It’s hard to believe but true. Ebisu has been located in the Sunset District and been owned by our family for over 30 years. Recently, while looking at SF Gate and the other local food blogs we have noticed that there are sections completely dedicated to new restaurants and restaurants that have closed. This is not an easy business as anyone in the industry will tell you. Not only is it tough work day-to-day, working in a kitchen and making sure customers are happy, but it is a costly business.
For example, as a restaurant known for our fresh seafood, the cost to purchase fresh fish from around the globe is crazy. Also, due to weather and what is happening in our globes oceans, finding the right kind of fish is not easy and often times not available. Throw in the cost of employment taxes as well as all the other operational costs such as rents, health insurance, etc. etc. this is not an easy business. What is really sad is when we see good restaurants close. There is a genuine love, something deep rooted in people’s souls when they open a restaurant. There is a connection. A connection to food and to working with people. Most sane people would never own a restaurant as it is a 12-18 hour a day job and only a small percentage make a good profit margin.
However, there is something to be said about successful restaurants. Sometimes it is about luck. Being in the right place at the right time. Mostly it is about consistency of quality and service. For us it is about that and also family. Ebisu is a rarity. For over 30 years we have been a family owned and operated restaurant and now our second generation (Eric and Charlie) are full time working, managing and taking care of our customers, as they have been ever since they were kids. How many family owned and operated restaurants do you know who have made it in San Francisco for over 30 years? Probably not that many.
While we really do work hard for our customers, we also know we are very lucky as we have a very kind and loyal customer base who come to visit our restaurant from around the Bay area. On a crowded weekend night, because we are small, the wait for a table can be an hour. And don’t think for a moment that is lost on us. We appreciate our customers more than you might know. While it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, it also takes heart to run a good restaurant. Usually you will always see one or two or all of us on the floor greeting and talking to customers. Whether it is Koko greeting and managing the front of the house, or Eric making awesome creations with his special Omakase or Charlie working on the floor or Steve coming out from the kitchen to say hello to everyone…we never once forget how much we appreciate our customers and also how much we enjoy what we get to do every day.