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Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

We definitely have more then our fair share of inexperience restr owners. But not just in the way you assume. There are so many dreamers that think it would be paradise to run and own a beach bar. Those who have run a bar/restr know it is never paradise or at the very least it is seriously hard 12/16hr day hard work. So thats one side of the coin. The other side is this is not the united states. This is a completely different culture with a govt that resembles ours but is so not ours and a labor force that doesnt resemble the one stateside at all.

You will have all the same problems you have stateside but worse. Electric is now about.40 cents a kilowatt and expected to go up. Labor you will go through quickly, both the statesiders and local. The hard part is being able to fire the incompetents. I know the govt stateside is never on the employers side but it is 10x worse here. If you fire someone incorrectly you will get sued and you will not win. Getting people to show up here, to show up sober, etc.. You will pay much more for your food and it will not be as good as quality. But you will need to keep your prices competitive to get the local business. Do not pay money for a franchise or you will not last. The local culture, doesn't really understand customer service like what we expect stateside. They were not brought up around it, they don't understand why we complain about it. Doesn't mean they aren't warm friendly people but they just don't get why its important to great every customer with a smile and not argue with them or suck on their teeth when some customer is rude and asks for something annoying.

If you are serious about this I would strongly, strongly suggest to come for another pmv and talk to some of the successful restr owners here to find out if this is a headache you are really ready for. Frankly I think some of the good waiter/bartenders in some of the nicer restr makes more then the owners and has a much easier time of it, especially if you are nearing retirement age.

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Posted : September 4, 2008 12:12 am
scott accettella
(@scott_accettella)
Advanced Member

Being down on STX for 9 months I was able to get a good read on the restaurant theme. I must say that some of the food was barely edible. Forget the service. The best service I ever got was at the Golden Rail for lunch. I forgot her name, but she ran the whole floor with no problems. The service everywhere else was dreadful at times.

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Posted : September 4, 2008 5:12 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

I still say it's not just the islands. Although, I will agree we tend to be consistent in our bad service, with exceptions, or course. My daughter and I just had breakfast at a yuppie (ish) (Is yuppie still a word?) restaurant in Oregon. I swear the waitress came to the table at least twice without menus. She brought water one time and I don't know what the second time. I think she wiped the table. I finally asked my daughter if she was going to bring menus or if we were supposed to read a board somewhere, and she said she would bring menus. She did bring them, handed them to us, and walked away quickly. So, I'm going excuse me, excuse, me...can we get some coffee please? Then it got better, fairly normal, but she brought my food (oatmeal) without the milk, so I sat there while my oatmeal got cold waiting for the milk. When she finally brought the milk, she didn't have the coffee with her for refills and had to make another trip.

I have a lot of pet peeves about restaurant service, but I think my worst is when they bring the food and you don't have what you need to eat (like a FORK!). Happens all the time. Or if you order steak, and they plop it down and disappear. So when you discover your steak is still cold and bloody, everyone else is almost finished before you can send it back. I've always said the best advice to a new server is simply....What would you want, if you were the customer?

I think maybe we expect the service in our restaurants to be horrible, and I agree, it is! I just don't think it's that much worse than other places. However, the lady this morning was quite pleasant, smiling, cheerful. Easier to forgive the cold oatmeal.

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Posted : September 4, 2008 7:29 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

I never understand why they'll have 9 kinds of artificial sweetener in those little packets but maybe ONE packet of real sugar. Drives me batty. (I know that's not earthshaking but it still drives me nuts.) Delly Deck has those sugar pourers like diners do in the States if you eat inside in the A/C.

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Posted : September 4, 2008 8:28 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

I love Delly Deck. The food is always good, and, for the most part, the service is, too. There is that one server that has been there longer than the last two owners. I will get up and move to avoid her!

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Posted : September 4, 2008 9:57 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

As a Salisbury University grad who spent a lot of time on the shore in MD I'd LOVE some blue crabs down here. Got a few other transplants from the shore here as well, Crisfield, Salisbury etc. Anyway, definitely keep an eye on the power thing here as others suggest.. .50 kwh is probably 3-4 times what you pay in MD as bad as it is getting up there it doesn't compare.

I think what happens to a lot of people is the come here with a good work ethic, expect the same of others, and when they don't get it in return they throw their hands up and either leave, or adopt the work ethic that seems indigenous to the island. There are a lot of people who work hard some of the time, and a lot of people who work slow a lot of the time, but few who work hard most of the time. Also A LOT of bar/restaraunt owners get really into the drinking thing once down here. If you have Rest. experience though you probably have a huge leg up over many who come down here solely because the initial barrier to entry (aka rent on a place) may be way cheaper than where they are at.

As for service, I don't have a terrible time with the service in most sit down type places I go to. Service reminds me more of Europe where you have to ask for more stuff rather than constantly being asked by a waiter/waitress, but I don't mind that much. Fast food places are another story, but if you pick them right (say Napoleon's for Pizza which I love) you can get in and out quick enough.

Just my observations...

Sean

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Posted : September 5, 2008 2:38 am
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

Juanita, I know who you mean & my friend feels the same way but for some odd reason she likes me so I never have any problem with her. Lately they've gotten a couple of new waitresses who are pleasant but still inexperienced so I look forward to sitting in her station.

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Posted : September 5, 2008 12:00 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

"There is that one server that has been there longer than the last two owners. I will get up and move to avoid her!"

LOL!!

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Posted : September 5, 2008 12:42 pm
cresentpoint
(@cresentpoint)
Advanced Member

Betty makes a good point about the labor laws here. Many times firing an employee is not always that simple. I've heard many a story from business owners about dealings with the labor department here. I owned Aveda Day Spas in the states, and was approached about opening one here on STT. But between the cost of electric, lack of adequate labor pool and just barriers within the government it didn't take me long to figure out it wasn't a headache I wanted. Of course each person has to make that decision for themselves. But it only takes living here for a few months to get the picture that the islands are not real conducive to small business growth. There are so many hurdles you have to have the will, the money and the patience to overcome.

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Posted : September 5, 2008 1:36 pm
Duncan
(@Duncan)
Active Member

How about a Breakfast restaurant. Serving full breakfast all day, every day. How do you think STX would receive it?

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Topic starter Posted : September 7, 2008 10:29 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

No all day breakfast places, several restaurants have breakfast from 7 to 11am or even earlier, none of them ever seem that crowded. I do not think it would be a big draw for the bulk of the population. Anyone can make eggs and bacon and it would be hard to price them as cheap as stateside because your overhead will be high. One of the popular breakfasts of choice here I see is Heinkien. Its been really hard even for any of the coffee places to survive. They usually last a year or two. The longest I've seen one stay open is about 3 years.

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Posted : September 7, 2008 11:56 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

There are several breakfast places, Sally's at Columbus Cove, Elizabeth's, Golden Rail, Paradise Cafe, Deep End Bar are the ones I frequent. I do miss Diana's breakfasts, both at Off the Wall and Full Moon. After talking to her the problem seems to be both lack of business and trouble finding a reliable cook. Some days, even as popular as she was, she'd only do a few breakfasts in 3 hours. Add to that the difficulty in finding a cook, and, even with low food costs, breakfast becomes a problem.

I doubt a place that just served breakfast all day would do enough business to service.

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Posted : September 8, 2008 10:21 am
islandtyme
(@islandtyme)
Trusted Member

breakfast offered all day is nice!!!!
but to try and make it the theme........will not fly 🙁

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Posted : September 8, 2008 2:09 pm
truebluefan
(@truebluefan)
Advanced Member

the avocado pit is a good place for breakfast too - good prices
it's on the boardwalk in stx

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Posted : September 8, 2008 4:16 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Avocado pit and Shennigans are my favorites, but waking up early enough for them on the weekdays is too hard. Shennigans apple french toast is a religous experience but only on Saturdays.

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Posted : September 8, 2008 4:25 pm
islandtyme
(@islandtyme)
Trusted Member

I like/love Chicken Charlies banana nut pancakes :@)

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Posted : September 8, 2008 5:48 pm
vihealth
(@vihealth)
Advanced Member

Has anyone tried Pickled Greek since the recent Second Grand Opening? Went when it first opened and it was really good then it went down hill and I heard it closed but I heard on the radio last week about a Grand Opening. Just wondering how it is now?

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Posted : September 15, 2008 3:34 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

We been about 3 or 4 times since the orginal opening and it definitely had problems. Nothing that couldn't have been fixed easily I think but it seems like another occasion of they underestimated how much it would cost the first year to run the place before they built their cliental. The problems I saw was they had way to much staff for such a small place and while they weren't bad they should have been alot better considering how few tables they had. The entrees were way overpriced. People don't go to that kind of simple restr to spend $25 to $30 for an entree. And the dish that is what most American know and draw people in the gryo was tiny. They filled up more then half the plate with fries to make up for it. I'd much much rather go to Paradise Cafe and get their gyro. Its a monster for about $10.

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Posted : September 15, 2008 4:03 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Another problem they had was really lousy house wine. Your by the glass house wine has to be descent, not spectacular, but certainly drinkable. It's a big mistake to think if your house wine is bad, people will order bottles. Tell you the truth, I don't know if they have a wine list. Maybe not.

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Posted : September 15, 2008 5:30 pm
stephaniev
(@stephaniev)
Advanced Member

I WANT AN "AUTHENTIC" MEXICAN TACO STAND SOOOOOOOOO BAD I CAN HARDLY STAND IT! IT WOULD BE CHEAP TO OPERATE AND FILL A HUGEMONGOUS EPICURION HOLE IN THE STX LANDSCAPE. CARNITAS,CARNE ASADA, GIGANTIC BURRITOS. OOOOO

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Posted : September 15, 2008 11:13 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

been to luncheria 3 times in the last 2 weeks and it's been good once and that was today, the other 2 times in was truly awful and i normally think they are ok

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Posted : September 15, 2008 11:56 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Not trying to bash you at all trw but for those of us who grew up eating Mexican or tex mex lucheria is a big disappointment. I really wish we did have a Mexican restaurant but not if its going to be like all of our awful Chinese places.

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Posted : September 16, 2008 12:15 am
islandtyme
(@islandtyme)
Trusted Member

I really like the people who run the luncheria.............but its never consistent. Best part of the experience is watching the chickens......cannibalism!!!
Agree, we need a real yummy Mexican place. Havent tried the Chinese as yet..................too many horror stories

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Posted : September 16, 2008 2:15 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

I agree the owner/cook of luncheria seems to be a really sweet guy and the courtyard is perfect. All these years here and I still havent tried the little french place behind it. Is it still even open? I remember it was just open for lunch. I wish Dashi would open for lunch, they didn't try that long enough, they tried for maybe a few weeks and then gave up.

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Posted : September 16, 2008 3:32 pm
islandtyme
(@islandtyme)
Trusted Member

maybe when the season picks back up so will Dashi's lunch 🙂

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Posted : September 16, 2008 3:48 pm
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