San Francisco Souvla Restaurants, A Story In Brilliant Adaptation

Business is booming, you’re opening up additional locations and the reviews regarding your unique cuisine are spectacular.

So what’s the problem?

Sometimes life throws you curves beyond your control.

Especially if your restaurant is in the unbelievably expensive real estate market of San Francisco.

Please do the math.

Commercial rents continue to rise. Labor costs are soaring.

On July 1, the minimum wage in San Francisco will temporarily peak at $15 an hour.

San Francisco also requires employers with at least 20 workers to pay health care costs beyond the mandates of the Affordable Care Act, in addition to paid sick leave and parental leave.

Even though they are paid more than the national average, San Francisco restaurant workers are moving away from the city in droves because it’s just too expensive to live there.

Souvla is such a restaurant caught in the whirlwinds of change. writer, photo credit via Hoodline

“As the world we live in is so unpredictable, the ability to learn and to adapt to change is imperative, alongside creativity, problem-solving, and communication skills.”… Alain Dehaze

You should meet them and eat their food. Of course. At they educate, “Souvla is a fast-fine Greek restaurant with locations in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, NoPa and Mission neighborhoods, inspired by casual souvlaki joints found throughout Greece. We rotisserie roast naturally-raised meats and wrap them in our warm, fluffy pita bread with seasonal salads and Greek yogurt sauces. (The word “souvla” means “spit” or “skewer” in Greek — the rod on which meat is roasted.) Our Greek fries have made a whole lot of “best fry” lists, and don’t miss out on our frozen Greek yogurt served in the classic “NY Cup.”

We wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Others feel the same way. So many satisfied customers.

The first Souvla opened its doors in April of 2014 in Hayes Valley, and it’s second in the NoPa neighborhood in June, 2016. Their third San Francisco location opened in January, 2017 in San Francisco’s vibrant Mission District.

Soon they’ll be opening a fourth location on Chestnut Street.

That sounds like prosperity to us and yet even during great prosperity there are challenges.

On June 25, 2018 as reported at the New York Times, “Souvla, a Greek restaurant with a devoted following, serves spit-fired meat two ways: in a photogenic sandwich, or on a photogenic salad, either available with a glass of Greek wine. writer, souvlaki photo via Eater

Restaurateurs who say they can no longer find or afford servers are figuring out how to do without them. And so in this city of staggering wealth, you can eat like a gourmand, with real stemware and ceramic plates. But first you’ll have to go get your own silverware.”

Thus, runners will bring your order to the table, but there are no servers to wait on you there.

Still the customers continue to come, limited service and all.

In mass. The lines are always long and the customers very patient. It is a drill that they’ve been through before.

We must admit that Souvla has one of the most impressive websites that we have ever seen.

Kudo’s to their ad agency. Now that’s when you know a restaurant group is doing well when they can afford to procure the services of an elite agency.

At they share, “We’re a full-service communications and marketing agency based in San Francisco, specializing in media relations, branded events, social media strategy, digital marketing, and influencer engagement for food, wine, and hospitality brands.

Our growing team brings a passion for the industry, a network of relationships with editors across national and local food and beverage media (print, digital, and broadcast), and integrated events experience.

We pride ourselves on nurturing a small, focused, highest-quality client list, and we work closely with each brand to craft and communicate its unique story.

We’re passionate about well-crafted storytelling and remarkable events that bring a brand to life.”

Souvla is very passionate about their menu, ingredients and delivery. writer, photo credit via SFGate

They are the epitome of adaptation.

Often there are life lessons all around us, in this case teaching us to adapt and not to succumb to difficult circumstance.

The well-respected Psychology Today admonishes, “When a negative change is looming, start looking for alternatives before it actually happens, if you can. For example, if you know your company is in trouble and you are hearing things that are making you insecure, don’t wait to get laid off, but start looking for another job. Even if your current position isn’t changed, you will have gained valuable experience and maybe a better gig.”

We can look to other entrepreneurs for encouragement in adaptation.

Watching him on the television investment show Shark Tank lends us to believe he is a great voice of reason.

He shares his expertise with other entrepreneurs each week as a leading Shark on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning hit Shark Tank. writer, AM-ABC photo credit

At we are enlightened by his resume. “Robert Herjavec is one of North America’s most recognizable business leaders. Born in Eastern Europe, he arrived to North America on a boat with his parents after escaping Communism in the former Yugoslavia. From delivering newspapers, and waiting tables, to launching a computer company from his basement, his drive to achieve has led him to the fulfillment of a better life for himself and his family.

A dynamic entrepreneur, Robert has built and sold several IT companies to major players such as AT&T. In 2003 Robert founded Herjavec Group, and it quickly became one of North America’s fastest growing technology companies. Today, Herjavec Group is recognized as a global leader in information security specializing in managed security services, compliance, incident response and remediation efforts for enterprise level organizations.”

Here is what he has to say about adaptation. “Just like any business is a living, breathing thing, an entrepreneur has to be able to adapt over time.”

Very good advice.

The world is constantly shifting and changing beneath our feet, around the corner and at the restaurants where we eat.

Sometimes we need inspiration.

Sometimes we need to observe life lessons.

Souvla is a very impressive story in adaptation. When the world gives you less workers, feed the world with delicious food and increasing self-service. writer, souvlaki photo


What will they think of next?

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