Alpha entrepreneur case study 5 danny delcambre delcambre s ragin cajun
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Aa. Alpha Entrepreneur. Alpha Entrepreneur Case Study 5 Danny Delcambre Delcambre’s Ragin Cajun. Delcambre’s Ragin Cajun. Authentic Cajun Food Restaurant. Seattle, Washington.

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Alpha entrepreneur case study 5 danny delcambre delcambre s ragin cajun


Alpha Entrepreneur

Alpha Entrepreneur Case Study 5Danny DelcambreDelcambre’s Ragin Cajun

Delcambre’s Ragin Cajun

Authentic Cajun Food Restaurant

Seattle, Washington

  • Led by President / Owner: Danny Delcambre- Ragin Cajun – in business 9 years- In the Sanitary Building of Pike Place Market, a well know district in Seattle, Washington- Restaurant space is leased- 3 deaf employees, 3 hearing-abled employees who know sign language…2 full-time, 4 part time

What is his disability…how did he become disabled?

  • - Danny is from Lousiana and he’s a Cajun who has Usher’s Syndrome- tunnel vision, difficulty seeing in poor light, poor balance, congenital deafness- Of four children, he and his sister both have Usher’s Syndrome, and found there was high incidence of Usher’s Syndrome in Lousiana among Cajun population - His vision has deteriorated over the years - Family challenges helped him develop to meet challenges of running a business

How and why did he start his business?

  • - College student at Seattle Community College, studied machine shop, worked on lathe, but he had hard time getting a job- He really liked culinary arts, took cooking classes, did well and graduated and then looked for job, but could only find work at lower levels in hotels, dishwasher, etc. - Went back to same community college for business classes- He started his own business to demonstrate that he could be a chef - He received advice from SBA,SCORE to help him learn what was involved

What is the mission statement for Danny’s business?

  • - Great tasting food, customer service- Insure equal access to all services and facilities- To offer employment opportunities to people with disabilities- To provide wholesome and supportive workplace - To support the restaurant and the community as a team, particularly the Washington State Deaf Blind Citizen’s Organization

What barriers did he face in starting his business?

  • - Attitude of first SBA contact was not supportive…advised against a disabled person trying to make it in the restaurant business- He went above that contact to someone with more authority and better attitude- The second contact proved to be very helpful, but when Danny’s business was launched advised against hiring deaf workers for a restaurant business- Danny ignored this advice and did hire deaf workers who helped him build a successful restaurant business in the 9 years since then

How did he obtain funding to start and grow his business over the last nine years?

- SBA gave him good advice and had relationships with the bank - SBA introduced him to bank contact and opportunity for reduced interest loan set aside for disabled business owners - He developed several iterations of a business plan until he had produced one that everyone agreed would work- Everyone was supportive and positive, but frank about the limited success rate in the restaurant business (over 90% failed) and how the loan would have to paid off whether he succeeded or not- He took the risk, worked hard, paid off the loan six years later and received an award for being so successful at his plan

Did he have any problems starting his business because of his disability?

  • - He had the same problems as any business owner would have - He had a tough time building the right staff, especially with the turnover, but this staff issue is a challenge for every business, whether or not the owner has a disability - He was not intimidated by the SBA officials who would often check up on him to make sure he could continue to pay his loan

What is Danny’s marketing plan? his disability?

  • - Good word of mouth initially- Media gave him coverage from the start- It’s a great media story because its unusual to have a Cajun restaurant in Seattle, especially run by someone who’s disabled- Danny’s Cajun restaurant in Seattle also represented a niche that he filled better than anyone else

How has Danny’s business changed over the years? his disability?

  • - Initially there were challenges with remodeling to reflect the Cajun style of the restaurant…this took time- Business was slow at first…they had hard time starting during the winter months…but summer months picked up…winter months still to this day are slower but the customer base is very steady

Did he have any strategic partnerships or alliances that helped him start his business?

  • - As in some other Alpha Entrepreneur case studies, he didn’t have partnerships per se, but as sole proprietor, he relied on his spouse - Let spouse perform in areas of spouse’s strength- This approach allows entrepreneurs to dedicate themselves to the facets of the business they love

What is Danny’s policy on staff diversity? helped him start his business?

  • - ADA has been good for the restaurant business… It brings in more customers- In dealing with disabled workers, he had to develop rapport with the workers themselves…did not deal with other family members- Encouraged internships, volunteerism- Recruits employees who use sign language from sources such as sign language classes- Practiced policy that diversity builds a better business.

Did the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA affect his business helped him start his business?

  • - It did not really have an effect on his business, but the laws have drawn attention to his business itself, because he is an example of a successful disabled entrepreneur - ADA requirements to provide accessibility to the public building where he’s located has also increased accessibility to his restaurant

What advice would Danny give to someone with a disability who wants to become an entrepreneur?

  • - He would tell them how risky it is, even though he’d encourage them to do it- He would advise that special attention be given to location in starting a business…a cheap lease may mean less overhead buts also less customer presence- He would make sure they understood allaspects of running a business

If he had it to do all over again, what would he change about how he ran his business?

  • -He would do nothing different…he likes having a small business - He doesn’t feel the need to grow because he likes the scale of the business now…wants to stick with the plan…he thinks it’s a good one- He just wants to continue doing the work he loves successfully, without taking risks on additional growth and to build an empire

How does one contact Danny Delcambre’s Ragin Cajun Restaurant?

  • - (206) 624-2598 - 1523 First Ave. Seattle, Washington