What does your company do?
Our companies are Dahlia Mexican Kitchen and GigaBites Virtual Kitchens. Dahlia launched in January of 2017 in the city of Flagler Beach and a second location in the city of Daytona Beach in January of 2019. Our newest concept is GigaBites Virtual Kitchens, a data-driven multi-concept facility that houses up to 12 different brands that customers can choose from, ordering from one or ordering from all and getting everything at once, no need to pay for multiple deliveries or order from different places.
What is your background and how did you start in the business?
I’ve been in the restaurant/food industry all my life. At 13 years of age, I used to help my grandmother with her rotisserie shop back in Chile, as well as helping my mom and stepdad with their butcher shop in the largest market in Santiago, Chile. I came to the United States when I was 21 and have worked in two local restaurants before opening my own. I attended Daytona State College to pursue my degree in hospitality management, however I dropped the course halfway through the program due to personal reasons. With the pandemic, we (restauranteurs) were forced to close our restaurants and then operate at a limited capacity. This pushed me to get creative and adapt by visiting an old idea I had. I always kept an eye on the takeout and delivery segments of the restaurant business model and noticed a small yet constant increase with time.
Do you have any plans to grow or expand?
Yes, my plan is to expand the Dahlia concept as far as I can personally reach. And with GigaBites the plan is to sometime soon be able to offer franchises.
What are your biggest challenges and how are you addressing them?
I think the biggest challenge right now, not only for us but also for most businesses, is staffing. We plan on providing flexible shifts, excellent pay and eventually health benefits to our team members.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy everything about my job; the process of creating a new dish/drink, the relationships we create with our patrons and our teams, etc. When I’m in one of my restaurants, I’m in my element. I love it.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
My advice is simple, focus on your goal and don’t let anything or anyone distract you from achieving it. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. Surround yourself with people that understand your interests, not necessarily people that want the same things but people that also want to succeed.