Monday, August 26, 2013

New restaurant, Rusios, slated for opening Sept. 4

Rusios owner Tony Blakeslee, in front of the new restaurant's free-standing gas fireplace. The restaurant is scheduled to open Sept. 4.
Rusio's, a new restaurant at 1610 E. 17th Street, will be opening Sept. 4, the Wednesday after Labor Day.

Owner Tony Blakeslee said that with people off to the Eastern Idaho State Fair the week after Labor Day is great timing for a soft opening and getting things squared away. Blakeslee's restaurant experience includes years of managing Chili's and Texas Roadhouse.

Blakeslee and his wife, Sunnie, took their inspiration for Rusio's from Zupa and Paradise Bakery in Qgden, Utah. The menu will feature soup, salad and sandwiches, all made from scratch.

Rusios has 5,600 square feet, including a banquet room that can seat up to 50 and is equipped with a full audio-visual set-up. Blakeslee said he has already booked 12 Christmas parties in the banquet room.

In the main room, there are several TV screens and a large free-standing stone fireplace. Good food is only part of what keeps a restaurant in business, he said. "You're selling an experience now."

To keep up on Rusios progress, here is a link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CafeRusios

14 comments:

  1. They have some work to do with their service. There was about 6 of us who became invisible standing in front of the sandwich station while the people behind us kept moving through. My family ended up just walking out after 20 mins. I may try again in a month to see if they have worked it out.

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    1. Anonymous. I apologize for the experience you had and I truly apologize that you were not greeted. We have been working hard to correct the issue and I believe we have come a long way. Please feel free to ask for me, Tony, on your next visit as I would like to personally apologize and ensure that you and your family are taken care of.

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  2. My sandwich was great. That's the only good thing I can say about the place. He may have managed sit-down restaurants but he needs a consultant on how to arrange a fast-food place. They need a welcome sign letting you know which door to use. We weren't even sure if the place was open from the outside. There should be a sign telling you "Order sandwiches here." Same with salads and soup. Especially since that very tall sneeze-guard feels like a glass wall seperating you from the employees. It feels intrusive trying to order your food, and you don't know where to go. Other deli-style places like subway direct traffic in one direction, so it makes sense to think that's how they work here but they don't.
    Speaking of soup, they need a sign telling you the soups of the day and the prices. A chalkboard sign would be enough. Also, a notice that they make cookies and the price to add a dessert should be visible. Are drinks included with the meal or are they extra? I have no clue.

    There were 12 people working behind the counter and they got in each other's way and no one knew who was taking care of what. They shoved my sandwich into a box that was too small for it, which I wouldn't have noticed or minded if the cashier didn't argue with them about it right in front of me. Then he spilled my soup all over the bag. He got me another soup, but didn't replace the boxes with clean ones, or the bag either. He just wiped them off on the outside and told me it was fine.
    They should also put napkins in the to-go bags for you and ask you if you want your food to go. We had to ask them if it was possible to get anything to go when they were pouring my soup the first time.

    I give them 2/10 stars and that's charitable because the sandwich was so darned good. My overwhelming impression was that they really need to get someone who knows what they're doing.

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    1. Chocoriderix,

      You are completely correct. Sit down restaurants I can do in my sleep, but the counter service part is completely new to me. We have taken many suggestions from guests and consultants on how to make our line more efficient and ensure we give each guest a great experience. We are getting better each day and we have come along way. I will take your suggestions and make the improvements where we are able. We have taken down part of the tall sneeze guard as we have moved around our line to ensure the lines move faster. Our staff is learning each and every day and we are getting much more efficient. It is my fault they were all confused and stepping on each others toes. We are working on making each experience a great one.

      Thank you,

      Tony Blakeslee

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  3. Needs some work. If Zupa's or Paradise Bakery comes to town they would be blown out of the water. Need to get some consulting on how to manage your crowds. You are right in the article. IT IS ALL ABOUT EXPIERENCE! You can't just put a nice fireplace and TVs in. You have to make the ordering process pleasurable for the guests. I can't even tell you how the food was because it took too long to get through the line and the line wasn't big a all. I will give it one more shot in six months and then we will see if we will support this location.

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    1. Anonymous,

      You are correct, we did not give our guests the finest experience the first 6 weeks. But it was not for a lack of trying. Our team worked very hard to learn a complete new system that we had not mastered yet. They have worked very hard and today we are able to give our guests great food at a great price and with great service. We are not perfect yet, but we do strive each and every day to ensure that each of our guests are taken care of. I would like to thank you for your willingness to give us another try in six months. I would like to invite you back sooner so you can see the progress made. Please ask for me, as I would like to thank you and get more feedback from you.

      Sincerely,

      Tony Blakeslee

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  4. Good food, horrible service. The food was good but even after a few weeks being open, the staff had no clue what they were doing. The line was long, it took forever to make the sandwiches and it was pretty obvious that the staff didn't know or have a good system in place to send orders through the line.

    We had to remind our server to actually put chicken in our chicken salad. The other comments about no flow once you enter are true and their wasn't any signs explaining or even advertising the combo options.

    I guess my biggest complaint is that this place is 100% knock off of Zuppas. To me that is rather underhanded as a businessman. If you like it so much, franchise it. Don't just do and do a literal copy of it.

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    1. Anonymous,

      I thank you for your honest feedback. We have been working hard on improving our service for everyone. Our food continues to set us apart from other sandwich and soup restaurants. We strive to give each guest a great meal at a great price with great service. We started this from scratch and I take full responsibility for what my team members were learning. The chicken on the salad, that was my responsibility too. As far as a "knock off" of the other restaurant, we actually took the ideas from three different restaurants. Believe me, I would have rather done a franchise and I actually tried to get three different concepts similar to ours to come to Idaho Falls as I felt there was a great need in Idaho Falls for a place like ours. They all turned me down. Not because of any franchisee issues, but because the city of Idaho Falls is not a place that they were interested in putting a franchise. So, I left my secure job and am trying to give Idaho Falls a place they desire and deserve. Rusios has a ways to go, but we are getting there. I am sorry you feel I am an underhanded businessman. I tried to get a franchise here, but was not successful. Our dressings and sauces are our own creations and are made in our restaurant. Our soups are made and prepared in our restaurant. I would welcome you to come back in and give us another try. I apologize for my faults, but I know we have a great restaurant with a great staff. We just needed a little time to get warmed up.

      Sincerely,

      Tony Blakeslee

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  5. We enjoyed our lunch. Including the cookies. Yes, the line was long. I would expect a new restaurant at lunch hour to be extra busy. They do need to work out the sandwich line so that employees know the system and are not tripping over themselves, but I guess that will be worked out. We thought the food was very good and really priced well. In fact, we thought it was a little too low. Not that we are complaining.
    I have never been to Zupas or the other one listed, so can not comment on the comparison. I have been to other salad, sandwich shops across the country and they are mostly all the same. I admire anyone who is willing to take a chance and try to start up their own business.
    We have every intention of returning.

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  6. Thank you for this post yesterday I went new Orleans bar and grill with my friends and We enjoyed lunch and a drink.
    http://www.neworleansbarandgrill.com/

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  7. I'd like to say that we really like Rusio's. The layout seemed a little strange when they first opened, but I would definitely recommend it now. We stop periodically just for the Italian Sausage Soup, but I've tried other items and never been disappointed!

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  8. I absolutely love your restaurant and it is always my lunch choice in Idaho Falls. Excellent menu, excellent quality for an unbelievable price. I take all my friends here for lunch and my kids and teenager love it too.

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