POSTI SINCERI: SAVING RESTAURANTS WITH INSTAGRAM
The Coronavirus crisis has accentuated the problems of those clubs, bars, or restaurants that are not trendy and do not want to be. Thus was born Posti Sinceri (Genuine Places), an Instagram page that helps activities that are not "instagrammable" at all survive.
PVC tables mimicking the marble, a wooden counter to be repainted, posters of old advertisements on the walls, a smoked billiard table. It is the local bar, the one that has hosted us at least once in a lifetime. There are everywhere in Italy and the Coronavirus emergency risks closing them once and for all.
It is to defend them and many other typical places such as dairies, restaurants, taverns, bowling clubs, etc. that “Posti Sinceri” was born, an Instagram page animated by a group of Milanese kids.
«We wanted to map all these places – trattorias, bowl clubs, bars, restaurants, ice cream parlors – that we already used to hang out before. The question we asked ourselves was: why do we like them so much, but we are the only ones, or almost, to know them? ». It is one of the reasons for the project that the creators of Posti Sinceri gave to Andrea Strafile of Munchies, who interviewed them looking at the ceiling (during the video call, the boys wanted to remain anonymous).
However, the question they asked is rhetorical: their page has achieved great success, so it is clear that the businesses portrayed in the photos are loved not only by them. It is not just a matter of photographic talent, nor a taste for kitsch. Nor is it nostalgia: «The Posti Sinceri project – they confided Munchies – was not born of a nostalgia operation ». And we believe it. In any case, the fact remains that we know what it has become: a mapping of the Milanese historical places.
These places were born decades ago and are part of the social fabric of the city and are the only means of support for the families who manage them and often own them. Among other things, these two aspects are why the lockdown did not reap victims among the local neighborhoods. Only one of the mapped places has definitively closed its doors, but it is probable that “they had problems even before …”.
Furthermore, another fact that emerged from the commitment of Posti Sinceri is that the Covid-19 emergency pushed the inhabitants to live their neighborhoods more, allowing the Milanese “local bars” to survive. Even before the lockdown, these places could count on regular customers, to which was added that of the local youth.
Precisely for the same reasons, the businesses open in the center of Milan are at higher risk, less populated, and today without tourists. The result is a higher percentage of activities that have decided not to reopen; paradoxically, the number of high-end ones is more significant. There are three main causes: they pay high rents; they are generally found in the city center; they can afford it economically. According to Fipe research, 30% of Italian bars and restaurants (90 thousand activities out of 300 thousand) have not reopened.
Of course, this does not mean that historic business and suburban neighborhoods are safe (an investigation by the Italian newspaper Il Resto del Carlino, published on June 1, pointed out that one in three commercial premises is already at risk of closure).
As a result, Posti Sinceri has decided to help them: «We really want to encourage people to go to these places. Ten euros on Deliveroo for your poké – they say to Munchies – will not change the fate of the poke place, in which there are often investors and not real families. Those same ten euros, however, can mean a lot for Posti Sinceri».
Unfortunately, if in some way, the initiative and the data confirm the vigor and potential of the local places (with the possibility of delivery and take away, as well as strengthening the direct relationship and interdependence with the inhabitants of the area); on the other hand the guys of Posti Sinceri also admit that they had to face the owners’ resistance to new technologies: «Sometimes they don’t understand what we want from them. That our channel could help them … ». Still, Posti Sinceri is the demonstration of what digital resources can do for anyone, even for those less photogenic and not particularly well-kept places. Potential, those of the online (food marketing in particular), which emerged with greater force due to the Coronavirus crisis.
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)