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How I Got Here: Nico Simeone

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Six by Nico founder Nico Simeone on what makes a good leader, being decisive, and business evolution

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The CEO and founder of Sixco Limited, the group behind tasting menu restaurant brand Six by Nico, on what makes a good leader, being decisive, and business evolution.

Describe yourself in one word
Always-thinking... can I get away with that!?

What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your career?
Not being scared to fail.

Tell us your biggest strength…
Decisiveness. I have always had a gut feeling if something is right or wrong. It allows us to stay ahead.

What has been your biggest mistake? 
Too many to write down, but what stands out was not growing my back office in alignment with our growth of operations. 

What makes a good leader?
For me, it is to own your failures and share the success with those who helped create it.

Who has had the biggest influence on your approach to business?
My uncle Mario.

How do you stay motivated?
I believe when you love something, you don’t need to seek motivation. For me, I love the challenge of constant creation and evolution.

How often do you check your email?
At least once an hour… but remembering to reply is a different question!

How do you relax?
Downtime with my wife and kids.

What was your dream job growing up?
It’s a bit clichéd, but a footballer would have been cool.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Probably Michael Sim’s – our current chief marketing officer at Six by Nico – ‘jab, jab, hook’. Essentially, if you have something, an idea or product, keep jabbing and the ‘hook’ will come.

What would you call your autobiography?
I can’t say I have ever given this any thought. To be honest, I think it would be pretty cool if I could launch a recipe book. I would see each recipe being supported with a story of the dish, the menu it was on and the year it launched. The year would be where a memory of mine would come in – introducing a mini autobiography element here. Autobiography meets a recipe book would be my preference. So, to answer your question, I'd say autobiography meets a recipe book would be my preference. I'd call it: Cooking by Nico.

Do you have any business regrets?
No regrets – just lots of mistakes and learning. 

Tell me something you think about the restaurant sector that almost nobody agrees with you on…
As the business / brand evolves, it reaches a point where the final product (food) becomes a part of a bigger picture, rather than the only picture. Storytelling, brand and business metrics are becoming more important than ever. Today, the final product isn’t enough on its own.

Bio

Born in Glasgow, Simeone left school when he was 18 and went to cook at a local restaurant called La Parmigiana. From there he went on to work at the to Michelin-starred 'Number One at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. After that he chose to launch his own business, which eventually led to the opening of his first Six by Nico restaurant in Glasgow in March 2017. The brand has grown steadily​ since then and this month will see the group launch two restaurants simultaneously in Birmingham​ and Manchester​, bringing its total tally to 15 Six by Nico sites. Simeone's Sixco group also operates several offshoot brands including patisserie and café concept Valaria and charitable restaurant Beat 6, which are both based in Glasgow. Earlier this year, Sixco announced plans to expand further across the UK and also launch its first international venture in Dubai​ following robust financial results.

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