French Bistro Finds New Ways to Refine Its Cuisine – and Its Business
Oct 30, 2012
SUPER: Serge Durka, Owner, Serge Restaurants
Serge Durka: I start like a bus boy in this place. I went to school to learn some English, and after that became a waiter in this place. And two years after I bought this place. And then next week, I’m going to open my second place.
SUPER: Daniel Korolev, Small Business Banking, Bank of America
Daniel Korolev: Serge has an immense following. We have customers who come here two to three times a week.
SUPER: Denis Perone, Customer, Serge Restaurants
Denis Perone: I enjoy coming here. It’s like being home.
SUPER: ServaneBroustal, Employee, Serge Restaurants
ServaneBroustal: It’s still traditional. French Bistro, with some items you don’t find anymore.
Denis Perone: Chicken Cordon Bleu was excellent today.
Daniel Korolev: It’s in the heart of New York, but it’s as if you’re immersing yourself into a little restaurant in Paris.
ServaneBroustal: I work here from the beginning of this restaurant.
Serge Durka: For many years I have the same people. If you take care of them, they are going to stay. And even when it was very hard time, two years ago, with the business going down, my goal it was to keep everybody. It was very hard, but no regrets. We did it.
Daniel Korolev: Part of our small business banking division, is to get to know our small business community. And this is how I ended up meeting Serge.
Serge Durka: Two years ago, I said maybe it’s time to get a credit line somewhere, and I went on a different bank.
Daniel Korolev: He had multiple banking relationships. A lot of things were complex.
Serge Durka: For years, for business I think, sometimes you need some advice. I met Daniel from Bank of America. It was direct, honest, and he was nice with me. He said, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s start together.’
Daniel Korolev: I do listen because I know how important it is. At Bank of America, we do have solutions for him. I analyzed his entire business model, and was able to consolidate it. Within our platform, we’re able to give him a line of credit. One of the biggest struggles was, to overcome shortages of cash flow. Our merchant processing allows the client to receive funds, the day after the sale is made. So that allows him to go to the market every morning to get food for the restaurant. Our online business suite allows him to view all of his accounts out of one window.
Serge Durka: Every morning, I get my coffee. I go right away my computer. Very simple. I have everything. Personal check accounts. Two businesses check accounts. My credit card too. It’s very easy.
Daniel Korolev: It gives him time to do what he does best. Which is growing his business.
Serge Durka: The relationship for me is very important. When you know each other, you can trust each other. We’ve built something very strong. This kind of business is very nice. The ambiance, the wine, I make a good choice in my life.