Lisa Landman | owner Frenchie from Haarlem, NL

Star Sign: Taurus
Currently reading: Nothing, at the moment.
Hopes her last meal will be: Naruto Ramen Bowl, at Frenchie, of course!

27 year old Lisa Landman lives with her boyfriend Tim, frenchies, Sunny and Dirkje, and cat, Chef, in Haarlem. Together they own ‘Frenchie’ – a warm and comfortable restaurant located in the city centre of Haarlem. Lisa is the all-rounder of Frenchie. She loves numbers, loves to sip champagne, loves to do crafts and loves to make coffee.

When did you first know that this was your calling?

That was when I met Tim. We both have a passion for hospitality and an eye for detail. At Frenchie, we bring these skills together!


How did you get your business off the ground?

We had the idea to start Frenchie for a long time, but we needed to find the right location. When the building where Frenchie is currently located became available, we immediately knew: this is it! The acquisition price was favorable and the bank had confidence in our project, so we succeeded. With a reasonably low investment, we set up a whole new business. Family and friends helped with the renovation. This was not only fun, but it saved us a lot of time and money.

‘Can’t’, doesn’t exist. If you really want something, there’s always a way.

What makes your company unique?

At Frenchie, everything has a starring role. Everything gets equal attention. We don’t want people just to say, ‘you can have a good breakfast there,’ but rather, our goal is for our customers to say, ‘everything’s good over there!’ In Haarlem you have a lot of nice places, but most restaurants specify in breakfast, lunch, dinner etc. None of them offer as much as we do. Plus we have our sweet Frenchies! That makes us extra special – they really complete the cosy atmosphere. Furthermore, everything at Frenchie is very personal. You certainly don’t get a ‘concept feeling’ here. Our staff also does a great job bringing that personal touch.


What is the biggest challenge for you as an entrepreneur?

The role as ‘boss’ is totally new to me. Most of the employees are around my age. That makes it sometimes quite difficult to interact with them in a businesslike way. In addition, most ‘colleagues’ have become my friends. Finally, I have to make decisions about things that are very important and sometimes I realize I don’t have all of the right knowledge.

What inspires you to continue?

Tim and I are go-getters. We’ve worked so hard to create Frenchie and put all of our love and energy into it. We stay inspired by getting new ideas during city trips and eating out a lot. The positive reactions of our guests are also very important, they certainly work as a drive. Because of this, our quality is rising fast.


What is your life motto / what mantra do you live?

‘Can’t’, doesn’t exist. If you really want something, there’s always a way.


How do you ensure a good work-life balance?

That’s hard. I’ m still not good at it. Frenchie’s my second home and our employees are like my family, so it’s great to be there. Sometimes it’s very busy at Frenchie’s and other times it’s more quiet. During the quiet moments I try to take distance and not be there, but that takes some effort. Because, well, it doesn’t matter. I like to be there.

How has the Corona virus affected your work?

The restaurant had to be closed on Sunday 15 March at 18.00 hours. Something we did right away, of course. On Mondays we are always closed, so on Monday we immediately made a plan reopen on Tuesday for Take-Away and Delivery. Now we do this from our window! Under these conditions, it works quite well. We don’t have to stop working and we still earn some money.


What can people do to support you and others in your field?

Order food and drinks at your favourite restaurant! Or buy a gift voucher. That kind of thing really helps a lot.


What are your plans for the future?

It is still very uncertain what the new ‘normal’ will be, but we will certainly find a way to adapt for Frenchie. Furthermore, we will continue to do it with a lot of love and passion, how we’ve always done! Treat the neighborhood with super fresh food and drinks, and always with a smile!


Do you have tips for people who want to start a business (in this field)?

Make sure that what you’re doing is good. Think about it and don’t just wing it. If you’re 100% behind it, it’s gonna work.

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