In Merida, Yucatan, emblematic city of Mexico's southeast there is a group of restaurants that has defied expansion goals during pandemic times and also accomplished a positioning that is synonymous with gastronomical excellence, interior design and music. A formula where a brand´s expansion isn´t limited when things are done correctly.

We recently spoke with the CEO and Founder of G.O.A.T. restaurants, Alfonso Toraya Díaz, and this is what he told us:

As a successful and young entrepreneur, where do you see the entertainment & fine dining industry in the short term?

In a more intimate setting, mainly. The concept of well being has shifted towards a greater need for satisfaction and the appreciation of time. I see the dining industry focusing now towards generating unique experiences in all senses.

Can you share with our readers the inspiration behind “G.O.A.T.” and “Yakuza”?

Opportunity lies everywhere. So I focused on providing customers the type of experiences I´ve had as a client at some of the places I´ve visited around the world where I had a pleasant time and high quality service. The inspiration is and always be the same, which is hoping to exceed our customer´s expectations in service and fine dining.

What are your corporate expansion plans for 2022?

My plans for 2022 are to close the year with 22 establishments between Mexico and Miami.

Is there a secret to your success in business?

Right now I don't want to talk about success, success is a strong word. Probably when I hit the 100 mark of global establishments, maybe then I will call my restaurants a success.

How did the pandemic affect your businesses and what kind of safety protocols have you put in place?

My brands where created throughout the pandemic, there was a big window of opportunity, a lot of places sadly where closing down and that's when my ideas started to flow... now we have safety protocols in all of our establishments plus we are the only restaurants in are area that apply weekly COVID19 tests to employees. Our customer´s safety is first.

Do you have any advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs who admire your accomplishments?

“Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.”