Buffalo scores another win with hometown success story Lloyd Taco bringing home the gold (and a bag full of money) on CNBC’s “Restaurant Startup” series last night.
During the hour long episode on CNBC last night, Lloyd owners Peter Cimino and Chris Dorsaneo agreed to sell 25% of their company for $250,000 to high-profile investors Tim Love (a well-known chef from Texas) and Joe Bastianich (a business partner of chef Mario Batali). After winning with their restaurant concept came the nastiest part – negotiations with the hard-charging Love and Bastianich – for a chunk of the business.
Initially both sides seemed far apart, with Love offering $225,000 for 33% of the company and Bastianich $300,000 for the same percentage, conditional upon Love’s involvement as a co-investor. On the other hand, Dorsaneo and Cimino’s starting position was a $370,000 price tag for only 10% of the Lloyd empire. Then came the endless grinding, led primarily by Bastianich’s aggressive posturing. “You’d have to bust your ass for 20 years to have a scratch and a sniff of what you are being offered right now”, warned Bastianich. Love also cautioned this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and warned against greed clouding the Lloyd owners’ judgement. Both sides grudgingly gave up ground during the process, but in the end seemed satisfied with the arrangement while speaking to the cameras.
Buffalo Rising had previously broke the news in December of last year suggesting Lloyd was opening up a restaurant on Hertel and a commercial kitchen on Elmwood, which led to speculation the pair had won the contest well before last night’s episode was aired. The show went on to hint that Lloyd’s plans to open their restaurant by the beginning by April 1st.
Lloyd has been an institution in Buffalo since 2010, when Cimino and Dorsaneo – who attended Kenmore West High School together – started the Mexican street food concept. Two of the suggestions from the show were that Lloyd invest in a tortilla machine to take production in-house, and focus their marketing efforts on the fresh-food nature of the ingredients
Another success story for Buffalo, and further inspiration for other like-minded local entrepreneurs.