June 02, 2019

Dos Puertas – Authentic Mexican Flavours in Hungary

Dos Puertas is a Mexican restaurant that welcomes customers with authentic flavours and a side of hospitality. Situated on the main street of the picturesque and historic downtown area of Székesfehérvár, Hungary, it is run by Chad Gustafson and his wife, Klara Tomada.

We connected with Chad to find out how they got started in the restaurant world and how Sapaad helped boost their operations.

What is Dos Puertas and how did it get started?

In 2005, Klara and I purchased a tiny bar and jewelry store on the island of Cozumel, Mexico. Five years later, the bar turned into a 180 seat restaurant and plaza. Then in 2012, we opened another bar and grill on the waterfront. Ten years and two restaurants later, we felt that it was time to go. So in 2015, we sold both places, moved to Hungary, and agreed to never open another restaurant. But shortly after, we found ourselves missing the power to improve people’s day. We saw that there was a lack of warmth and kindness in the service of nearly every place we went to.

To solve both problems, we decided to open a restaurant that not only provided authentic Mexican flavours but also made customers feel like they were guests in our own living room. So in early 2017, we signed a lease and began the construction of Dos Puertas.

A year later, we’re full every night.

Tell us about yourself and why you’re passionate about what you do.

My wife and I met while working on a cruise ship together in 1999. I’ve been a piano player and performer my entire life while Klara has been in hospitality since she was 15. So you can say we’ve always been passionate about giving our all to the people who give their time to us.

Every person that sits on one of our chairs is giving us the most valuable thing in the world: time. Our job is to make sure that when they look back on the time they’ve spent here, they wish they had spent more.

What challenges were you facing in your restaurant that led you to subscribe to Sapaad?

I was unhappy with my previous POS software so I researched hundreds of options over the six months that it took to build Dos Puertas. Most of the local offerings seriously looked and felt as if they were written in the nineties and were extremely cumbersome.

On the other hand, we only had seating for eighty people so signing up for an expensive contract with big companies just didn’t make any financial sense.

I found Sapaad from my searches and signed up for a free demo. It seemed to have pretty much everything I was looking for.

Since Sapaad is cloud-based, it’s so much easier for the staff to work with. On other systems, the “remote” login only lets you view statistics. But on Sapaad, we can see everything.

How do you use Sapaad and how has it helped your business?

We use it for table management, cash registry, ticket printing, sales reporting, and inventory.

Our old system had to be loaded on every POS and device—it was a pain. Since Sapaad is cloud-based, it’s so much easier for the staff to work with. It’s also easy to see exactly what’s going on at the restaurant when we’re not there. On other systems, the “remote” login only lets you view statistics. But on Sapaad, we can see everything.

What are your favourite features of Sapaad that improved your day-to-day operations?

This may sound silly—and I’ve never said this about any other company—but Sapaad’s customer service is top notch. They always get back with useful and relevant information in less than 12 hours.

As far as a feature, my favourite is probably seeing our sales history and knowing which products are moving the best (or worst). Before, I’d have to export all the data and then import it into Excel to run it through a system I had created. This is much easier. And, I can do it from my phone while I’m on a train!

Sapaad’s customer service is top notch. They always get back with useful and relevant information in less than 12 hours.

What advice would you like to give aspiring restaurateurs?

I’d say, “Don’t do it. It’s a trap.”

But, if you do open something, be nice to people. They don’t owe you anything. They’re loaning you their time and they expect something in return with interest. Give it to them gladly and with a smile.

Also, figure out how much product you need to sell to meet all your expenses. Be really honest with yourself if you can meet those goals every single day. Then, figure out how much money you need to make that you’d be happy with and do test runs. Unless you’re confident with the results of your simulations, don’t push through with it. You need to figure things out first.

What’s one pro tip on how restaurants can improve their operations?

Nothing slows down the evening like a table of twenty wanting separate checks. Train your waiters to try and persuade the table to pay together before placing the order.

If they insist on paying separately, the waiter should use the Split Table function and keep track of each customer’s name on a separate piece of paper. It’s easy to think “Ah, I’ll remember who had what” or “I’ll split it later when I have time”—no. Do it now. Never rely on customers to remember what they ordered two hours ago.

What would you say to other restaurants looking to move to cloud technology?

I was pretty leery about it at first. What if the internet went down? What if the power goes out? But honestly, we’ve been pretty happy with it. We can send out purchase orders directly from Sapaad, look at how the day is going, check our inventory, and everything else from anywhere on the planet. We couldn’t do that with our old system.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Chad. For our last question: what are the must-haves at Dos Puertas?

We have a few signature dishes that we’re known for, but the Blackened Chicken Mango Chipotle Burrito is still the king. Once you’ve had it, there’s no going back.

Also, the way we make and serve our frozen margaritas is not only legendary, but it’s become the norm in all of Yucatán. They’re made with only real fruit and we perfected them after over a decade of experimenting. At one point, we had more than 25 kinds of frozen margaritas.

Sapaad is thrilled to be a part of Dos Puertas’ success. You can follow them on Facebook @dospuertasfehervar and Instagram @dospuertas or check out their delicious menu on their website.

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