Small Business Stories - Resturant Ownership
The restaurant industry is proving to be a "level" playing field when it comes to owning your own business. See how one American immigrant grew his small family business into a restaurant empire.
Ivy: More than 13 million Americans are employed by the restaurant industry and nearly a quarter of those are born outside of the United States, making this industry the perfect opportunity to achieve the American dream. Scott: If you look at industries, the restaurant industry is one of the, in many of our organizers way, where you can start with virtually nothing and become a very good success. It doesn’t matter of your pedigree or your background or your degree or what college you went to, you can really become very successful. Ivy: Eddie Flores is one of those success stories. He moved to Hawaii from Hong Kong when he was still in grade school. The teachers call him a day dreamer and Eddie struggled in school. But his day dreaming led him to achieve the American dream. Eddie: And the truth is, as I look 37 years ago, I bought the restaurant to my mother’s gift. She was so happy and so thankful, but as soon as she started to make money, I fire her. And the only reason we make money is because my wife is in the back and my daughters and my kids all worked in the restaurant and we don’t pay them. Ivy: The L and L Hawaiian BBQ empire started with just one family ran restaurant and now it has 185 locations in 10 states. Eddie: In fact when we started in Hawaii in 1991 was the longest recession in Hawaii and we started actually to grow in Hawaii. In less than 7 years, our company grew up to about 50 restaurants in Hawaii. Ivy: Henry Garcia is a pioneer for Hispanic Americans. He first thought about owning a franchise after reading an ad in the Wall street journal that was recruiting minority franchisee. Shortly after that, Henry became the first Hispanic to own a McDonald. Henry: Anyway, I applied for McDonald’s, and four months later they answered me. They wont really front of the face. Ivy: Mister Garcia has expanded from that one McDonald’s location to 11 locations in the Los Angeles area. He also is known as the founding father of the Hispanic owner operators association which has over 260 members with a combined total of over 850 restaurants. Henry: Don’t be afraid. Just go head on and nothing else, you fail, you fail, nothing to do but you get up and you walked again. There’s nothing to it, it’s really simple. Ivy: The food and beverage industry is offering up this sweet taste of success to minorities, immigrants who are looking to achieve the American dream. Eddie: As far as I’m concern, I’m still living the American dream, and I have a lot to thank for this country. Ivy: I’m Ivy Hart, reporting for SBTV.com, small business is our only business.