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Restaurant revolution: Tastes evolve as eateries dish up more flavors, more ‘excitement’

Restaurant revolution: Tastes evolve as eateries dish up more flavors, more ‘excitement’

The heat was on last month as restaurateurs Richard and Ashley Kitos prepared for their next big phase in the food business.

The restaurant business is one of the most difficult out there. And one of the most popular for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Everything seems so simple. You are an excellent cook with some unique recipes everyone says they love. All you need to do is find a location, get all your supplies, equipment and furniture and you’re ready to welcome throngs of people, all excited to taste your wares.

But as with most things, it is never so simple. Lots of other people have had the same ambitions and failed.

Those who succeed must work long hours to keep things rolling. In the meantime, more restaurants open and the competition for dining dollars increases.

In this issue of Business World we examine the local restaurant scene. We talked with new restaurant owners, people who have enjoyed long-term success and people who came up short.

Indeed, you hear over and over again the hard-work and commitment that’s needed to make a restaurant successful. Sure, that initial opening brings out the crowds but finding ways to keep them coming back is a huge challenge.

Last year, Business World writers Christine Pratt and Mike Irwin were tasked with the idea of going through the steps of opening their own business. We wanted to see what it took to get a business off the ground, from the initial investment, loans, property rental, permits and more.

The business they chose? A restaurant.

Irwin has some great Cajun family recipes and they saw an opportunity to bring what they thought was a unique restaurant to the Wenatchee area. Then, the fun of the idea started becoming the hard reality of what it takes to open a restaurant, much less one that will be successful over the long haul.

They met with business consultants, bankers, a successful restaurant owner and more to get an understanding of the challenges and opportunities.

Since the exercise was only theoretical, we didn’t get a chance to see if it would succeed, but we got a real good idea of how difficult it would be.

Then why do more and more local restaurants continue to open — and close? Because we as a society enjoy dining out.

The experience can be very enjoyable and we will gladly spend the money. We root for the success of our favorite restaurants and back that up by becoming regular customers. We’re out here. We’re willing to give you a try. And if you give us great food and a good experience, we’ll be back.

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