Short Order: How did 100 Montaditos get started?
Juan Gervas: It was established 12 years ago in the south of Spain, a very small restaurant, only 200 square feet, but it had some terrace space. Now in Spain we have around 300 restaurants and we stared the international development of the brand. We started in the U.S. in Miami close to two years ago, and we also have the opportunity to start operations in Mexico and Colombia.
Is your plan world domination?
Were these style of sandwiches already popular in Spain?
Well in Spain what we normally have is what we call the tapas, it's just a piece of bread and you put something on it. So we developed the montadito, which is a small piece of sandwich bread like the French baguette, where we put the ingredients inside. With our bread the good thing is that it is fresh and it is baked to order in our restaurants. Most of our ingredients have some influence of our Spanish cuisine, but we also use some of the ingredients that are popular in every place. For instance in the U.S. we have the hot dog and the pulled pork that is very popular.
Who handles menu development?
We have a chef in house (Silvia de Antonio) and she's in charge of the development of the menu and all the ingredients. Obviously she is a professional chef and shes been working as a professional chef in the U.S. for a couple of years, although she was born in Spain so she has the good thing of the two worlds. She knows the culture, she also knows our traditions very well and the way we use the cooking and ingredients in Spain, so she tries to do the best mixture she can. The menu is always the same in all places by country. We have some that are for the tasting of the country, for example, in Mexico we have the montadito al pastor, which is normally ingredients they use in tacos.