Today we’d like to introduce you to Grant Gussin.
Hi Grant, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago, went to college at Miami University in Oxford, OH, and then came back home to go to law school in Chicago. After taking the bar exam in the summer of 2000, I moved to South Florida to join my girlfriend (now wife) as she had a year of law school left at UM. My first couple of jobs were with big accounting firms, doing tax and real estate work. In 2002, I decided to open a Miami branch of a Chicago-based real estate investment firm which I ran for about seven years. Then in 2009, I decided it was time to take a chance and do something entirely new and different. I explored a number of different avenues, including franchises and businesses to buy. During this exploratory period in my life, a couple of different friends – on separate occasions – suggested Lime. When the first one mentioned it, I summarily dismissed it and remember thinking he was crazy for even suggesting I would consider the restaurant business. But when the other friend also suggested Lime a couple of weeks later, I figured this was the universe trying to tell me something and it was at least worth a conversation. I then went to meet with the franchisor, who essentially told me to turn right around and leave as fast as I walked in because I really had no experience in the restaurant world. But my personality is when someone tells me I can’t do something, I become even more driven to see if I can. I ended up doing a couple of discovery days in one of the existing Limes, and a short time later took an enormous leap of faith and decided to sign my first franchise agreement to open up what would be my first store at Downtown Dadeland. Since then, we have proceeded to open up other locations in West Kendall (July 2012), Doral (July 2014), reopening the original Lime in South Beach (March 2018), Midtown (November 2019), North Miami (January 2020), and am close to completing and opening store number seven which will be located at River Landing.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There’s always a challenge in the restaurant industry and I love to overcome them and figure out ways to build our restaurant chain into a better place. When life gives you an obstacle, I’ve always seen it as an opportunity to learn and grow my business model’s experience. As I have preached to my staff from day one, “failure is not an option.”
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I’m the owner and operator of six LIME Fresh Mexican Grill locations and I manage and oversee the operations at each restaurant. I’m responsible for making sure that each location is operating at the highest level of service and following the franchise guidelines to meet the requirements of our brand. It is important to note, though, that I cannot do this on my own. I have an outstanding team at each store, including an area director who has been with me from the beginning and who is truly responsible for the day-to-day operations at each location.
When I decided to take this leap twelve years ago, I knew I didn’t get in this to only open one location. I wanted to build something special. I really like being able to develop an organization and give people jobs. I’ve turned into someone who enjoys feeding people high-quality fresh Mexican food and I’m grateful for what I have to offer this growing community in Miami. I believe in my ability to connect with both my employees as well as our guests. While Lime is a brand with multiple locations across Florida, one of the biggest things I reiterate to my staff on a daily basis is that it is imperative that each unit be run as if it is a neighborhood “mom and pop” restaurant. We take pride in knowing and connecting with our guests and our goal is to provide an excellent experience each time they walk through our doors.
We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
The Chicago Bears winning the Super Bowl in 1985 and the Chicago Bulls winning their first title in 1991. They were incredible experiences to share with family and friends.
- Menu items throughout the South Florida LIME locations average from $4 for our chips and salsa to our fajita platter at $14.
- A few of our top menu items include our burritos, guacamole, queso and not to mention our delicious famous Frozen Margaritas.
- Recently, we announced the following new menu items in our locations:
- Beef Taco Empanadas (Golden pastry shell, seasoned ground beef, jack and cheddar cheeses, pico de gallo, avocado ranch)
- Carne Asada Burrito (Grilled skirt steak, poblano puree, rice, creamy black beans, roasted poblanos, pico de gallo, chipotle ranch)
- Shrimp Tacos (Spicy shrimp, shredded green cabbage, cotija cheese, lime crema, roasted sweet corn, red onion)
- Churro Bites (Dusted with Cinnamon-Sugar)
- Website: www.LIMEfreshmexicangrill.com