Vapiano in Mexico – a Central American six-pack
Wow. Who knew there were six Vapiano restaurants to choose from in Mexico?! We spoke to franchise partner Daniel Askenazi about the secret of the brand’s success and why people always ask about salt on tables.
Around a year ago, we chatted to our Vapiano franchise partner Daniel Askenazi about opening his fourth restaurant in Mexico. Since then, his list has grown by two more Vapianos so we’re back with more questions.
First of all, congrats on opening your sixth Vapiano in Mexico, Daniel! What sets this one apart from the rest?
It’s a great restaurant, small but perfectly formed. The spacious terrace makes up almost half of the floor area, but that’s not the only thing that’s different. To create a seamless flow, our terrace is fitted with the same wooden flooring as inside and has indoor furniture too. It’s the first Vapiano worldwide with the same fittings inside and out – including the olive trees!
It sounds beautiful. How did you celebrate the launch?
To be honest, every time we open a new Vapiano I always think “Wow, this is the best one so far!” And that’s good because it shows we are constantly growing and changing. To mark the opening, we hosted a family and friends event and celebrated with our Vapianisti and their families.
This is the first Vapiano outside Mexico City, right? How does that impact everyday operations?
It’s not strictly outside city limits but it is a long way from our other restaurants. Mexico City is enormous. The new Vapiano is located in an area we never thought would be this successful, and it took off early on. Now we’re hoping it will soon be as successful as its inner city counterparts.
How “Mexican” is the new Vapiano?
We haven’t had to make any major alterations to date. Some dishes have been tweaked, especially when it comes to levels of spiciness. Our menu features some delicious Carpaccios that are only available here, like our veggie Beetroot Carpaccio with goat’s cheese and pine nuts. And our Specials all have a Mexican twist too. One dish currently being served is pea soup with a pinch of paprika, it’s delicious! And the drinks are our own too. We stock ten different homemade lemonades and ice teas that are served in a pretty, decorated glass.
What do your guests drink most of?
Pink lemonade or lemonade with cucumber and mint – they’re both super popular.
And last but not least – is it true that there is no salt on tables in Mexico?
(laughs) That was one of the government’s ideas. To stop people eating too much salt, they suggested it be removed from restaurant tables and only made available if diners specifically requested it. It wasn’t a very popular policy. But don’t worry – our tables have salt and pepper just like in every other Vapiano!