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There are two chapters in the tenure of Fernando Mellado’s restaurant, Andale: The pre-Guy Fieri phase and the post-Guy Fieri phase.
While the taqueria was doing fine before the famous chef paid a visit, Fieri’s showcase of Andale on the Food Network created a “new normal” that brought about an unprecedented level of patronage for the restaurant.
“The show aired on a Friday night. The Saturday when I came here, it was 9 o’clock in the morning and there was already a line at the door,” said Mellado. “I have never worked in a place (as busy as) Andale after Guy Fieri came.”
The popularity hasn’t waned seven years later. On a recent Monday, well after the lunch rush, Andale had its hands full with a line of customers and fast-moving kitchen workers calling out completed orders. It was hard to find an open table.
Andale’s fresh, authentic Mexican food draws customers in. Andale has a restaurant and a market that includes grocery items as well as fresh-baked breads, pastries and desserts. The restaurant hosts a wide variety of Mexican fare, from specialty items like chimichangas and enchiladas to tortas and alambres.
Mellado came to the States in 2001 and had worked in the hospitality industry before operating Andale. He runs the store, which has been open since 2011, with business partner Jorge Rangel Castro. Mellado said a consistent focus on customer service and quality has kept the business successful.
“It’s being able to keep that seriousness, that professionalism throughout the years,” said Mellado. “It’s making sure you keep that consistency with customers.”
The secret to running a successful business, notwithstanding a pandemic? For Mellado, it’s a simple answer: hard work.
“We all want the magic recipe that allows us not to work so hard. But there is no magic technique or formula. If you have a business, if you are employed, you are going to have to work,” he said. “Somebody’s got to run the business like they own it.”
Andale Taqueria | 7700 Nicollet Ave, Richfield, MN 55423 | https://www.andaletaqueriaymercado.com/