The Broken Yolk Café – Growing With OPM

| December 3, 2016 | 0 Comments

When is the last time you had an opportunity to participate at the start of something big? Every stock trader dreams of finding the next Amazon starting up. Look at Qualcomm and ViaSat, two local companies that have grown significantly in just a few years. Local theater lovers flock to shows that are headed for Broadway. Even fast foodies can get into the game. Don’t forget that Jack In The Box is headquartered in San Diego. Before building it into perhaps the world’s largest restaurant chain, McDonald’s Ray Kroc moved to San Diego. So there are often opportunities here to observe companies that are starting up and are bound to grow dramatically.

In the casual restaurant sector, there’s a new “old” player, a chain that has taken years to develop a business model that is growing quickly — The Broken Yolk Café.

John Gelastopolous opened his first restaurant more than 35 years ago in the Sports Arena area. Then he found a terrific location in Pacific Beach, at the intersection of Garnet and Lamont, where a steady customer flow of beach goers, local business and organizations generated enough profits for him to expand his location, build an upper deck and buy adjacent properties for parking.

The secret to his success – good food and lots of it, combined with attentive service. And the hours were good – early morning to late afternoon. The restaurant was open for breakfast and lunch. No happy hour. No dinner.

Having created a successful model, Gelastopolous looked to expansion using OPM, “other peoples’ money.” That is, by franchising.
Franchises are attractive because the business models seem to work. Entrepreneurial mistakes have been corrected. And the Broken Yolk franchise was doubly attractive. It represents good dining if not fine dining. Price points were affordable. And the restaurants close at 3 pm, allowing the owner to have a life, to spend time with wife, kids and friends. Who wouldn’t want to own a place like that?

So in just a few years, The Broken Yolk Café has grown from a single location to 23 locations in four states. There are 10 locations in San Diego County alone.

The most recently opened store is a location in the heart of Palm Springs, a favorite year round destination for San Diegans and other Southland communities, as well as snowbirds from the US and Canada. Oscar Babb, the franchisee, once worked for the restaurant.

What better way to learn what to do than from the inside” He moved to the desert and, seizing the opportunity, bought the rights and opened locations in La Quinta (a resort community close to Palm Springs), Temecula (a new “city” on the road to Palm Springs) and Palm Springs itself.

He took over the “Chop House” location on Palm Canyon, the main tourist street, with lots of parking around the corner. The interior, with rock facing on the walls, is the nicest of all the locations I’ve visited.
“Whichever location you eat at,” Babb said, “the food is the same and prices are the same”. That’s the sign of a good franchise — standardization, familiarity, reliability. And, since opening, the Palm Springs location has done very well in a competitive breakfast dining market.

So what is it that is so good about the food at The Broken Yolk Café? Freshness is one component. The restaurant goes through a lot of eggs, resonating its logo “we’ve got huevos (Spanish for eggs)”, without dwelling on the double entendre. The pancakes are light and fluffy. The biscuit is big enough for two, crisp on the outside and warm and doughy in the middle.

You can design your own omelet, choosing ingredients from a short list, or you can choose one of the predesigned options with cute names. My favorite is the “no name omelet”, stuffed with bacon, avocado, tomato and mushrooms, topped with sour cream. Omelets come with lots of sides choices.

Eggs Benedict lovers will feast on several “benedict” variations. The “south of the border” menu brings home the tastes of our southern neighbor. And pancake lovers will delight in the fluffy choices.

The restaurant also serves lunch that includes large salads heaped with good stuff and sandwiches and wraps that offer tremendous satisfaction. My favorite is the Angus burger, a large ½ lb hamburger on a tasty bun, accompanied by thick French fries and a pickle. It doesn’t come better.

The restaurant bases its success on good, fresh food, well-prepared, large portions, and great service. Prices are marginally higher than many competing chains but the value is there. And, local advertising usually carries coupons for $2 discounts’
Nearby locations can be found at the website, www.thebrokenyolkcafe,com. There’s probably one nearby or perhaps coming soon.

So keep on eye on the chain and watch it grow — using OPM.

To my readers —- my best wishes for a joyous and safe holiday season and a wonderful New Year!

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Category: Business, Local News

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