30: Denica Freitas, Denica’s: How to Open a Restaurant (it isn’t easy)

What happens when two veterans of the bakery business team up to start their own restaurant? Even with a lot of knowledge, hard work, inspiration, and support, it took several years for Denica and James Freitas to find the right formula.

Today’s guest is Denica Freitas of Denica’s Real Food Kitchen. She and her husband James Freitas founded Denica’s, with three locations in Northern California and more on the way.

Some of the important lessons Denica Freitas shares:

  1. Give the customers what they want.
  2. Provide amazing customer service and value: lots of cookie samples, complimentary chips and salsa, and delicious fruit-infused water.
  3. Be Present. Dream big, but enjoy the important moments that life offers you right now.
  4. Your business is a reflection of you. Denica’s menu in part reflects what she would want to eat in a restaurant.
  5. Learn to rely on your team and learn to let go. One of the hardest lessons for entrepreneurs to accept.

Believers in the 80-20 rule or Pareto principle, which states that 80% of results come from 20% of inputs, will love this episode. You’ll be happy to note that a huge percentage of Denica’s sales come from 15 menu items. Let’s call it the Denica’s Breakfast Burrito rule. Learn more about the Pareto Principle

Thank you Denica for sharing your story! And thanks for the cookies.

Denica’s Real Food Kitchen

  • Best way to find Denica’s and learn more about their story is to go to their website. iloveDenicas.com
  • One decadent recipe for their version of Bread Pudding. Recipe
  • The menu. If there was only one breakfast burrito left, I would be tempted to fight a person. Menu
  • Social Media. Instagram Twitter Facebook

Spirituality Resources

  • Eckhart Tolle has amazing hair, and he is a best-selling author and expert. Website
  • Dr. Wayne Dyer is another noted author and expert. Website
  • The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. Website
  • Tony Robbins is a rock star in the self-help movement. He’s famous for giving participants an opportunity to walk on hot coals. Website

Denica Freitas’s parents are entrepreneurs too!

  • David Hernandez’s two-way radio business, Crystal Communications: Website
  • Lolita Hernandez’s Spanish food import business, Hot Paella: Website

Duff’s Chicken Wings in Amherst, NY is the best

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