Round two with Brad Arguello, exec chef of the Uber Sausage
What are your thoughts on social review sites like Yelp, Opentable and Urbanspoon? I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but I actually enjoy them. Yes, the reviews are subjective, but at least you get people's insights into what they actually thought of your place. A lot of people will say that they like your restaurant and your food when you ask them face-to-face, but they tend to put their honest opinions on social review sites. I take them as they come, and I try not to get offended by any of them. Ultimately, it's just someone's opinion -- and everyone's entitled to have one.
How you do you handle customer complaints -- and what should customers do when they're peeved about a dish? I hate to say it, but I'm totally about the customer always being right. If my kitchen is prepared to make a PB and J, I'll make a PB and J for the customer -- even if it's not on the menu. There are times when you need to stick to your guns, but we're the ones who are lucky to have customers coming into our restaurant and spending their hard-earned money. If a customer is peeved about a dish, I'll ask them exactly what they want, throw out the old one and prepare something new to their liking. It's not worth arguing about if there's the potential of losing a customer. I cook food to make people happy, and if they're not happy, then I'm not doing my job.
You're making a pizza. What's on it? Grilled chicken, Granny Smith apples, caramelized onions, blue cheese, spicy mustard and watercress. My sister, Amanda, made it one time, and we actually turned the combination into one of our sausage sandwiches.
Guiltiest food pleasure: Fun Dip Lik-M-Aid sticks. I hate the flavored sugar, but I love the white chalk-tasting dipping sticks.
Last meal before you die: A burger from El Carro de Mario, a hamburger joint in Córdoba, Argentina, that uses all the cuts from the lomo, which is cured pork loin. They take all the fatty cuts from the lomo, make a hamburger with the scraps, top it with a fried egg and put it on a fresh hamburger bun that they make every day. But the secret is the homemade mayonnaise with lemon and lime that they spread on the bun. I know it sounds gross, but it's hands-down the best burger I've ever eaten; I crave them daily. I was an exchange student in Argentina thirteen years ago, and I recently went back for my host brother's wedding, and when I walked in, the owner of El Carro de Mario, who looks like Mario from the Mario Brothers, was there, and he not only remembered me, he said I was his best customer. No kidding. I used to eat there every day.
Hardest lesson you've learned: A few years ago, I paid a so-called "restaurant consultant" to help me further develop a restaurant concept that I'd come up with. He talked a big game about how he could find investors, and I ended up paying him a large sum of money to "consult" for me. And then I got stiffed and never heard from him again. I learned that you just need to do stuff on your own, and that you shouldn't put too much trust in someone else. A lot of people give you the big song-and-dance routine and promise this, that and the other, but if you want something bad enough, find a way to do it on your own.
What's next for you? I want to open more little Uber Sausage restaurants around Colorado. We want to hit up college campuses like DU or CU, which could always use some more sausage-fests, right?