Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mathieu Giraud, Owner of Garcons de Cafe, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Garcons de Cafe is a lovely wine bar located in Downtown Los Angeles, in the historic core. My Guests are a mix of downtown locals, tourists, and Angelinos.
Tell us about yourself
I've worked in Hospitality since I was 15 years old. After getting my bachelor's and MBA degrees, I worked for numerous restaurants in LA as a Manager and then as General Manager. When the opportunity of taking over an existing wine bar came to me, I didn't hesitate! I was finally able to use all this experience toward a project of my own. I never stop being motivated as it is a true passion project, and seeing the business growing in the right direction is truly the best form of achievement feeling.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Taking over the bar in the middle of a pandemic was a bet. The neighborhood had lost its touch, people had left the city, and there was a lot to do to drive business back. It took a solid year of work to bring consistent business and life back to the bar. I had to build awareness, and it was a game of patience. Now the bar has become a rendezvous point for a lot of new regulars, and it keeps growing. They truly appreciate what we're trying to accomplish here, and it pays off.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Consistency! As the business grew, I hired people. And it took a couple of turnovers of people to finally find the right people, ambassadors, who can consistently deliver to our patrons.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Think big but start humble. You can grow the business and expand if needed. But wanting to go all in too soon can get overwhelming, and that's when you can make costly mistakes.
- Be Consistent and true to your project! Don't try to be similar to your competition.
- Don't freak out when you have a bad day/week. Remember that when you analyze your P&L reports, you look at the Month, Quarter, and Year. There will be gaps in your business activity, and the best thing to do is analyze the reasons and find creative solutions to them.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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