Born into a restaurant business, it is no surprise that Abraham Diles has been passionate about the hospitality industry his entire life. But little did he know that the seed that was planted from a young age would blossom into a full and successful career in the fine dining industry.
As early as 17 years of age, Abraham Diles decided that he was going to move from the small town that he was from and venture to the big city; Toronto. He went to Humber College to pursue Hospitality Management. While in the process of completing his program, Abraham set out to get as much experience in his field as possible. He worked in the service industry while pursuing his education. His thirst for knowledge and hardworking can-do attitude assisted him in understanding all aspects of the restaurant business.
By the time he was 21, Abraham Diles opened his very first restaurant it was the first step in the right direction. After operating and owning a few successful restaurants he was ready to go big.
In 2003 armed with 20+ years’ experience Abraham took a leap of faith and ventured into the business of beef. The Stakeout Dining Room and Lounge was born and Abraham Diles has nurtured this business from the day of inception. His confidence and firm belief that the customer always comes first has been the foundation that The Stakeout has been built on.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I grew up in the restaurant business from a very young age. I was familiar with it and I also enjoyed. I decided to pursue my formal education in hospitality and after working for some great establishments I decided to venture out on my own opening my own restaurant.
How does your company generate revenue?
As the owner of a restaurant, my company generates revenue through restaurant sales.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took the restaurant two years to become profitable.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I personally never doubted that it would work however, in the beginning, it was a very slow start. I believe that you only fail if you give up which I never did and in the end it worked.
How did you get your first customer?
I opened my door and the first customer walked in. No advertising, just a very soft start.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
I have increased my social media presence and created a budget for advertising in local publications which has worked for us.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Taking some time to revamp my dessert menu to give customers more options was challenging because it meant that we could lose a customer favorite with the change and every single customer is so important to me.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I am successful because I operate at the same level of excellence every day. Consistency has been and continues to be the key to my success.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
It is always a very satisfying moment when a new customer walks through the door and tell me that they came because of the great food and excellent service they heard someone else received.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The future for the restaurant is to maintain and continue to improve its high level of excellence in the ingredients used, the customer experience delivered and its menu offered.
What business books have inspired you?
I find Warren Buffet to be an inspiration and a quote of his that states “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 mins to ruin it” not only has inspired me but also serves as a reminder each day for me.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
Quick Books allows me to scan and digitally store all of our invoices in chronological order which helps me keep track of expenses. I use it to have numbers for the restaurant that are organized, accurate and timely.
Why is it said that most restaurants fail and how do aspiring restauranteur avoid failure?
Most restaurants fail because they fail to have a brand or identity. People should have an idea of what kind of restaurant you are. It is pertinent for a restauranteur to have ample amounts for finances to weather the growth phase of the business. It’s also equally as important to negotiate fair leases and prices with your suppliers.