Thursday, January 01, 2009

A New Year, New Ideas...........Naaa.

One of the things I find interesting about Mexico is the thought process or lack thereof of the small businessman.

Seeing hundreds of businesses including restaurants come and go, makes me wonder if the small entrepreneur will ever learn from other peoples mistakes?

A New Year will bring new starts, for some new business here in Patzcuaro, as in other places both in small towns and large cities as well.

The sad thing is that these businessmen, (I call them as a generality) are doomed for failure before they even start.

Let me give you an example. Sushi in Patzcuaro.

Well that may be doable but who would frequent a fish restaurant first of all in Patzcuaro, knowing what I know about Mexicans, they hate the idea of beef cooked rare or even medium rare, so the idea of raw fish is even more distant than the Alpha Centauri.

Then if that wasn't enough of a reason why a Sushi dive would not survive, put it in a place that people that WOULD eat sushi (tourists) would never find it.
The entrepreneur located it behind a hard to find pharmacia , next to a barely surviving bodega.

He was there for about 6 months, and probably blew his life savings from working in some LA restaurant.

I did speak to him a month after he opened , and the two times I had been next door, his place was empty and dark, but staffed with him and an assistant.

So how would he keep a supply of absolutely fresh fish for that one person that might happen to stumble on to his open restaurant was extremely puzzling.
Even if he had located smack in the middle of the big plaza, I doubt that he would have survived.

This spark of entrepreneurship has to be commended, but what in the world makes them think that they would succeed with some many things against them? The other problem is that you can't tell them anything. After all what do you know?

Being in business is not a cake walk to begin with, someone must have told him when he was working in LA that "you should open up a Sushi restaurant somewhere"
He did.......

Almost every trip we take into Morelia there is evidence of another business opening, and another one closing.

Mexicans need more education in business management.

Maybe then they could run their business more profitably.

Like having the cashier that sits at the cash box also do the selling?

Or how about a novel idea of actually having the clerk take the money and ring up the sale.
Nope........the owner doesn't trust anyone......

Wandering around I also wonder how any of the shops make any money when they all sell the same crap. You walk down any street in the downtown area in any town, and every store is selling the same stuff, at the same price.

I will have to say it is worse in places like Mazatlan and touristy places

Then there are places like Sanbourns that sell the same stuff, only command 40% higher markups.
I can't believe that there are so many people sitting there eating at their places also.
Talk about bad restaurants...........Does anyone actually like their food?

But for some reason they are packed with people.................. Makes no sense at all.

Lots of things in Mexico make no sense and cents at all......


Michael Dickson said...

The thought processes here in many areas seem to come from the Twilight Zone.

Did the sushi joint close? We just got back yesterday after a nine-day ramble.

Most of the sushi they serve (served?) did not include raw fish but other things. No matter. I found all of their food quite good.

Our last visit was about three weeks ago, and I swore I would never return at that time. Why? The absolutely deadpan and snotty attitude of everyone who worked in there. And they were not simply depressed because it was going badly. I was in there in the first week or two after it opened. It was the same then.

The locals often tend to underestimate the value of a smile.

I´ve blown off forever two restaurants with good food recently simply because they don´t know how to say thank you.

ken kushnir said...

This is the one behind Lo Tengo across the street from the Bus Terminal. They were there about two years ago, same area where the chain saw shop that closed up last year. You are thinking about another one. Ahhh, DF...hope you had a good time, now that's a nice place to visit....just visit. Welcome back.

Michael Dickson said...

I thought that one had disappeared long ago, proving your point.

So the one downtown chugs on. Perhaps if they lighten up, they may survive. But not with my money.

1st Mate said...

I have a friend who worked in US restaurants for years who's trying to train a local restaurant owner in the standards that gringos expect, since gringos during the high season outnumber Mexicans here. Things like not touching their faces (and other body parts) in front of customers, making eye contact and smiling, not letting food sit and get cold before delivery, etc. etc. I told him he could start a tutoring service. But he said most wouldn't be interested, too much trouble. I wonder how much it has to do with Mexican labor laws, that actually seem to reward workers for not doing the job.

ken kushnir said...

Well 1st Mate, I think a little cause goes to the Gringos for expecting to change Mexican habits overnight. There is something to be said for having the exposure to a wider variety of some bacterias which do wonders for building up your immune system.
I worked in kitchens in California that would un-thaw whole fish in warm water and then have it sit on the counter for hours. The main difference is that in the states the patron doesn't see all the goings on in the back room. I could write a book about stuff, and then you wouldn't ever want to go out to dinner again. I think there needs to be a happy medium, maybe just maybe the restaurant owners will figure out the correlation of good service and food to successful think? Probably not.
I need to find some of my pictures of restaurant kitchens in Mexico City.....On second hand it would gross out too many people. Good luck to your friend, It's going to be a battle to get them to pay for something like that!

Michael Warshauer said...

Raw fish in Mexico?
What about ceviche, tiritas de pescado and camarones en aguachile? All "cooked", they say, by the action of the lime juice on the fish. It's not a big leap to sushi.You can get good examples of those at Mariscos La Güera, although I admit to never having sampled the ceviche.

But, IMO, Pátzcuarenses in general prefer to eat familiar foods over and over again.

It's true what Ken says about some U.S. restaurants. I worked in one for almost 3 years. It had supposedly high standards of hygiene but there were appalling exceptions. The exceptions generally revolved around maximizing income.