Café's main ingredient is the flavor of love
Owner says, serving high-quality food has kept his business alive during the economic downturn
Sophocles Frangakis, who originally went into business with his brothers, is now the sole owner of Kyklos Greek Café, which is located in the food court of the Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson. photo by Guy Dawson.
January 14, 2013Emblazoned on the cover of the menu at Kyklos Greek Café located in the Galleria at Sunset mall food court is a phrase that reads: "The main ingredient is love."
Kyklos' owner, Sophocles Frangakis, said that the love he has for preparing and serving high-quality food is what has kept his business going during the recent economic downturn and other changes in his life.
"I have a love for this," he said. "The challenges I have faced have increased my faith in God and made me a better businessman. I am actually grateful for them."
Frangakis had worked for the previous owners of Kyklos for several years before he and his two brothers, Constantine and Ioannis, bought the restaurant in 2002. Each of the brothers had extensive fine dining experience, and the combination of their talents led to the success of the business in its early years.
According to Frangakis, a slowdown in the economy, coupled with the pressures that are often associated with running a family business, led him to buy out his brothers in 2010.
"Trust was never an issue for us, but we are three alpha males with strong personalities, and that created conflict within our business," Frangakis said. "The economy also took a turn for the worse, which made it more difficult to create the income to support three households. I decided to take over Kyklos, and my learning curve grew by leaps and bounds."
With his brothers out of the business, Frangakis took on all of the roles they had filled. He added bookkeeper and public relations representative to his already full plate of responsibilities.
"It was like being on a desert island all alone," he said. "Right away, there were major failures in equipment, and I had to learn how to do taxes and other things. Most of the time, I just concentrated on doing the next thing that was in front of me."
Frangakis said that he worked seven days a week and did not take a salary for six months in 2011. Although Kyklos' level of business is back to where it was in 2002, inflation and all of its costs have increased exponentially. In spite of the increases in the cost of doing business, things slowly have begun to turn around.
"I claim to be stupid enough to persist when things didn't look good," he said. "I cut costs and just hung on. This whole experience has really increased the confidence I have in my abilities."
According to Frangakis, the commitment he has to producing high-quality food has been the saving grace of his business. Customers often tell him that he should open a sit down restaurant, and that Kyklos' gyros are the best they have ever had.
"The way that Kyklos operates today works perfectly for the environment of the Galleria mall," he said. "We give away a lot of free samples, and the foot traffic that the mall produces benefits our business. I may consider opening another location, when I feel the time is right."
Frangakis identified customer service and perseverance as keys to running a successful business.
"I am in business to make money like any other entrepreneur, but the most important thing is the learning process," he said. "I want my customers to be happy when they leave and know that I care about them."
Kyklos Greek Café is located at 1300 W. Sunset Road, #2821. For more information, call 450-1515 or visit KyklosGreekCafe.com.