Successful Launch also Provides Lessons for Expansion of Traditional Deli with a Modern Twist[Scarsdale, New York] – Regardless of whether you’ve been in the business for decades or are just starting out, opening a new restaurant can be a challenge. One that requires ample training, finessing new computer systems and professionals who are already trained to handle daily operations. This is a lesson well-learned for the Ben’s Restaurant Group, which first opened its Scarsdale location with a brand-new staff and quickly discovered that Ben’s Kosher Deli’s unique brand of dining requires leadership from experienced staff.
With computer problems in the rearview mirror and management brought in from other Ben’s locations, Ben’s of Scarsdale is providing the high-quality Ben’s experience that customers have come to know and love over the past 43 years. As one of only two Ben’s with a full bar, the Scarsdale restaurant is poised to become the company’s premier location.
Since taking over as General Manager of the Scarsdale location last spring, Oscar Molina has been busy applying what he learned from his previous General Manager positions at Ben’s Manhattan and Bayside locations, to the new Scarsdale operation. “What we do can’t be taught in a training program or on the first day of the job,” he explains. “High standards of customer service and quality, and fresh food, have always been our hallmarks. My goal is to show the people of Westchester all that is great about Ben’s Kosher Deli.”
To achieve this, Mr. Molina knew that he would need the perfect team alongside him. For the kitchen, Ben’s Founder-Owner Ronnie Dragoon convinced Chef Atilio Cyalis to move to New York from Boca Raton, Florida, where he’d helped open and operate Ben’s largest location. Chef Cyalis also brought several other Ben’s veterans on board, strengthening the kitchen both in the food preparation area and on the cook line. With things running more smoothly, the Chef is starting to allow his creativity and passion for food to flourish with some signature desserts, a broad array of homemade soups and dinner specials that are unique to Scarsdale. At the deli counter, Mr. Molina has assembled an enthusiastic and friendly team for takeout and delivery customers.
“We’re doing really well compared to where we were last spring,” he notes. “Our guest feedback has dramatically improved, but our team in Scarsdale is not going to rest until we have the reputation of the crown jewel among all Ben’s stores.”
The 90-guest party room located upstairs is what Mr. Molina considers to be his secret weapon as it comes complete with full audiovisual capabilities, an area for dancing and a balcony that offers the flexibility to accommodate any party, meeting or event. Chef Cyalis is also excited about this space as it offers him the prospect of working with individuals, organizations and companies on customized menus for events.
Throughout its 43-year history, Ben’s has forged lasting connections with customers. Perhaps, this is due to the personality of Mr. Dragoon, who always goes out of his way to take care of guests. Or perhaps it is Ben’s dedication to preserving the eastern European Jewish heritage. Or maybe it’s the home-cooking that reminds many of the foods eaten and times enjoyed in years gone by. It’s probably a combination of all three.
You can always rest assured that Ben’s staff wants you to enjoy your food and your visit. They will go out of the way to make sure that guests are happy. It is as though you were visiting with them at home. Ben’s relishes turning demanding customers into lifelong guests. The other thing: it is unlikely that you will leave hungry. Like your Jewish Grandma, there’s no skimping on portions. Nothing ridiculous, but filling for sure.
One thing’s for sure: Ben’s of Scarsdale has turned the corner and is poised to join its Ben’s brethren as a premier restaurant, delicatessen and caterer, with a decidedly modern twist, for those who remember Jewish delis on every corner.
In celebration of Scarsdale’s “First Birthday,” Ben’s is offering combos priced at $20.16 and $1 specials on individual menu items from mid-January to March 31. These Scarsdale-only specials include everything from apps and sides to entrées and drinks. There will also be featured pricing on bar items every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.
About Ben’s Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterers
Ben’s is a family-owned and operated delicatessen/restaurant company that has been serving up the finest authentic New York Kosher delicatessen products and eastern European comfort foods for more than 43 years. All of Ben’s sandwiches, soups and dinners are freshly prepared. Ben’s has seven convenient locations: three on Long Island in Carle Place, Greenvale and Woodbury, and one each in Midtown Manhattan; Bayside, Queens; Scarsdale in Westchester County; and Boca Raton, Florida with free delivery service available to many communities around the stores. For more information, visit www.BensDeli.net or call Ben’s Catering Hotline at 1-800-344-BENS.