Chacho’s started about 30 years ago and was pretty unsuccessful the first decade because we mistakenly focused on costs instead of quality. We were not willing to pay for the best meats and cheeses and did not pay high wages. The result was that the restaurant limped along, barely eeking out a small profit.
In the late 1990’s, the owner (me) started a new relationship with a woman from Mexico which eventually led to marriage and children. She decided our food sucked and said she could make it a lot better. And so she was given (or took) full rein to do so.
The change was dramatic and sales quickly began increasing. Sales ultimately increased seven-fold until Chacho’s became one of the highest customer count restaurants anywhere.
We adopted a new business plan which was to operate with very high costs and make a profit on high volume. We decided to give bigger portions than other restaurants, buy better ingredients than other similar restaurants buy and pay our people more than they can make anywhere else. And this approach has worked, and we have been profitable enough to stay in business and grow, although we do not make the kind of money our customers think we make.
We are now starting a new phase of growth where we are adopting new measures to increase quality and consistency. We are on a path to continual improvement whereby we collectively try to improve everything possible on a continual basis.