Joe Bastianich and Tim Love team up to judge pitches from two teams comprised of people tired of being employees and who want to become restaurant entrepreneurs.
Javier Canteras and Ryan Spragg are veterans of the Portland food scene, and want the investors to consider their pitch for Bocadillo. Bocadillo – the name coming from a type of Spanish sandwich – will be a chef driven fast/casual restaurant. It is currently a popup restaurant in Portland and to turn it into a real restaurant they are asking for an investment of $250k for a 25% share of the business.
Trying their food, Tim enjoys the meals and Joe finds it to be very authentic. However, Joe is concerned that all of the sample foods are fried. Also, while they did serve sangria, Joe wants to know if they have an intelligent wine program in mind. Javier and Ryan do have an idea to offer beverages. Asking about their potential sales, Joe and Tim learn that with the space Ryan and Javier have their eye on, they are predicting yearly sales of $1.4 million with a net profit of $112k – an amount that Tim and Joe find to be low.
Joe and Tim feel that the idea would work better in Portland if it was a sophisticated wine bar with great Spanish food. They also suggest the restaurant should be named after Javier’s grandfather, Juan Urdaneta. While Ryan and Javier are willing to pivot and are willing to do what it takes to make their restaurant a success, the pitch ends with Joe and Tim unsure of if they have a workable vision.
Old New York
Lee Noble and Steve Williams are longtime friends who are pitching to the investors their idea for a restaurant to be located in West Harlem. Lee and Steve are tired of working for other people and hope this can be their opportunity to become business owners. The restaurant will offer meals from brunch to dinner and become a hip-hop dance club after midnight. To get their restaurant going, Steve and Lee are asking for $200k for 10% of the business’s equity.
Centering the menu on shared dishes and high end cocktails, Tim and Joe are impressed by the drinks and the majority of the food. Tim and Joe are concerned about offering chicken and waffles; a food commonly associated with the south and not New York. Asked about the hip-hop element of the business, Steve and Lee share that it is their New York roots coming through because they want the restaurant to be about fun. Joe is resistant to the dance component because it will require additional permits.
With the space that they are hoping to get, Lee and Steve project an annual revenue of $2.2 million with a 20% profit margin. They know that the build out will cost $900k and are only asking for the $200k for 10% from Joe and Tim so that they can go to other investors. Steve and Lee communicate that they aren’t just bartenders asking for a handout – they both run two separate and successful restaurants and want to step up to the challenge of becoming owners themselves.
Tim likes the authenticity in the food that Bocadillo makes, but doesn’t think a sandwich shop is unique enough to stand out and isn’t confident that they can morph their idea into something else. Joe thinks that the guys behind Old New York have a great background, but feels that they lack the laser focus needed to survive in a market as cutthroat as New York. With these factors in mind, Tim and Joe decide to pick Bocadillo.
Joe and Tim explain to Javier and Ryan that they need to refocus the concept of Bocadillo so that it is a Spanish bar and cook some of the food that Javier prepared with his grandfather. In other words, they want an authentic Spanish experience.
Javier and Ryan are both intimated and excited by the challenge of turning their sandwich idea into a tapas bar. Talking to Antonia Lofaso, Javier shares that Tim and Joe helped them see that they are sitting on a concept bigger than they could imagine. Ryan will be running the front of the bar and Javier will stay in the kitchen. This could be a challenge because neither of them have front of the house experience.
To create food that is authentic they want to begin with authentic ingredients, so they head to a Spanish market. There they pick up wines from Spain, ingredients to make Pinchos (a traditional Spanish bar snack), Jamón serrano (a type of cured meat that is carved for meals), and a variety of other products.
Talking to Roy Rede about designing the place, Javier lets him know that the name of the place has been changed from Bocadillo to Urdaneta. This name change shows that they listened to Joe, and want to honor Javier’s family and their heritage. For the look of the place, Javier suggests wood and brick accents with Spanish pop art to combine the old and new aesthetics of Spanish culture.
While preparing the food for Antonia, Ryan cuts his hand. Though deep, it doesn’t require stitches. Unfortunately, Ryan’s cut hand would not be the only challenge they encounter when making the food. After trying their food, Antonia lets them know that the first draft of the menu won’t work for the launch because everything is fried and many of the ingredients are too physically thick. Antonia wants a meal that also has fresh, non-fried, food. Also, Antonia wants the meals to have more of a character that connects to Javier’s personality and his heritage.
Ryan and Javier return the next day and are blown away by Roy’s work. Speaking to Antonia before the launch Javier shares that they are projecting that each person will buy at least three tapas and they will have a check average of $32 a customer.
Joe and Tim visit the restaurant before the launch and immediately like the fact that they changed the name to Urdaneta Tapas and Wine. Tim and Joe also love the look of the restaurant’s interior, and hope that Ryan and Javier can meet their new expectations. Talking to Ryan and Javier about how things will be run, Tim and Joe remind the two that the restaurants that succeed are those that are the most authentic.
The launch seems to start off well, but things quickly hit a bumpy road when Tim notices that Ryan has no drinks – alcohol or otherwise – up front. The customers are enjoying most of the food (except what Ryan is making) and they are also enjoying the authentic feel of the space. In addition Ryan finds himself overwhelmed and the launch suffers because the staff are not doing their job. Ryan becomes concerned when he notices Tim and Joe busing tables. Joe becomes particularly concerned when they realize that Ryan has not been ringing up any of the orders.
Joe and Tim sit down to try the food. They find that the food prepared by Ryan doesn’t taste finished. In contrast, everything they eat that was prepared by Javier is fantastic. Joe even believes that one could build a restaurant on Javier’s signature dish. At the end of the meal the investors are concerned because Ryan is the weak point of any deal they might make with Javier.
The Deal Table
Javier and Ryan meet with Tim and Joe at the deal table. Ryan and Javier learn that while they projected that people would order three tapas and have a check average of $32, the customers actually order five tapas and had a check average of $46. Joe shares that 93% of the diners enjoyed the food and ambiance, and 90% thought the menu was priced appropriately. While Joe and Tim praise Javier’s work, they harshly critique what Ryan made and the poor service. Knowing that his inexperience could harm Javier, Ryan apologizes and agrees to support him no matter what he decides.
Tim and Javier start discussing his plans for the restaurant and how much work needs to go into the space. After being asked by Joe, Ryan and Javier admit that neither of them has money to invest but they are willing to do what it takes to build this company. Joe makes it clear that he has a deal just for Javier, he then offers to pay for Javier to live in Spain in order to work at the restaurants and wineries so that he can come back and embody Spanish culture. Additionally, Joe offers $150k for 75% of the company. Once his investment is paid back, Joe will allow Javier to buy back up to 49% of the business. Tim offers $150k for 100% of the business, and will allow Javier and Ryan to buy back up to 50% of the business once Tim’s investment is paid back to him twice over.
Though it was difficult to not include his friend, Javier decides to accept Joe’s offer. Since the filming of the episode, Joe arranged for Javier to receive three months of training in Barcelona where he worked for the celebrated chefs Ferran and Albert Adria. He is now in Portland looking for an ideal location to build Urdaneta.