All in good time. I believe in the idea that nothing happens by chance. I wouldn’t change anything.
|1 Dec 2011|
|WM Winter 2011 edition|
WM: Dragos, how long have you studied at AISB? When did you graduate?
DP: I came at AISB in the 2nd year of my high- school - from 10th to 12th grade. I still remember my frst day at AISB - I was surprised how friendly everyone was. I graduated in 2005, long time ago !
WM: Where did you choose to go to after graduation?
DP: I went to Webster University, in Vienna. I studied Business Admnistration.
WM: You seem to be a man who knows what he wants and is very persistent. You also married your high school sweetheart. Had you already known back then what you wanted to do in life?
DP: No...today, when I look back I realize how childish I was... at that time I wanted to experience new things, to have fun; I was not very patient back then, I wanted to find out everything very fast.
WM: Tell us something about your business. How do you manage to handle everything? Do you do all the work yourself?
DP: Red Angus Steakhouse chain is a future business, our development plans are based on a steakhouse chain goal. My business is based on a long history, dating 2 and a half years ago while I was with my family on a trip in Germany. We went to eat at a famous steakhouse chain with someone from the city. He told us about his business, how everything is based on standards and procedures, how they put „consistency” onthe first place. My father thought - this is whatwe miss in Romania - a new restaurant opens, you go there you like it, you go back the second time and things are already starting to change - whether it is the quality of the service, the food or its quantity, there is something that changes. So we strongly considered this opportunity on the market, because the concept of a steak- house at that time was not developed at all in Bucharest. Since we are a carnivorous nation in general, we took this way.
We wanted to make sure we learned about the meat industry. So we started researching - wewent to the „back of the house” of different steakhouse chains in Germany, Austria, France, Netherlands, USA and learned something good from each of them.
We came home, made a market research and contracted two American companies, one for the design and general feel of a real steak- house environment and one for the back of the house consultancy. We had a project based contract and they basically delivered the „book” of this concept. After concluding our research we contracted a chef who was specialized in cooking steaks. He had 16 years experience in the steakhouse domain and with him we trieddifferent meat suppliers and origins, designedthe back of the house line, chose the people to work with, etc. He was here 3 months and the last month was spent training people. Since then, we stay constant and we focus on trans- fering the knowledge gained in the old town to the very next location which will be ready at the very beginning of December. The restaurant that is currently running is situated in the Old Town - the only restaurant whose windows face directly the Old Court!
This is not a just a restaurant business, it is about keeping the same level of food and service quality evey single time. And the best feeling is when you see that you’ve gained loyal customers who come back for certain things because they know how it will be and expect it to be exactly the same!
WM: Would you recommend this type of career to our current AISB students?
DP: To some extent... It is a „career” if you areready to get involved and if you are confident to achieve a certain level. From what I’ve seen around me, not many people are willing to sacri-fice their free time and hobbies for a „career”.
You get to know so much about so many things - recruiting people, training people, keeping them motivated and achieving objectives, deal- ing with suppliers and most importantly keeping them consistent (one of the biggest issue we faced at the beginning), contracts, looking for locations, trying to understand what customers want, must be ready to exceed their expecta- tions, getting to them and communicate with them, investments, budget estimations, payements, basic accounting, many other aspects.
WM: What piece of advice would you give to yourself when you were in high school if you could go back in time? Is there anything you would change in your choices so far?
DP: All in good time :). I believe in the idea that nothing happens by chance. I wouldn’t change anything.
WM: Would you like to say something to a current AISB student?
DP: Learn and work hard for the IB!
Read the entire WORLD Magazine Winter 2011 edition here.