Fort Lauderdale

September 25, 2011

Interview with Michael Saperstein owner of Charm City Burger Company and El Jefe Luchador

This week’s spotlight shines on Michael Saperstein owner of Charm City Burger Company and El Jefe Luchador both in Deerfield Beach. Saperstein’s profile and Charm City Burger Company literally catapulted overnight in certain circles due to one popular burger lovin’ guy who couldn’t stop raving about how “great” the burgers are.While the endorsement from South Florida’s own Burger Beast is a boost to any burger business, it’s not the sole reason for the success of Charm City and ElJefe but rather because Saperstein and company is putting out some fine fast comfort food by respecting his business and his customers. In this Spotlight Interview we find out a bit more about the man behind the famed burgers and tacos, Michael Saperstein.  

Michael Saperstein

South Florida Food and Wine:  You’re a man wearing many aprons in the kitchen;tell us about E&M Munchies
Michael Saperstein: E&M Muchies is the parent companythat owns/manages Charm City Burger Company and El Jefe Luchador. It is just me,my partner Evan, and our bookkeeper as of now. We are planning to bring in anOperations Manager to oversee day to day operations so we can start to expandour business, which means open more stores.

South Florida Food and Wine:  After launching and building the successfulCharm City Burger, where did El Jefe Luchador come from?
Michael Saperstein: Itcame from our love for Mexican street food. We saw a huge void in the marketfor this ever popular style of food. We wanted to bring this type of food outof the backs of Mexican supermarkets and street carts to a QSR Environment. Ithas been a lot of fun so far.

South Florida Food and Wine:  What is a typical day for you as the owner oftwo restaurants?

Michael Saperstein: Theday starts at 8am, me being a chef I am always making sure the kitchens at bothrestaurants are all set for the day. I take care of writing the specials, paysome invoices, hit the bank, and then float between the two restaurants untilabout 3pm.

South Florida Food and Wine:  What is the most challenging thing about beingan entrepreneur?
Michael Saperstein: Justputting your head down and doing your thing, not being misguided by other people’sopinions. We take a lot of calculated risks.

South Florida Food and Wine:  Who is the one person you would love to sharea burger with and why?
Michael Saperstein: MyUncle Bobby, he passed away when I was 19. He was the one who got me into food.He would always take me to the best restaurants where ever we went together,not the fancy ones but the best roadside food, sub shops, burger joints and Chinesefood. We once went to Whitehouse subs in Atlantic City for lunch and had a 1/2& 1/2 at Gino’s and Pats in Philly for dinner; he would love Charm City, it’shis kind of place

South Florida Food and Wine:  It’s your last day on earth, what would yourfinal meal be? Michael Saperstein: Somedim sum, a perfectly roasted Peking duck, and some snow pea tips with garlic,and key lime pie for dessert

South Florida Food and Wine:  Charm City Burger Company, El Jefe Luchadorare there plans for multiple outposts?
Michael Saperstein: Wehave plans to open more of both concepts. More so on the El Jefe side.

South Florida Food and Wine:  Where was the last place you ate at, otherthan Charm City or El Jefe Luchador?
Michael Saperstein: NicksNew Haven style pizza in Boca, it’s so good.

South Florida Food and Wine:  This is not an easy business, what motivatesyou to be bigger, better, stronger?

Michael Saperstein: I’mglad to be doing something I have such a passion for every day that I get alsopaid for. I also like to work with all the great people. We currently employ 50people of all different backgrounds. We try to give them a working experiencenot just a job from learning new things, connecting with new people, creatingrelationships, being part of a something rather than being just an employee.

South Florida Food and Wine:  It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?
Michael Saperstein: Hangout with my family, my wife, and my 20 month old son Raymond, maybe play somegolf.

South Florida Food and Wine: What is the one piece of advice youwould offer entrepreneurs starting out today?
Michael Saperstein: Doyour home work; run some numbers before you jump into anything. make sure you don’tget into anything you can’t handle.

Charm CityBurger Company 1136 East Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

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El JefeLuchador 27 South Federal Hwy, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

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