In life the faster you are able to figure out what is it that you are good at the quicker you can specialize in it and maximize your strengths.
Abraham Diles was born into the restaurant business. So, it’s no surprise that he has been passionate about hospitality industry his entire life. But little did he know that the seed that was planted from a young age would blossom into a full and successful career in the fine dining industry. At the age of 17, Abraham Diles decided that he was going to move from the small town that he was from and venture to the big city; Toronto. He went to Humber College to pursue Hospitality Management. While in the process of completing his program, Abraham set out to get as much experience in his field as possible. He worked in the service industry while pursuing his education. His thirst for knowledge and hardworking can-do attitude assisted him in understanding all aspects of the restaurant business.
At the age of 21, Abraham Diles opened his very first restaurant it was the first step in the right direction. After operating and owning a few successful restaurants he was ready to go big.
In 2003 and armed with 20+ years’ experience, Abraham Diles took a leap of faith and ventured into the business of beef. The Stakeout Dining Room and Lounge was born and Abraham has nurtured this business from the day of inception. His confidence and firm belief that the customer always comes first has been the foundation that The Stakeout has been built on.
Where did the idea for The Stakeout Dining Room and Lounge come from?
I grew up in the restaurant business from a very young age. I was familiar with it and I also enjoyed. I decided to pursue my formal education in hospitality and after working for some great establishments I decided to venture out on my own opening my own restaurant.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day starts at 9AM when I arrive at the restaurant to oversee and assist with preparing for the day. Earlier in the day the focus is on quality control focusing on the quality as well as the quantity of inventories. Cleanliness, food preparation and setup takes us into lunch service followed by a break and then dinner service. When it’s all said and done a typical day ends at 2am. To stay productive, I keep to a schedule with designated times in the restaurant and time for administration such as payroll and invoices.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Most of my ideas come from interacting with the customers, staying up to date with industry news and events and also by visiting other establishments. If its clear that a customer wants something then we execute it and offer it.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am excited about wine trends right now; the way wine is being paired with food to enhance the customer experience and the dish. I also love the way traditional steakhouses are now adding non-traditional menu items such seafood to their offering. We are known for our steaks but customers also get excited about our Lobsterfest, new side dishes and we just rolled out a summer salad menu.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am an excellent delegator. I learnt a long time ago that is not feasible to do everything and it is important to surround yourself with a talented team and allow each person to shine in their work.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would definitely say don’t be afraid to take risks. In life the faster you are able to figure out what is it that you are good at the quicker you can specialize in it and maximize your strengths.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
As a business owner you have to pay yourself last, always.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
It is critical to stay on top of your finances, be the one who sign your cheques and be in tune with all aspects of your business. Communicate and work with your team but keep in mind that no one will tend your business the way you do.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Customer service is paramount in the restaurant business. Ensuring that each and every customer enjoy the food as well as the experience by forcing on one customer one day at time has helped me grow the business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
In the past I have had business partners whose goals were not aligned with mine. The result saw the business going in two different directions. I overcame this venturing out alone, understanding that it may take longer to do it alone and in the end, it worked out.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The business that I think that would be great is organic food supplier for kids. Consumers are much more aware about what there kids are eating and I believe there are many opportunities in this area of business
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently bought a book called Mind Your Business. It’s a book about setting goals. This was a great purchase because it really shows how you can break down your goals into smaller tasks and achieve them.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
QuickBooks allows me to scan and digitally store all of our invoices in chronological order which helps me keep track of expenses. I use it to have numbers for the restaurant that are organized, accurate and timely.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I think that everyone should read Mind Your Business which is a book about setting goals. This was a great purchase because it really shows how you can break down your goals into smaller achievable tasks
What is your favorite quote?
Build it and they will come.
- Time management
- Goal Setting
- Customer service
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.