Josh Kopel | Award Winning Restaurant Consultant

Restaurant Ideas: Christy Vega of Casa Vega Shares Family Legacy

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One sacrifice that we all seem to make is that we spend an exorbitant amount of time away from our families. Personally, I worry about the impact that my career will have on my daughter.

There are case studies out there, though and today’s guest, Christy Vega is one of them. Her restaurant, started by her father, has been in business for over 60 years. It’s one thing to love what your father does for a living, it’s something else entirely to choose that career path for yourself. Today we discuss the struggles and successes associated with saving the family business.

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  • The beginnings of Casa Vega
  • Building a family business
  • Building a strong staff culture
  • Casa Vega staff as family
  • Many staff members are long term
  • Have been working there for 40+ years
  • Struggles as an operator
  • Not taken seriously as she was raised within the restaurant
  • Not taken seriously as a woman
  • Machismo
  • Many of the staff are men
  • Worked harder than anyone else to earn the respect of staff
  • Differences in leadership styles
  • Ray Vega
  • Ruled with an iron fist
  • Magnetic personality
  • Strict
  • Business minded
  • Christy Vega
  • Collaborative approach
  • Adapts to change
  • Follows feedback from staff and guests
  • Weaknesses of Casa Vega
  • Antiquated systems
  • Takeout was not efficient
  • Ideas for other revenue streams
  • Popups in stadiums and airports
  • Pivoting during the pandemic
  • Used menu ideas for stadiums and airports to create a to-go offering
  • Developed a drive-through system using PPP loan
  • Set up the entire operation in 4 days
  • The hospitality industry is a great teacher
  • Your ability to problem-solve comes out of your education in the industry
  • Not taught in school
  • The personality to thrive in the hospitality industry
  • Slightly insane
  • Addicted to the atmosphere
  • Hard working
  • Optimistic
  • Entrepreneurs are optimistic
  • Restaurateurs are 10x more optimistic
  • Greatest lesson from Christy’s father
  • Business is business
  • Through every hardship, it is a normal part of business
  • Not to let the hiccups affect you
  • Thinking of the next generation
  • Christy’s kids are inspired by her work
  • She wants them to be part of the business but also is fearful of their future
  • Words to the industry
  • Keep moving
  • One foot in front of the other
  • We’re all in this together

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