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Why new restaurants at Lakeside do not succeed


JayBearII
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6 hours ago, ComputerGuy said:

I once mentioned on this board that my fries were on the shy side, and he immediately showered me with more fries.

I also prefer my fries to be very bold and confident :)

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I took on the job of mentoring a young lady who thought she wanted to run a restaurant.  We tried a lot of restaurants, successful and unsuccessful and looked to see what was happening.

After a year of eating at various places, we decided that cleanliness and consistency were probably the most important.  Cleanliness is easy to see.

Consistency means waiters, food, service are good, doesn't have to be perfect but you should get what you order, in a reasonable amount of time, it should be the same as a few weeks before and the bill should be right.

If you look at the restaurants that have been in business for years, they all have cleanliness and consistency down pat.  

It is not the food or the price that keeps them in business, it is the consistency.  As long as you put out good food at a reasonable price, you can stay in business.

There's a taco stand that I've been eating at for 9 years.  I get the same thing there today that I got 9 years ago.  It may not be the best in town, but I know what I'm getting and what it will cost and it is good.  It's been in the same place for at least 9 years.

You have to depend on repeat customers to survive and if you give them a reason not to return, they will go elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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True dat. For example, I find Adelita's cooks everything perfectly, and yet it is all bland. Their ribs fall off the bone, but their sauce is boooooooring. Their burgers are stacked high with rings and things, and look fantastic, and are huge, but the meat is booooooooooring. And mushy. They often serve a main course of pasta with a side of another pasta, and the sauces are boooooooooring. But man, are they cooked properly. And Adelita's is busy all the time. So in this case, consistency definitely wins.

(I'm expecting some major disagreement here, and that's fine... just my opinion.)

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On 5/29/2017 at 8:39 PM, ComputerGuy said:

True dat. For example, I find Adelita's cooks everything perfectly, and yet it is all bland. Their ribs fall off the bone, but their sauce is boooooooring. Their burgers are stacked high with rings and things, and look fantastic, and are huge, but the meat is booooooooooring. And mushy. They often serve a main course of pasta with a side of another pasta, and the sauces are boooooooooring. But man, are they cooked properly. And Adelita's is busy all the time. So in this case, consistency definitely wins.

(I'm expecting some major disagreement here, and that's fine... just my opinion.)

I think you hit the nail squarely on the head here.  As did JRM.

Given the size and seating of almost all the restaurants here, consistency and simplicity go hand in hand.  Trying to be all things to all people with a huge menu is a recipe for failure.  Not only does too much variety run costs up, it becomes impossible to fix all those things consistently and well.

I'd also add location and noise to this.  I believe most people do not want a lot of noise, road or otherwise, with their meal.  Most people dine in groups and couples and want to be able to converse with their fellow diners.

Speaking for myself and spouse here, loud music is definitely a deal killer for a restaurant with us.  Bad and loud is even worse.  Also not interested in sharing our meals with 18 wheelers, mostly sans mufflers, grinding through the middle of town.

NOB I have noticed that restaurant prices have gone up very rapidly and now restaurant attendance is dropping significantly.  There's a lesson in that for the locals as well.  Eating out is a luxury not a necessity and there is a limit to what the market will bear.

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On 5/29/2017 at 8:39 PM, ComputerGuy said:

True dat. For example, I find Adelita's cooks everything perfectly, and yet it is all bland. Their ribs fall off the bone, but their sauce is boooooooring. Their burgers are stacked high with rings and things, and look fantastic, and are huge, but the meat is booooooooooring. And mushy. They often serve a main course of pasta with a side of another pasta, and the sauces are boooooooooring. But man, are they cooked properly. And Adelita's is busy all the time. So in this case, consistency definitely wins.

(I'm expecting some major disagreement here, and that's fine... just my opinion.)

I will tell this story on Adelitas.  You have to remember that we don't go to just eat, we go to learn and observe.

The first time was perfect.  The waiter had a tablet to take the order, up sold the meal correctly, the meal was delivered correctly and the bill was right.  Service was better than average, food was correct and good.  

The second time was different.  The waiter wrote the order and screwed it up (ordered penne pasta, got spaghetti), service was lower and the bill was half what it should have been.

The third time, it was perfect again.

The lesson was that one bad waiter can screw up the whole experience.  

In our escapade of checking out restaurants, Ives, Tango and Min Wah are always consistent and they have all been in business for a lot of years.  Obviously, we haven't been everywhere but those three are always consistent.  

There's a lot of good restaurants in the area that serve a lot of really good food but they seem to come and go quickly.  

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I tell people thinking about opening a restaurant to spend a few days at Panino's. If you order a sandwich and go back 6 months later and order the same thing, the presentation and taste will be identical. The service is incredible and Lupita is always roaming around talking with her clients. I'm sure there are some that may not care for something they've had there...that's to be expected but, as for consistancy and service, they're amazing!?

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So imagine my surprise when I went through the kitchen at Mom's Restaurant and counted about a dozen staff, all busy cleaning up and planning for the next day. I had no idea there were that many workers. And I recognize the faces of all the waiters, after many years. A lot of places around have a very high staff turnover.

The atmosphere at Mom's is relaxed, yet the activity in the back belies any relaxation or laziness. The food is always the same (I particularly enjoy the large serving of chicken chili) and the place is usually crowded. So something "right" is happening there, and Camille is still improving on something her Mom started long ago.

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Remember that Mom's makes a lot of food that is frozen and sold at Superlake and perhaps other locations.  Just recently they had a turn over in kitchen staff and it resulted in no frozen lasagna for a couple of weeks - but they are consistently busy and the products are good.

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  I don't get the "parking problem" for restaurants in Centro Ajijic.  Other than on week-ends there is always parking near the lake at the bottom of Colon, most of the restaurants are within a few blocks.  There is always parking on the streets running east & west but yes you may have to walk a block or two.   If you have a physical disability get dropped off in front of the restaurant, I see this all the time on Colon.  The driver will be back within minutes. 

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Well my thoughts are

 

1) Short term leases which means if the places takes off landlord hammers for higher rent and then place goes away

2) Waiters who are lazy and spend their time chatting on their phone or with others and not attending tables

3) No or little parking

4) Portions that get smaller as time goes on and prices that rise with no increase in food quality / quantity

5) A guessing game as far as hours open and no service mid week nor after 6pm.

 

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