One weakness they acknowledge is that they have put all of their early efforts into things like getting the restaurant location ready, figuring out their menu, on the actual customer service and dishing out great food.
But that meant administrative issues were not always given the attention they required. With both Felipe’s handling tables, seating customers, checking with the kitchen and serving drinks, little things like bookkeeping were often put on the back burner.
Their solution to this was to hire an accounting firm to handle their books.
Neither of the Felipe’s were experienced in this area, they’re too small to have this activity within their company, so this was the perfect solution. Clearly, if a small company doesn’t have the background, hiring a specialist firm makes a lot of sense.
Even then, they still have to get all of the relevant information to the bookkeepers in a timely fashion, the owners spend time making sure that this very important function gets taken care of. And even though they could pay their local and state sales taxes on a quarterly basis, they do so on a monthly basis to stay current because they do NOT want to get behind on taxes.
Growth = Both Opportunity and Peril
Growth is both the next goal and the biggest threat.
They are thinking of adding yet another patio to increase the outdoor space – an important factor for the seasonal business in a resort town with near-perfect weather 8 months out of the year. But this will cost money – notably out of their own pockets as the landlord is apparently very passive and won’t do the build-out.
So the two Felipe’s will do it themselves with their friends and families helping out. Another cool feature of being Latino – we have lots of friends and family members with expertise in construction.
A pizza restaurant right next door to them is also potentially vulnerable as new pizza restaurants, including Blaze, have open in town. If that pizza restaurant were to close, this would offer the tantalizing opportunity to almost triple their space.
Of course this would mean more overhead, but would allow them to set up a fresh tortilla making station as well as expanding their small but profitable bar.
This growth opportunity is of course yet another big roll of the dice as it would increase their rent, they would have to invest a lot to physically merge the two restaurants, and there is no guarantee that they could bring in enough money to cover all of these expenses.
But these guys aren’t just in business. It’s not just dollars and cents. They are following their dreams, they are following their passions, and they are willing to commit all of the time and effort it will take to succeed.
They are breaking all of the rules but making it work. Big kudos to Felipe and Felipe for making Felipe’s a success.
About the author
Carlos E. Garcia, born to Mexican immigrant parents, grew up in East Los Angeles and attended Pomona College, UC Berkeley and National University (BA, MA and MBA respectively). He has over thirty years of experience in the field of US Hispanic consumer research, twenty one years at the helm of his own company, Garcia Research. Most recently SVP at GfK: Knowledge Networks, where he headed up their Hispanic research efforts. He's gone full circle and now back at the helm of Garcia Research, a Hispanic market and Multicultural-focused research firm.Website