On the podcast, Ms. Mariscal tells Mr. Chang, “With what we have, we now have to kind of make choices. So we are making the very difficult decision to basically consolidate and condense our footprint to be in a better spot to come out of this.”
In the past two years, Momofuku doubled its roster of restaurants to 16, in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, as well as Toronto and Sydney, Australia. “While this was a thrilling period, it wasn’t sustainable,” Ms. Mariscal wrote.
Both Nishi and CCDC operated on especially tight profit margins, she added. “But as we looked at new realities, neither restaurant had enough cushion to sustain the shock of this crisis.
“We investigated every scenario to make the math work — negotiating with our landlords, changing the service model, and more — but with increased investments in health and safety, huge reopening expenses, and the lack of rent relief, the financial picture of these wholly-owned restaurants no longer made sense.”