depends on keeping those values alive and not losing sight of where we want to go.
E: Do you think consumers are going to take into account the involvement of brands during this pandemic in their subsequent consumption habits?
AC: From my point of view, thanks to this crisis, people today feel more socially responsible. There has been a change in mentality. In these tough times, we are more aware than ever of our responsibility to others and that is also expected of brands. If a brand actively engages with those who need it most, consumers will feel more receptive and connected to it.
AN: Normality will be responsible brands that commit and act to help society and the planet. This mass production and without conscience is increasingly seen worse on a social level. Therefore, companies have to be close to people to serve them when they need it. CSR will be greatly strengthened as an essential pillar in all companies.
"We have been strengthened as people and, consequently, as a brand."
I: What initiatives have inspired you and caught your attention more than those that have emerged in this context?
AC and AN: In general, we are very inspired by all those initiatives that are being carried out by small companies that dare and give everything they have to help others, from the Food For Heros initiative promoted by Grosso Napoletano to that of a Barcelona catering company that gives away menus for healthcare personnel through its E-commerce. Any gesture is important.
I: How do you think post coronavirus life will be? How are things going to change?
AN: Probably, in the short term, our life will change a lot. Our culture is very close and our relationships will surely be affected. We may become more distant, not with our closest environment, but we will be more careful with other social practices. I think that, in the medium term, it will also have an impact on companies since this situation has shown that the Home Office model is possible and that it is also a way to reduce fixed costs. The offices will have to be redefined to allow this flexibility in the location of the personnel and, in many cases, the spaces will have to be reduced because the presence of the entire staff will not be necessary.
AC: Sure, at the beginning, there is a lot of fear and we will stop doing things that we normally did, but in the long term, we will return. Latino society needs to go out, be with others, hug family and friends, so little by little we will resume our lives in full.
"We are constantly changing our minds, raising new ideas and their viability."
E: How would you compare the pre-post coronavirus in Cyrclo?
AC and AN: We have been strengthened as people and, consequently, as a brand. We have been able to fight with only 2 months to live and very limited resources. It gives us a lot of hope and fills us with optimism to see how with only two of us we have been able to do so much. In addition, it has opened our eyes to the impact we can have and how far we can go if we are able to fight.
We are sure that our clients value us more and, furthermore, we are reaching out and connecting with more people.
"The digitization of our sector is going to be an essential requirement to continue in the market."
I: What are you doing today to prepare for the post coronavirus situation?
AC: We are constantly changing our minds, raising new ideas and their viability. We want to promote our own E-commerce and the collection service because we know that the importance of the place is going to be secondary. We are also trying to find new target audiences and we want to introduce our services for companies and employees.
E: Any more comments?
AN: Yes, it is important to also reflect on the restaurant sector and the digital revolution that is undergoing due to the current context. We must be very aware that the traditional restaurant either changes or dies and we have to be very fast when it comes to integrating new technologies to be able to remain relevant and survive. Customers, for a while, are not going to come to our restaurants and, therefore, we have to be able to reach them in other ways. The digitization of our sector is going to be an essential requirement to continue in the market.