Restaurant owner says more variety leading to business closures

Business owner says over-saturation of restaurants in BR leading to closures

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As two restaurants shut their doors in Baton Rouge, the grills at others are fired up. The kitchen at Mestizo’s has been on fire for 20 years and owner, Jim Uridales, says he hopes to keep it that way.

“We’re just all trying to find that balance,” Jim Uridales.

As someone who has operated in the capital city for so long, he says it’s hard to see some familiar spots leave, but he says it points to a bigger problem in the market.

“There’s an over saturation of restaurants right now and as these new ones come in, you know, somebody doesn’t make it,” Uridales said.

While variety is a good thing for those looking to try something new, he believes it can be the perfect recipe for disaster to some restaurants’ bottom line.

“You’re seeing margins thinning out mostly with restaurants mainly because we have to push those added costs that we’re absorbing now down to the consumer,” he added.

While it's exciting for diners when new restaurants open, it can cause others to have to close their doors.
While it's exciting for diners when new restaurants open, it can cause others to have to close their doors. (Source: WAFB)

He says they, like many, have had to start getting creative not just with their staff, but also with their menu.

“We’ve broadened out into catering, third-party delivery, off-site catering, so you’ve got to do something to offset the expanding restaurant,” said Uridales.

With the shocking announcements Monday, Nov. 25 that both Mr. Ronnie’s Famous Hot Donuts on Lee and the Mellow Mushroom location on Burbank will be leaving the Red Stick, Uridales cannot help but wonder what’s next, as so many restaurants try to stay relevant to compete for your business.

“It’s interesting to see good restaurants up their game, but it’s going to be interesting to see how it all fares out with so many new restaurants trying to come into the market,” said Uridales.

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