Brittany Ramos and her husband Oscar had a dream of opening their own Mexican restaurant. In late June, that dream became a reality with the opening of Cancun Mexican Restaurant in Sutherlin, Oregon. Customer service and quality food are the values that define everything that the Ramos’ do at their restaurant. “This is our passion,” said Brittany. “We try to do anything to make sure our customers are happy. And we want to make great, authentic Mexican food for them to enjoy.”
Preparing to open a restaurant during the pandemic posed many challenges for the Ramos family. There were delays in deliveries and inspections due to COVID-19 as well as product shortages and increased prices. Hiring was another challenge with restaurants across the state seeing a scarcity of employees looking for work. But the family persevered, and the opening was a success from Brittany’s perspective. “We’ve been really busy since we opened,” she said. “We’ve gotten lots of support and compliments from the local community and feedback on areas where we can improve.”
The Ramos family took over the lease of an existing restaurant, but they made many upgrades to the space before they opened. They painted the entire building, redesigned the interior and upgraded some of the kitchen equipment, including purchasing a new, more efficient gas fryer with a cash incentive from Energy Trust of Oregon. “The incentive made it affordable,” explained Brittany. “Everything from submitting the application to receiving the payment was so easy. And now we have a nice, new fryer that is efficient and will last a long time.” Brittany said that they are always on the lookout for opportunities to be more efficient.
Cancun Mexican Restaurant is truly a family business. Brittany and Oscar manage the day-to-day operations with Oscar contributing recipes and helping in the kitchen. The Ramos’ two daughters also contribute when they are not in school. Their younger daughter hands out menus to customers and their older daughter is a hostess.
Now that the restaurant is open, the Ramos family is focused on establishing themselves and their restaurant within their community. “Having the restaurant open and busy is really a dream come true for us,” Brittany said. “We’ve been working toward this for years. For us, it isn’t just about making money, it is about sharing our love of authentic Mexican food with our community.”
To learn more about Cancun Mexican Restaurant in Sutherlin, visit their website www.cancunmrestaurant.com.
For more information about making your business more efficient, visit www.energytrust.org/existingbuildings.