The Resto Bar 51, a well-known restaurant bar in Cap-Saint-Ignace, Quebec.
The Resto Bar 51
51 Ch Des Pionniers E, Cap-Saint-Ignace, Quebec
Established in the 70s, the Resto Bar 51 does not have to worry about establishing their reputation.
The Resto Bar 51 is well known as a licensed family restaurant that serves a good loyal customer base. "We have a lot of regulars, and there are a few that come at least four times a week," says (laughing) François Guimont. Francois owns the Resto Bar 51 with his older brother, Pierre.
Regulars and new customers are charmed by the portion size and the quality of the food on their plate. "What makes us unique is the generous servings of our plates. It is always a good portion size, and customers feel they are getting value for their money. People quite like it, and it's how we made our name", says François.
François is the corporate chef while his brother Pierre manages the administrative side.
Resto Bar 51: Home cooking with a large menu offering.
The 51, as everyone calls it offers home cooking with popular dishes such as chicken skewers and shrimp dishes, as well as food usually associated with a bar, such as poutine and pizza.
"Our pizza is very popular and people love the Special 51, which is a pizza all-dressed combo with onions, ground beef, bacon, shrimp and green olives. Our varieties of poutine offer a wide range of choice, and we have a good portion size to match our large poutine menu", says François.
Among the many varieties of poutine in Quebec offered at 51, there is the regular poutine, the barbecue, the all-dressed, Italian and poutine with chicken salad.
The 51 varies its menu with themed dinners such as all you can eat mussels and fries, which is a popular menu event that is offered several times during the year.
Another recent dinner theme was Valentine's Day. Customers could choose between the General Tso Chicken, Filet of Salmon with white butter, Tournedos of Beef and Shrimp, or a Pepper Steak. This special menu offering for Valentine's also included a selection of appetizers such as sausage duo, "fondant brie" with caramelized apples, a Shrimp Puff Pesto, or a specialty-prepared Velvety Vegetable Soup.
The Resto Bar 51 takes its name from its location address on the original (Pioneers Route) 51 Road, considered a historic highway in Quebec. The restaurant was named by the previous owner, and the Guimont brothers did not see the need to change when they became the new owners in 1995.
The Path of the Pioneers is a section of Highway 132 along the St. Lawrence River between Quebec City and Rivière-du-Loup, and Resto Bar 51 is a popular stop for people traveling in the area.
"Many tourists stop and eat here and they like our home cooked menu. We also have a lot of motorcyclists traveling this route. We are well situated for those driving past our location," he notes and adds that their 30-seat terrace attracts customers during the summer days.
Customers also seem to enjoy the typical atmosphere of a bar restaurant that also hosts a poker and a pool league during the winter.
All these factors, combined with the word of mouth advertising, helps to make the 51 successful without a great marketing effort to fill its 20 tables.
The restaurant's Facebook page allows them to announce special menus and events when the need arises.
François Guimont also relies on its local presence as a community supporter, who in turn support the restaurant. The restaurant is a sponsor of the local male softball league's" Resto Bar-on-51" team. In addition, they are one of the main sponsors of the Festival Retro, which is, a retro car and music festival.
François and his brother do not hesitate to sponsor many activities for children in the municipality. "Young people are important. They are our leaders of tomorrow and should be encouraged", Francois says with conviction.
Catering for special events
The Resto Bar 51 offers a catering service for special events such as banquets, group meetings, etc. "We can serve up to 250 people for special meals such as banquets. We offer five menu items with everything that people want," says Francois.
Resto 51's catering service is often used by the largest employer in the region. Prolam Flooring (http://www.prolamfloors.com), is a large local company and frequently uses Resto Bar 51 for its banquets, buffets, and other activities for its employees.
François says he is proud to note that the Resto Bar 51 was one of the first restaurants in Quebec to become a member of UNIPCO and joined in May of 2012. He says that initially, he was attracted by the purchasing margin offered by the group.
"Prices are already established, and I did not need to do research on prices, which takes time to negotiate. The year-end dividends are also very generous, and it's good for business", he says. " It has improved our profit margin.
He also took the opportunity to acknowledge the expertise and professionalism of the team at UNIPCO.
"They ( UNIPCO office ) often review our purchases to ensure that our invoices are accurate. I find they are very very respectful of my business as well as being helpful to our operation", François says.
François says that he much appreciates the fact that the members of the team UNIPCO are readily available when the need arises or even when any problem occurs with his business.
"If something happens and I have a question, I call and I get answered right away. I really appreciate the speed of services. I would not hesitate to recommend UNIPCO to any of my colleagues in the restaurant business", says François.