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Robin Garr

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New Las Gorditas restaurant closed

by Robin Garr » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:09 pm

Well, sad news from Pat Costas, owner of Las Gorditas. He did indeed decide to close the new shop on Hudson Lane in Fern Creek. Unable to find help, he simply couldn't keep up the hours required to make a go of both the successful food trailer and a bricks-and-mortar store, so the latter had to go. Happily, though, the food trailer continues and adds another day.

Here's Pat's response to my query via FB Messenger. I'll also post this to a new topic.

Pat Costas wrote:Unfortunately yes. We couldn't handle the business. We tried to find people to work but we were unsuccessful. We ended up working 95 hours per week which is way too much. We are very sorry but we are still operating the food truck. It will be open Monday now also.
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Jay M.

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Re: New Las Gorditas restaurant closed

by Jay M. » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:36 pm

You posted your LEO review here on May 17, 2017. Another hotbytes member posted a lament about the place being closed due to staffing issues on May 23. There is a report on hotbytes that they were to open originally on May 2. If so, they were open about three weeks total and it was less than 1 week between restaurant review and restaurant closed???

I have been here long enough to understand the difficulties of opening and running a restaurant, but in this case I question how well this was thought out.
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RonnieD

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Re: New Las Gorditas restaurant closed

by RonnieD » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:13 pm

These days good help seems impossible to find, but I've seen lots and lots of restaurants open with little to no staff and just sort of hope they can manage or that employees will magically appear. But this sounds like they grossly underestimated the enormity of the response to their opening and were just flat out overwhelmed. A rare case of a restaurant closing because they were too busy. Sucks that they couldn't make it work and 3 weeks is a frightfully short run, but better to shutter the place than ruin your good rep by putting out a bad product.

Terrible situation, any way you slice it.
Ronnie Dingman.
Head Chef, The Kitchen at Gerstle's Place
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Terri Beam

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Re: New Las Gorditas restaurant closed

by Terri Beam » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:34 pm

My opinion is that it came down to one thing and one thing alone: requiring bilingual staff.

I know their clientele leans heavily to Spanish speakers, some of whom appear to be speak no or very little English. Conversely, while there may be waitstaff out there who want work, they may not be fluent in Spanish. Same may be the case for kitchen staff. I do find it somewhat odd that their Spanish-speaking customer base couldn't supply through word of mouth at least a few willing workers looking for a job.

It seems that in their situation, they were correct that they had to choose between the trailer and the restaurant and went with what has been successful for years rather than waiting to see how well the restaurant would do. It seems when most food trucks/trailers "graduate" to bricks and mortar, they close down their mobile versions unless they cater specific events. I can't blame him for not doing that.
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Re: New Las Gorditas restaurant closed

by Robin Garr » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:57 pm

Terri Beam wrote:My opinion is that it came down to one thing and one thing alone: requiring bilingual staff.

I know their clientele leans heavily to Spanish speakers, some of whom appear to be speak no or very little English.

I don't know, though, Terri. I ran into Pat Costas, the owner, when we were out there last month, and he told me that they've evolved to about 50:50 Latino and Anglo. Pat is from Los Angeles and speaks North American English. His wife and her sisters are from Mexico City but have lived here for many years. When I tried to practice my Spanish on our server, she kept switching back to English and was quite fluent.

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