June 14, 2021 Newsletter, from the owner, Lynna M.
From Lynna: Bob Dylan, (via Daily Calm): “There is nothing so stable as change”
Dear Guests, June 14th-16th, Monday-Wednesday, the crew and I are going to take a small breather. Why take a brief break when things are just starting to reopen?
Thank you for asking...
1.) My recent move to Berkeley - and its consequential daily commute to Cuban Kitchen in San Mateo - is taking a toll on me.
If you know of any rooms or studios available for rent (in San Mateo) this summer, please contact me as I need a place to stay in San Mateo while I search for a better residential solution!
2.) Taking time to reconsider the hours of operation and the type of services that we offer given certain hurdles we face:
We recently lost two key employees (to pursue passions/school). Trying to staff for both take-out and “dine-in” service is proving to be challenging for us especially given the scarcity of labor in this “post-pandemic” era
With regards to packaging, we have some supplier issues and operational bottlenecks that we are trying to resolve.
During the pandemic, while other restaurants were reducing menu options, we expanded our menu; however, this has proven difficult to manage. I must streamline CK’s menu/pricing across all platforms and this is quite time consuming
3.) Preparing proformas for necessary capex investments to alleviate the bottlenecks & improve the dine-in ambiance
I am seeking a copacker, label designer and investor(s) to help fund & outsource the making and bottling of our sauces, spice blends, marinades & juices. Making all of these delicious items in our small restaurant in small batches and with great frequency is costly, very time-consuming and also contributes to some of the bottlenecks in production
My catering software requires updates and revised code work (currently on the Azure platform) – I am seeking a software engineer and investor(s) to assist me in resuscitating the catering software that I co-created pre-pandemic, and that is essential for Cuban Kitchen’s turnkey large orders and catering operations
I am seeking a designer, architect, and investor(s) to remodel the restaurant for more desirable “dine-in” ambiance
I am in discussions with a restaurant consultant to redesign the flow of operations to alleviate some of the bottlenecks in the kitchen
I am considering purchasing a liquor license that will permit the sale of the highly desirable and famous Cuban Cocktails: Mojito, Daiquiris, Rum & Coke, etc.
4.) Revisiting social media, and seeking assistance to better utilize
A perfect example of this powerful medium is the result that occurred during the first week of May, when many of you took to your preferred platforms, like Nextdoor, facebook, twitter, yelp, google, Instagram, etc. and started to share our story with your network. We received numerous guests at the restaurant and online who commented that they were either trying us for the first time or coming back to us because they were nudged by so many of YOU -our loyal guests. Your actions had the effect of increasing our sales 35% in that one week! Needless to say, Lilah and I will invest more of our time and resources on marketing – especially conversations on social media marketing.
In conclusion, and after much deliberation, until I have the necessary funding to address the bottlenecks and redesigning of the restaurant’s ambiance, I have decided to offer full table service on Saturday and Sundays only, and continue to provide takeout service Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. And until I have reestablished a local residence and have adequate staffing, we will close Monday and Tuesday.
Whatever our new hours of operation and type of dining service(s) that we tryout this summer...
Our main priority remains to continue to provide you with the highest quality food and service for which we are best known!
Finally, we are looking for an investor / business partner… someone who likes the idea of investing in a mother-daughter team that just doesn’t know when to quit! Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for your continued support of qba (pronounced “Cu-ba”), Cuban Kitchen! home of the “best” Cubano! Best, Lynna