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Ricardos El Mariachi

1) Tell me more about Ricardo’s. What was the story of your company starting up and how you’ve built it up to where it is now?

It’s been a dream of mine to open a restaurant since a very young age. After learning from my failed restaurant and my other F&B startups, I partnered up with my wife Mari Gonzalez to build a home and online-based Mexican Food Delivery service. We drove Ricardo’s with an abundance of passion, giving our best to meet daily demands with the best quality possible.

Our drive and effort became increasingly noticeable and suppliers, landlords and companies started helping us, allowing us to start most of our restaurant business with near to zero capital!

Drive your business with purpose, be responsible for the progress of everybody around you from your staff to suppliers, and soon enough you will find yourself at an entirely new level surrounded by amazing support.

2) This second wave of the pandemic is back to affecting our day to day lives and again, one of the most impacted groups are small businesses. In the first wave last year, can you share how COVID-19 impacted your business?

When the first wave hit, it instantly impaired our business. The worst thing about it was the uncertainty and the unstable environment. We had challenges with getting supplies, from food packaging to meats as well as sudden shortage of staff.

However, within a week into the pandemic we managed to be more aware of our surroundings and strategised slowly.

3) Faced with the same situation today, what is your approach into Brunei’s second wave of the pandemic in keeping your business operations running and your team motivated while staying safe?

Now, as we are battling into the second wave, we feel that everybody in the community is more equipped and more capable of making rational decisions. Because of this factor, we are able to maneuver at a much better pace. We aggressively pivoted to delivery and curbside pickup sales. We also make it a priority to deliver assurance to our customers that we are still here and we are doing our best to bring Mexican food to their doorsteps.

What advice do you have for other small business owners to get through the pandemic?

Positivity and being aware of your surroundings are key. The pandemic is a crisis that we all face together. At the end of the day, as entrepreneurs, we have to survive, we have to adapt to new business environments, we have to react quickly and we have to take care of one another, and I am glad that we have that by partnering with Community for Brunei.