It’s more than just bacon & eggs: It’s about perseverance
Published May 4, 2023 at 12:59 pm
In the food industry, major successes like Pür & Simple aren’t a mere stroke of luck – they’re the result of hard work and persevering through unpredictable times.
Few people know that better than Ritou Maloni, Co-founder, President and Chief Operating Officer at Pür & Simple.
She co-founded the restaurant with the idea of elevating the breakfast experience to a new standard, with a focus on one-of-a-kind sweet and savoury dishes that are just as aesthetically pleasing as they are delicious.
With the franchise’s success rapidly climbing over the past few years, even during the uncertainty of the pandemic, Ritou shares her thoughts and some of the lessons she’s learned along the way.
Q: How did Pür & Simple get started?
Ritou: Pür & Simple wasn’t a fairy tale story, it was a story of hard work. We opened our first location in Laval, which is in Quebec, and it wasn’t all it was cut out to be. We thought it was going to skyrocket and everything was going to be amazing, but sales were soft. I knew the strategic side of it. I was an entrepreneur so I knew how to do business development, I knew how to do strategy, my background’s in marketing.
I was like, okay, how do I get sales up? And I thought, you know what, I’m just going to go hands on – dive in and become a server. I started serving at the Pür & Simple in Laval, and got to know my guests, got to know how much I loved the breakfast business.
When we started realizing that Pür & Simple had a lot of potential, I said: “If we can do this in Quebec where there’s a breakfast restaurant on every corner, we can take this concept coast-to-coast, outside of Quebec and throughout Canada.” And that’s what we did!
Our goal was to reinvent breakfast; Pür & Simple is Breakfast Reinvented. We wanted to take the greasy spoon out of breakfast and make it sexy. So we did everything from plate presentations, making them Instagrammable, to the decor of the restaurants, making it inviting yet warm and modern. Breakfast is an affordable meal, but we wanted to put it in an environment where it was beautiful and it was inviting and it was for anybody.
Q: What makes Pür & Simple different from other breakfast restaurants?
Ritou: Anybody can serve bacon and eggs, it’s true. There are breakfast restaurants everywhere – you can go to McDonald’s and have bacon and eggs. What makes Pür & Simple different is the experience of the decor, it’s the experience of the plating, it’s the feeling when you walk in and someone actually cares to know your name and what your story is. We wanted to bring hospitality into the breakfast niche, and I think we did.
Q: What was your “aha moment”/breakthrough with Pür & Simple?
Ritou: We were in Burlington and it was Mother’s Day, and I was sweating because there were about 40 chits (orders) on the board – the printer didn’t stop printing. I didn’t know where to start, where to finish, which ones were take-out and which ones were dine-in. So the team just stopped, and we took a moment and said “We can get through this, one chit at a time.” I turned around and looked into the dining room and it was full. There was a line up outside, all the way down the sidewalk, and I was like, wow, we’ve done something here. Now we just need to serve that beautiful experience to all these people, and make it perfect.
It was an aha moment in the sense that I was petrified, but it was also an aha moment saying “Look at the potential we have, now we need to get it right.”
Q: Tell us about the team at Pür & Simple.
Ritou: There’s nothing without the team. I could not have done it by myself – I have an amazing business partner, I have a great operations team, marketing team, and accounting team. And at the end of the day, our franchise partners and what they’ve been able to accomplish with their teams, it’s truly incredible. We work like a family. It’s a very fast-paced business; there’s not a dull moment on a Saturday and Sunday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., which is when you’re basically doing 50% of your business. It’s quick, everybody’s got to work together.
Every single person that works in a Pür & Simple plays a huge role, from the hosts that greet our guests to the dishwashers that make sure we have plates to serve our guests with. Every single person is very important to the growth and development of the brand.
Q: What’s your favourite meal at Pür & Simple?
Ritou: The Garden Fresh skillet (avocado, mushrooms, baby spinach, sauteed red onions, roasted red peppers, goat cheese, scallions and spicy Hollandaise sauce). It’s really good, lots of fresh veggies and I love spicy Hollandaise sauce, so it’s one of my favourites!
It’s more than just bacon & eggs:
- It’s about everyone coming together
- It’s about opportunities for growth
- It’s about support
- It’s about family