Who recalls having dinner on Sunday at grandma’s house? Almost everyone of course, because it was always delicious and cosy. Let me tell you: as good as my grandmother can prepare beef stew, I have never tasted it anywhere else. It almost seems as if all grandmothers in our memory are star chefs… but of the traditional and comfort food dishes. With such a widely popular concept, restaurant De Bomma (bomma is the Flemish word for grandmother) was completely sold out from day one. Tunify asked co-founder and manager Sharon Devis how they got to this successful idea.
Sharon and her partner started 3 years ago with restaurant De Bomma. “We previously had an other restaurant. The specials menu on Monday was always a traditional dish that you could expect from your grandmother, like sausages with mashed potatoes. This is how the idea was born for a completely new restaurant dedicated to this theme. The menu of restaurant De Bomma therefore consists entirely of the traditional Flemish food that our grandmothers often would put on the table. It’s very important that our customers can compose their own dish. They can choose a piece of meat and then the potatoes and vegetables to go with it.” The full menu is put on the table - like it should - in the stew pots. This is ideal if you would like to share a dish with each other or have a taste from each dish. And of course the portions are really generous, because you never leave hungry from your grandmother's table.
Even Sharon’s own grandmothers can be seen in the restaurant. You can admire them in the pictures on the wall. “Everybody can bring a picture of his own grandmother. When you do this, we’ll give it a nice place on the wall and you’ll also receive an aperitif on the house.” This is - of course - based on the most favourite liqueur of the grandmothers in Antwerp: the Elixir d’Anvers. “As we speak, there are already about 400 to 500 photographs of grandmothers hanging on the wall. In a subsequent visit, customers often visit together with their grandmother, and would therefore prefer to sit at a table next to their own picture,” says Sharon.
Although everything in the restaurant follows the grandmother concept, the interior is not quite what you would find at your grandma’s house. “In terms of decor, our restaurant has a slightly more modern touch than you would expect from a grandmother. It’s not the typical dark interior you might find at a Flemish grandmother's home. Because there are already so many businesses like this in town, we deliberately chose a fresh take on the traditional interior, with lots of light."
The music on the other hand is tailored to grandmother’s taste. “Originally, we wanted to play oldies only,” says Sharon. “But far from all oldies music fits in our concept. Rock ’n’ roll is fun when you go to the toilet, but when you’re eating, it’s a bit distracting. That’s why we now play a selection of oldies with some jazzy music and French chansons using Tunify. It’s all old music, we definitely don’t want to play any new music.”
De Bomma had a good reason to opt for Tunify. “In the beginning we had bought an iPod, containing about 30 CDs of Dutch music, because my own grandmother was always listening to that kind of music. But eventually, you become tired of the same playlists every day. Then we started searching online for a music system for a restaurant and that’s how we found Tunify. We first tried it for a week, got convinced immediately and now we are very pleased with Tunify, everyone says it’s a very good system. And finally, I’m not constantly hearing the same songs over and over again,” Sharon laughs. “Even among our clients there are many who say ‘Hey, the music is really good here.’ It's nice to get that kind of feedback from your customers."
Do you want to experience the cosiness and cooking skills of restaurant De Bomma? Take a look at De Bomma's website. Feel free to bring your own grandmother, grandfather, or even the whole family: groups up to 20 people can eat à la carte. Bon appétit!