What’s on your menu?

Au blanc d'oeuf owner Carmine Catino with staff

Au blanc d'oeuf owner Carmine Catino (right,rear) with staff

Carmine Catino bought Laval restaurant Au blanc d’oeuf in November 2010.

A year later he’s still celebrating. So are his staff.  And why not—they’re largely the reason!

Most of them stayed on when Carmine purchased the well-liked Vimont neighbourhood destination and they soon became his extended family.

Families like to celebrate events like birthdays and the Au blanc d’oeuf family is no exception!

Carmine also celebrates his good fortune in connecting with Sunbelt Laval office owner Tony Raimondo, who brokered his purchase of the restaurant and sold the video store that Carmine owned in nearby Mascouche, Quebec.

It was the desire to sell his video store that brought Carmine to Tony in the first place. “No one has time for all the legwork,” says Carmine.  “Tony saved me the headache of meeting 50 different people. And that’s why we were able to get it done in the end.”

“We qualify prospective buyers up front.  It’s all part of our services,” explains Tony.  “That way, sellers don’t have to take valuable time away from their operations. They only meet with candidates who have the resources and potential for assuming their business.  In Carmine’s case, it took a while, but we finally got the right buyer and offer.”

Food services popular with buyers in Canada

In the restaurant industry, location is especially important—most customers come from a two-mile radius.

Au blanc d’oeuf is well-served on Boulevard Rene-Laennec, which has a good mix of commercial and residential traffic; Laval’s main hospital is nearby.  And as the Au blanc d’oeuf staff exchange greetings with diners, it’s clear that many who come there for breakfast or lunch are regulars.

Restaurants aren’t usually a “side order”—most often they’re served up as a combo of job and lifestyle that’s shared with other family members as well.  Carmine’s wife and brother had experience in the industry, he mentions, and his wife now works “in back” and his sister-in-law, “in front”.

Au blanc d’oeuf is a great fit for their family life, Carmine says. The restaurant is not far from home and it closes at three in the afternoon. Then Carmine’s off to pick up daughter Giada and son Luca from daycare.

“The restaurant is a good little business,” he concludes.  “Everything was as it was said to be.  There were no surprises.”

Restaurants, cafes and bistros, fast food outlets, pubs and other businesses in the food services sector remain popular with buyers.  “It’s an industry with continuing potential,” says Sunbelt Canada president Greg Kells.  “People are spending larger percentages of their respective food budgets dining out at restaurants.”

Carmine agrees. “Even if money is tight, people still want an outing.  And with $10 here, they can get still get a good meal.”

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