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Rocco's Update Request - Long

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Rocco's Update Request - Long

Chuck | Jul 27, 2003 10:02 AM

Well, tonight is the second of who knows how many reality shows on Rocco's. I loved the first one and could really relate to it from first hand experiences. The guy who really amazed me was Rocco's financial backer! Now this is a guy with "a pair" so to speak.

Fast tracking a place has its good points, but how do you repair the damage that may be done to the first diners, who cannot possibly have Rocco's best performance? The backer was looking for the fastest cash flow possible whereas most operators will ease in slowly and not even announce a grand opening for several weeks or even months until they get the thing operating like clockwork.

In fact, the traditional financial plan for opening a restaurant includes pre-opening costs for training, food testing, parties, public relations, pre-advertising and "slow starts." This sure seems to be a very unusual approach taken by a very smart guy and a chef longing for his own place. Both took some serious chances on this. It's going to be very interesting to see if this works.

In most cases, this is an industry where you get just one chance to impress. Serve a great dinner and word of mouth will get around albeit slowly. But, serve a bad one and everyone finds out about it very quickly.

I know Rocco's first customers were many of his friends and family, but what happens after that? Did he have to close down and regroup? Or did he just keep going? Hey, perhaps none of this even mattered, if the investor was on the receiving end of NBC's $ for airing the series. Actually, I take that back. I know this money guy was first on the receiving end of any money NBC was paying out! And, if that's so and this guy got his money back, the only one on the line is old Rocco and his reputation.

Wondered if any of you could fill the rest of us in who sadly have left NYC as to how Rocco's is now doing? I 'm sure many others also have no idea if the shows are actually running as the restaurant is unfolding or are we seeing this six months or a year later?

How is the food and service today? Is the restaurant crowded during the week? Do they serve lunch? Could anybody approximate how many customers they seat? .

The show mentions an investment of nearly $3,000,000 without the cost of the space itself. That is unless that outraged landlord was just The Property Manager and this space is part of a Co-Op or Condo building.

This guy was great. He complains about past issues with a former restaurant in the same space - smells, rodents, garbage, filth. Yet, he rents the space out again to another restaurant! Not saying that Rocco is going down that same road, but buddy you can't have it both ways!

Incidently, there is another show on FoodTV that also shows the day to day workings of a restaurant. I believe it was on last Friday night. I taped it and it was excellent, too.

Thanks for any info you can give us on Rocco's.

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