'Uso' takes on competition
It’s no secret that the chain of restaurant businesses from Vailoa Faleata to Vaitele area is dominated by Asian owners.
However, a local chef, Leota Faaifoaso Leota does not feel threaten by his competitors.
The co-owner of the new Uso Restaurant opposite the Vailima Breweries in Vaitele is stepping up.
“I wanted to compete with them,” said Leota. “I thought to myself, how come they can do it and we can’t? That motivated me to work hard and try my best.
“A lot of our people want to eat our food made by our people…I hear a lot of complains about food that people get and things they find in it and that is not acceptable.”
So what makes your restaurant different from your competitors?
Leota made it quite clear it was quality and quantity.
“Those two things go together,” said the chef.
“I have also placed the oven at the front here so people can look at how their food is prepared and know what is being put on their plates. Most Asian restaurants prepare food from the back…we wanted to earn that trust from the customers and have they see for themselves what is being served to them.”
Leota is not all new in the cuisine business.
According to the 35 year old from Siusega and Gautavai Savaii, he had always cooked during occasions such as funerals and others.
“I had always catered for people’s funerals and those events where I would cook,” he explained. “I decided it was time to move to another level to push myself and use this talent from God. “So one day I drove past this area and saw the spot was available and I thought it’s a good spot with a lot of companies on this side and decided to invest here.”
A week ago that investment from Leota and his friend name Carlton Chadwick opened the doors for customers.
It didn’t take long for the restaurant to attract workers from companies located in the area.
“What a great feeling it was seeing people come in and out after it was opened,” said the co-owner.
“A lot of the staffs from the companies in this area eat here and it really is encouraging for me and our team to have a good kick start to the business.”
Leota added that Uso Restaurant is born from the bond that he has with his friend and co-owner Chadwick who is like a brother to him.
Some of the cuisines you can find at the Uso Restaurant range from raw fish with coconut crème (oka) to beef soup amongst other kind of food.