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The Restaurateur Transforming The “Normal” Ways Of Restaurant Development - Santiago Perez

The Restaurateur Transforming The “Normal” Ways Of Restaurant Development - Santiago Perez
With restaurants positioned on almost every corner - making a name in the constantly growing hospitality industry can be incredibly difficult.

But Santiago Perez has certainly put the previous statement to shame. Perez has built a highly impressive reputation for himself and his restaurants. He began with the intention to build a legacy - and a plan to expand his restaurants nationally.

“I never really started thinking about opening one restaurant,” Perez says. “I always had the idea of building a business and using the first restaurant as a platform that could serve as the initial stepping stone to showcase Mexican cuisine.”

Cosme (opened in 2015) and ATLA are Perez’s two established New York restaurants - with Cosme being high-end, and ATLA being more of a neighborhood restaurant - his establishments are available to a wide range of people. Perez has two more restaurants opening this year, Elio - at the Wynn in Las Vegas and Damian - in Los Angeles.

Santiago constantly focuses on the bigger picture - and is always planning ahead. The Mexico native is 100% committed to making decisions that will benefit his company and its valued employees. Cosme, for example - began when Santiago, and his longtime friend/architect Alonso de Garay, saw an opportunity to share the flavours and style of their nationality within some of America’s biggest cities. Their goal was to develop a concept that would suit a variety of tastes - not just those seeking a Mexican Cuisine experience.

Even though Perez’s restaurants are not defined as “Mexican,” they are most certainly inspired by the essence of the beautiful country’s culture and flavours. Perez guarantees this with the strong relationships that they have built with their top quality Mexican ingredient suppliers.

“For so long, Mexican food has been considered cheap or unhealthy,” Perez says. “But, there’s so much more to it. We wanted to show the richness and depth of the culture.”

With gratitude to Perez’s devoted sources, each restaurant’s food has an undeniable Mexican essence. Quality and incredible flavour and service is the key priority. Each ingredient has been carefully chosen from its best production quality areas in Mexico.

“I think we’ve focused on building the right relationships with suppliers, which will help us expand.,” Perez says.

Even in an industry of fast casual dining where it is often tough to maintain consistent quality - Perez’s long-time relationships have ensured the absolute highest of quality, regardless of that.


Although it is definitely hard to believe, considering his incredible success in the hospitality industry - Perez never worked in a restaurant, nor did he study hospitality in college - but he continues to break down the barriers and stereotypes of traditional restaurant development. Proving to all that there is not only one way to be successful in the industry - and you do not always need experience to be successful.

With a strong knowledge and background of finance and numbers - Perez proudly approaches the hospitality industry with a new, refreshing perspective. As he questions and discovers the “standard” ways of the industry, Santiago remains focused on finding new and exciting ways to effectively disrupt and transform the restaurant world and its ways with his admirable approach.

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