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Sunday, April 21, 2024
Home News New restaurant operators eager to connect with the community

New restaurant operators eager to connect with the community

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New restaurant operators eager to connect with the community
Employees cut the red ribbon at the BarBurrito location at the South Hill Mall in Prince Albert. -- Submitted photo.

It’s been a difficult last two years for restaurants, but the owners of the BarBurrito are looking to buck the trend.

The new Mexican grill restaurant officially opened its doors to a line of customers in the South Hill Mall on Friday. Franchise owner Vikram Sharma said it’s been challenging, but exciting, to get his new business off the ground.

“It’s good,” Sharma said. “There are so many back and forth things going on. We are busy in the morning, but it’s good. It’s a good experience with the new franchise.”

“It’s been a pretty overwhelming response from the community, so we’re pretty thankful,” Saskatchewan master franchiser Utsang Desai added. “We want to keep ourselves involved in the community.”

Founded in 2009, BarBurrito has grown from its original Toronto location to around 150 franchises across the country. The menu offers burritos, tacos, and quesadillas among others foods.

Both Sharma and Desai said they’re hoping to build a solid relationship with the community. That includes using Canadian producers for their meat, and supporting local charities, non-profits, and community groups with fundraisers.

“Whenever we can get something from the community, we try and give them something back,” Sharma said. “We’re pleased to be involved in the community and (to) support the community. If they are supporting us, then we can support them too.”

As part of their grand opening, the Prince Albert location has a discount for frontline healthcare workers. They also have a similar discount plan in the works for students and retail employees.

Desai said healthcare and retail workers have been heroes during the pandemic, and BarBurrito wants to thank them for their efforts.

“That’s our way of expressing our gratitude,” he explained. “If we can do something for them, then that’s the best way we can thank them for their service.”

Desai added that it’s been challenging to get a new franchise off the ground during COVID-19. He said supply chain disruptions and inflation have increased the cost of food, and finding employees hasn’t been easy either.

He’s says they were able to find a great team, but there are still challenges ahead. They’re thankful to the local residents who have supported them so far.

“We have managed a very good journey so far, and we hope that we continue to do so,” Desai said.

“We believe in raising the bar and going above and beyond for our customers, and very (strongly) believe in being community centric,” Sharma added. “We will do everything to keep ourselves involved with the community.”