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Family-owned restaurant withstands changing economy

The restaurant industry is a tough business, especially for local family-owned restaurants.

El Charro Cafe attributes their 70-years of success to family and memories, but say keeping their legacy going in this changing economy comes with some obstacles.

El Charro Cafe has seen generation after generation of families come through their door.

Pauline Villa’s grandparents opened the restaurant in 1949.

Over the years, it’s been passed down to her father, and now Villa and her sister currently own the restaurant.

Villa said, “People will tell us their grandparents came here, then they started coming here, and now they’re bringing their children here.”

Several waitresses have even worked for the family for over 20-years.

However, running her family business comes with a lot of pressure to make difficult business decisions.

One major obstacle has been adjusting to the minimum wage increases over the last two years, then again in January.

Villa said, ” It has affected us because we do have quite a few employees, and we’ve had to cut some hours. ”

Also, keeping their loyal guests in mind, the restaurant is working to find creative ways to avoid having to increase their prices to accommodate for the rising wages.

Whether that’s incorporating meal deals, buffets, or happy hours, Villa is willing to do anything to continue the El Charro experience.

” It means a lot to us to be here for 70-years. We look forward to many more years. But to be able to carry on my grandparents and father’s legacy it’s an honor. And we hope to be able to continue to share that with our customers, ” she said.

El Charro Cafe was just recognized by the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce for their long-time contributions to the community.

KYMA News Team

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