Los Amigos Mexican Grill
Name Of Business: Los Amigos Mexican Grill
Web site: www.AmigosBurritos.com
Name & Contact and Babson Connection: Dan Ustayev, 617-959-6915, Undergrad at Babson (Senior)
Where: 1743 Centre St. West Roxbury, MA 02132
Mission: Our mission is to make sure that each guest leaves happy and excited to keep coming back by making sure that they receive prompt, friendly and well-mannered service, as well as, a fair price for nutritional, well-prepared meals using only the highest quality ingredients that are always fresh.
To let our guest customize their meal, however they like it done, and to make sure it is served fast. We want to keep our concept fresh and exciting and always improve to stay on the cutting edge of the hospitality industry. We combine both modern-creative and traditional Mexican styles of cooking.
Founder’s Past Life/Business: I worked for various restaurants and I also have experience managing my father’s pizzeria, Christo’s Pizza. I’ve been managing it for a few years now, doing all the marketing, payrolls, inventory, etc. I’ve always been interested in the hospitality industry and have dreamed of owning my own high end restaurant in the city — maybe even a chain high end restaurants someday. I love the feeling of people enjoying and complimenting you on what you have created, especially when it comes to food, because food is one thing that people are quite picky with, but it is the one thing that has always been a passion of mine.
How The Idea Began: The idea began when I transferred to Babson. I started to think differently. My thoughts were on a different level than from when I went to UMass Amherst. I started to look for opportunities everywhere I went, and would come home with 10 different ideas every day. I would discuss them with my parents and they would turn every one of them down. One day I was sitting in Chipotle (the closest burrito shop to our house) with my brother, and we were talking about our favorite burritos and why we didn’t just go to Anna’s (because we don’t really like Chipotle, but it was the closest and we love burritos). Then we started talking about how simple this concept is and how everyone loves them. That was what triggered my new opportunity seeking mind.
The next morning, I came home and told my dad my idea of opening a fat casual burrito shop in West Roxbury. He told me that I was crazy. He is not much of a risk taker and was very very unsure of opening yet another restaurant that he knows absolutely nothing about. I had to show him that this would work and that people will love it. I did a market research survey and out of the 200 that I sent out 159 responded, with a 92% positive feedback on a local Mexican Grill. I told my dad that there is nothing like this in West Roxbury and the market demand is extremely high for this type of restaurant. He was still not convinced. I found a space, wrote out every little detail of how I wanted it to look: the menu, the branding, the concept, the potential financials, etc. He saw my efforts and saw that I was pretty passionate about opening this. So he agreed and financed the whole thing and we began like that…( he was nervous throughout the whole process, but is now happy that he listened to me).
Best or Worst Thing About The Business:
Best thing: The best thing is feeling a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Feeling like you are doing something good every time a customer comes in and says that they are extremely excited that we are in the community and that the food is impeccable. The fact that it was your idea and people are loving it is the cherry on top.
The Worst thing is managing employees. Maybe not the worst thing, but definitely the hardest. One employee can make the atmosphere an uncomfortable working environment and you have to judge whether it is worth keeping that one employee that works well, or potential losing a bunch. That’s just one of the problems I face on a daily basis.
Also trying balance a full time school schedule with a full time work schedule.