Mexican Sushi Chain in California Saves Big on Labor and Food Costs. Frank Mendoza built El Sushi Loco from nothing.
What now consists of three locations across Southern California started with a humble food cart in 2010. Inspired to make something of his life after being released from prison, Frank started to attract fans of his Mexican sushi – his twist on classic Japanese sushi.
And from there it grew.
El Sushi Loco gained attention from Spanish-speaking media outlet Univision, which did a feature story on Frank and quickly expanded his customer base. Frank went from operating his business from a food cart to opening a permanent location in La Puente, then later opening two more locations.
“I always had a good palate, but mostly I had faith and a belief in this,” Frank said about his business. “I knew I had something special and different and the product was good. I needed the grit to just keep pushing.”
While growth is the goal for many restaurants, the rapid rise in popularity and production brought its own set of challenges for El Sushi Loco.
El Sushi Loco’s menu is a beloved attention-grabber, but the company wasn’t as efficient as it could be during production. Workers were spending large amounts of time dicing vegetables. Shrimp was being cooked manually in a stock pot.
To properly scale his business, Frank needed to find the right equipment. However, he wanted to make sure that whatever equipment he invested in wouldn’t compromise the distinct taste his customers have come to expect.
“To be successful, I needed to make an investment. You need the proper tools to do the job. But I had to be assured that it would cook my product and keep the taste how I want it to taste.”
However, increasing efficiency wasn’t Frank’s only challenge. Thawing frozen shrimp must be done carefully, considering the risk of the product temperature rising above the safety zone of 41 degrees. If this happens, El Sushi Loco must throw out the shrimp, which results in costly food waste.
How Our Equipment Helped
Frank’s investments have paid off. An Electrolux Professional TrinityPro Food Processor dices vegetables and the Thawing Cabinet properly thaws shrimp and other proteins before they’re cooked by a SkyLine Combi Oven. The versatility of Electrolux Professional and Groen’s Braising Pans help El Sushi Loco cook everything from chicken and beans to noodles and octopus.
“Surround yourself with people you trust,” Frank said about working with Electrolux Professional and its reps at The Fischer Group. “These were big decisions I had to make, and it could have been a bad investment if I didn’t find people who will help you make a good decision.”
“Why Electrolux Professional?”
“One of the best investments of my culinary career without a doubt. This equipment has literally transformed my restaurant operations both financially and emotionally.”
Frank Mendoza, Owner, El Sushi Loco