How a successful restaurant can increase its sales? HomeTown Buffet bets for better service and getting involved in the community.
By Agustín Durán
Robert Arciniaga, the Bell Chamber of Commerce (BCC) President, Gloria Medina, the coordinator and Nestor Valencia, the city councilmember agreed on something at the beginning of their presentation. “Please buy in Bell, support the local businesses in the city because it helps the community.”
Approximately 30 people, most of them women and children got together recently in front of the HomeTowm Buffet at the corner of Gate Ave. and Atlantic Blvd. to be part of the reopening of one of the biggest restaurants in town.
Even though HomeTown Buffet has been there since 1996, and according with the new manager, averages around 7,000 customers every week, the business wants to increase its sales, better its service, and bring more people to the restaurant.
“The business in this particular restaurant has been great, however, we can always do better,” said Paul Carrion, Buffets, Inc. area director. “And the company is doing some changes to attract more business to the restaurant,”
According with Carrion, the company owns approximately 400 restaurants in the country and they are going to remodel all of them in the next two years. Also, they are making changes in management in order to better serve the community they are in, and that’s exactly what they did in Bell.
Recently, Moe Abdalla was named the new manager and immediately started doing the changes. One of them was to work closer with the community and that’s how they decided to do the restaurant reopening; to bring awareness to the people of their new approach.
“It is very important for us to support the community and I want the people to know that we have great food, great prices and much better services,” said Abdalla, who has 20 years of experience in the restaurant business and has been working with the Latino community for several years.
But how can a manager improve 7,000 customers a week? And Abdalla answered, “Before the food was good and the prices too, but there were some aspects of the service that needed to change and this is our focus now.”
The new manager hopes that with the new approach: more community friendly and better service, will allow the restaurant not only to bring more business, but also to create more jobs in the area.
Currently, the restaurant has 60 employees. Almost 50% of them are college students and many of them live a walking distance and that’s exactly what Gloria Medina, BCC coordinator was talking about at the beginning of the grand opening.
“If we support the local restaurant, instead of going to eat out of the city, this means we are supporting our own community and it will help to create jobs for our family members, including the college students.”
Arciniaga and Valencia went speaking to the people emphasize the need to eat and shop in Bell because it will translate in more taxes for the city and at the same time, more services for the residents.
At the event Gary Chomiak from the South Gate Chamber of Commerce and Thomas Martin, councilmember from Maywood made a remark regarding the fact that some chambers of Commerce of the Los Angeles Southeast are working together to improve and help each other’s businesses.
July Garcia, a Bell resident for 12 years, said that she and her family eat once or twice a week out, but a lot of the times they have to go to another city because they do not always find what they are looking for in Bell.
“We love seafood, but there are not many options here,” said Garcia.
HomeTown Buffet is hiring
Manager Abdalla said that he never let a good worker go and encourage people to apply at Hometownbuffet.com
Thursday Family Night, all kids 11 or under eat for 99 cents.
Lunch: $7, dinner: $10.99, kids under 2 $1.99 and Kids from 2 to 8, $5.99