George Aboujaoude has been in the restaurant industry for a long time. He was born and raised in Boston’s South End, where his parents owned and operated Cedars restaurant for nearly 30 years. Since he grew up in the industry, George learned the business from the ground up at a young age. He went on to open his first restaurant in 2007, called Cafeteria Boston. He would quickly have to learn how to adapt to economic forces beyond his control.
Back then, there was the Great Recession that wreaked havoc on the economy, including the restaurant industry. Today, there’s COVID-19, which is having an even more extreme impact on it. Already, over 110,000 restaurants have shut down, with half a million altogether experiencing some form of major financial hardship. This industry had razor-thin margins for decades, making this unexpected development one that has shuttered a significant number of unprepared businesses.
However, George has always been someone who knew how to pivot and adapt. After all, he was in the thick of things while his first restaurant was in business. Located in Boston’s beloved Back Bay, Cafeteria Boston survived and thrived in the midst of the recession. In fact, George was going so well that he went on to open the internationally-celebrated Bijou Night Club in Boston’s Theater District in 2011. This new venue has hosted some of the largest artists and DJs in the world. It still remains a successful business today, even after the wild year that the industry has faced.
In 2014, George opened up Committee, which is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant located in Boston’s bustling Seaport. This highly-celebrated restaurant boasts winning many awards. Additionally, George was invited to cook at the world-renowned James Beard House in New York City. As someone who never stops innovating, he has also opened up Greco, located in Back Bay, in 2018, as a fast-casual dining concept.
George knows how to be dynamic and change with the times and trends. That means he is not too concerned about the fallout due to the COVID-10 lockdowns. In fact, he has taken the opportunity to expand his restaurant business, which is something he recommends other restaurant owners do if they are in a position to do so. Boston is an excellent and strong market globally, making it a great base for his businesses. There are excellent commercial space lease deals to be had right now, due to landlords having mostly vacant spaces right now. This has proven to be perfect for George, who has rented out space for a new venture he is opening up in the heart of Boston.
While most people are struggling during this current crisis, George is embarking on a new project. He is one person who knows how to pivot and take advantage of the immense opportunities that currently exist. George believes there are opportunities for those who have the ability to adapt and consider all of the options that exist.
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