Juanita’s Mexican Bar and Grille


The Epicenter


Puerto Jimenez, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

506 735-5702 / 735-5056                            pdcollar@racsa.co.cr


Business Prospectus and Sales Package:  Juanita’s Mexican Bar and Grille



Juanita’s Mexican Bar and Grille was founded in 2001 by a partnership consisting of Paul Collar, Paul Clift, and Michael and Sanjuana Cranford.  Since its inception it has remained a wildly popular night spot in downtown Puerto Jimenez and enjoys an active patronage by visiting tourists as well as local residents, both Costa Rican and ex-pat alike.  Its unparalleled ambiance, expansive menu, multimedia entertainment system, central location, friendly staff, and low prices has kept it popular and profitable since its first year and at the forefront of the local entertainment scene.  As of this writing, three of the founding partners have either moved away from the area or restricted their further involvement in Juanita's to focus on other business endeavors, leaving the author of this prospectus as the managing partner of the business for the past five years.   While I have had my fun with the restaurant and bar business and enjoyed my tenure as captain of the ship, I look forward to passing the torch in order to focus my attentions on my other local businesses and to open myself to a greater freedom to travel.  This document summarizes the business sales offer and presents financial, operational, and miscellaneous information on the restaurant’s actual operations.  The sales offer includes the following items.


  • Long term commercial lease for $600/month:  this offer does NOT include real estate
  • All contents, equipment, and supplies
  • Foreign and domestic liquor licenses
  • All associated permits and licenses, banking accounts, credit card merchant affiliations, etc.
  • The corporation Juanita’s Mexican Bar and Grille, S.A.
  • www.juanitasmexican.com
  • Custom Juanita's Information Management System (JIMS) software
  • Full janitorial support services for $100 per month additional
  • Full maintenance support
  • Transition support and/or full contract management during transition period and beyond
  • Lease on 3-bedroom AC-ready house next door for $350 / month


$60,000 or best offer.  Click here for Package Deal Opportunity

Figure 1.  Exterior view of Juanita's

Figure 2.  Interior shot of Juanita's Bar and Grille


Physical Description.


The original floor plan of the restaurant/bar area is shown in Figure `1.  The diagram does not show all the tables nor bar areas, however.  Juanita’s has a seating capacity of 75, though standing-room only crowds of over 100 are common during high season and soccer games and always at karaoke and for live music.  The restaurant is located on the first floor of a two-story building with an office/apartment occupying the second floor.  Juanita’s has an internal door that connects it to CafeNet El Sol, an Internet Café and Tourist Information Center, which has an opening onto Main Street.  Together, the various businesses, including two other businesses of mine, Osa Pen Realty and Osa Water Works, plus a jewelry store next door to CafeNet that is leased to a third party comprise the commercial complex known as The Epicenter.



Figure 3.  Floor plan of Juanita’s Mexican Bar and Grille.  This is a rough drawing from years ago.  There are actually 14 tables with table seating for fifty and bar space for another 18.  Several of the tables and a wrap-around bar in the area labeled “patio” do not appear on this line drawing.


Figure 4.  A view of the bar Figure 5.  Unrestrained exuberance at Juanita's

Figure 6.  Juanita's internal tiki bar beer garden Figure 7.  Chimichango Huachinango



The restaurant is located steps away from the corner considered the very center of town.  It is a block and a half away from the bus station, the same distance from the soccer field and police station, one block away from a popular hotel and is located right next door to the Internet Café and in the vicinity of other restaurants and bars, grocery stores, pharmacies, and a wide variety of other businesses.  The town, Puerto Jimenez, is the capital of the Osa Peninsula and is served by six commercial flights a day from San Jose and is connected to Golfito across the gulf by one daily large boat, and about five speedboats that carry passengers.  There are buses that converge on Jimenez from around the peninsula as well as buses that arrive from San Jose, Villa Neilly, and San Isidro.  Puerto Jimenez is the jumping off point for Corcovado National Park, which is the most popular and largest of all the national parks in Costa Rica.  There is a large population of expatriate landowners in the vicinity so there is a large local community of Americans and Europeans.  The region is world renowned for its biological diversity and is also famous for fishing and surfing.  It has the largest sport fishing outfitter in all of Central America (Crocodile Bay Lodge) and is host to some internationally recognized eco-lodges, like Lapa Rios and Bosque del Cabo.


Figure 8.  Juanita's staff, off-duty Figure 9.  Juanita's Fajitas on tap
Figure 10.  Surf's up at Juanita's Mexican Bar and Grille. Figure 11.  View of the restaurant main seating area.


Financial Summary


Juanita’s grossed $135,000 in 2005, $150,000 in 2006, and if trends continue as anticipated will gross around $160,000 in Calendar 2007.  The net profits have been less than stellar, including 12% in 2005, 9.3% in 2006, and 16% to date for calendar year 2007.  I attribute the variability in performance mostly to my own shortcomings as I have focused my attention in recent years to real estate and construction and left the management of Juanita's mostly to resident staff.  A significant portion of the profits that have been realized throughout the years have been re-invested in the business for business, facility improvements, equipment and replacement of crystal and flatware.  Click on the following links for detailed financial profit loss statements courtesy of custom restaurant management software (description to follow) from 2006, and for 2007 through May.  Please note that the first section of the report is an operational profit loss statement, whereas the second section lists capital expenditures, and the final section is a list of expenses, arranged by expense category.




Juanita's Mexican Bar and Grille has an extensive menu (PAGE 1     PAGE 2    PAGE 3    PAGE 4    APPETIZERS    BREAKFAST) including not only Tex-Mex, Seafood, Tico, and International favorites, but also a full line of appetizers and pizzas as well as a separate and robust breakfast menu with both American and Costa Rican breakfast favorites.  Hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 12:00 midnight generally, though the licensure allows the business to remain open until 2:30 a.m..  We have an active Happy Hour, and 80% of our business has historically come from the evening shift, i.e. from four to close, though there remains an extensive breakfast and lunch market in Puerto Jimenez that is ready and primed for additional penetration by the new ownership.  Juanita's staff includes one day manager/bartender, one night night manager/bartender, two-three cooks, one cook’s assistant/dishwasher, and as many as four waitresses divided between day and evening shifts.  Staffing varies strongly as a function of the season, with December through March being the busiest time of year, September through November (and May) being the slowest time of year and the months of April, June, July, and August also being very active but not peak.  Juanita's enjoys administrative, accounting, janitorial, and maintenance support by contract from CafeNet El Sol  staff.  We hire a bouncer for karaoke nights and occasional contract support when needed. 


Juanita's Information Management System (JIMS) is a custom Microsoft-Access database that I developed and refined specifically for Juanita's.  It provides for click-of-the-mouse preparation of payroll, weekly tips payout, daily and weekly inventory, accounts payable management, monthly accounting, and monthly and annual tax accounting.  It also provides restaurant management functions like menu management, plate costing, and assessment of divisional  profit margins (i.e. restaurant vs. bar).  This comprehensive and sophisticated real-time administrative and informational capacity is predicated on conscientious daily entry of data, a task that takes about two hours a day for one of the CafeNet El Sol employees and that is presently being done under contract.  The operational model that has been successfully in place and continually improved over the years has helped to forge a transparent, well-staffed, smooth retail operation at Juanita’s.  JIMS is the backbone of daily business sustainability and is a business tool that is enormously helpful in understanding operations and in sustaining efficient management and administrative control of operations.


A daily report is prepared first thing every day using JIMS, and this report summarizes the previous day’s business activities in great detail, specifying the cash flow versus the the sales recorded on meal and bar tickets for cash box integrity and against daily fluctuations in liquor, beer, and soft drink inventory.  The dailry report automatically tallies inventory flight, cash shortages and overages, a full list of drinks and plates purchased, expenses for the day, walk-offs and credit tickets, accounts receivable paid during each of the shifts, and the hours worked by each employee.   I have instituted a policy recently of doing two inventories daily to keep both shifts as honest as possible.  Our inventory flight for last week was 2.53%.  In the past this has gotten as high as 7% and is an operational variable vital to the economic health of the business. 


Figure 12.  Juanita's menu cover; also used for t-shirt merchandising

Figure 13.  Promo shot for advertising, circa 2005

Figure 14.  Opening screen shot of Juanita's Information Management System

Figure 15.  View of the street entrance to Juanita's overgrown with plants.



Specials and Market Share


Juanita's is the hands-down favored evening eatery and watering hole in Puerto Jimenez.  Its central location ensures that it captures a large proportion of all tourists that come through town, but Juanita's is moreover a local institution and a favored destination for fishing boat captains and mates, and the entire local tourism support sector.  Juanita's has had a lot of success with Happy Hour, a marketing institution not common in Costa Rica but which has been successfully in place at Juanita's since the bar's inception.  Also, we have had significant success with showing televised soccer matches, both of Costa Rican professional teams and particularly whenever the national selection plays.  There is a large ex-patriot community that lives in the Jimenez area.  We have never aggressively targeted them for football games, basketball playoffs, baseball and hockey, and other international sporting events, but this is an active market that is available for the new ownership to develop and nurture.  We have done extraordinarily well with the very popular karaoke nights.  We schedule them twice per month to coincide with fortnightly pay days, usually on Friday nights but sometimes on Saturday nights.  We always break $1000 on these nights and have grossed as much as $1500 on a karaoke night.  While the locale is too small to support a full band, there is an active interest in Jimenez (like everywhere else) for live music, and the times that we have had a small ensemble of acoustic musicians, we have had revenues comparable to karaoke nights.  While Juanita's has always dominated the evening market, there is an active breakfast and lunch market that we have mostly ignored that is readily available for expansion of town market share.  There is also a Sunday brunch market that could be developed with an upscale Eggs Benedict and Belgian waffles and mimosa / Bloody Mary type offering.  Juanita's is renowned for its Tex-Mex fare and has a number of dishes that have become very popular with locals.  Correspondingly, there is an additional business expansion option in catering both for local and regional parties, weddings, coming-of-age-parties, wedding receptions, school and church events, and local and church festivals.  While the menu that we have developed is very strong and probably is close to ideal for the local and tourism market, the plate costing remains aggressive, with relatively little profit margin and large plate portions.  A significant boost in net profits would likely result from a cautious re-evaluation of both plate portions and costing.  A review of our active menu will reveal that the cost of individual plates is really quite modest with considerable room for increase in prices.  We have long prided ourselves on being more of a workingman's restaurant and bar rather than an exclusive, tourist-only type of expensive place beyond the reach of the less moneyed local populace.  Our bar prices are among the lowest in town, and it is probable that the new ownership will find no loss of business by boosting these prices to more accurately reflect the ambiance and extras that Juanita's offers that other local alternatives simply can't match.  In short, there are a substantial number of incentives to immediately boost market share and overall revenues that I have not actively pursued mostly because I am distracted by my other business and personal interests, and which have limited the business from achieving what I consider its full potential.




The physical contents of the restaurant are included in the sale package.  The following list may not be complete.  Everything that is currently being used for restaurant operations in included in this sale package.


15 tables

32 chairs

15 bar stools

One main hardwood bar

Hard wood bar on outside of beer garden wall

Outside standing bar

Three beer coolers

Ice machine

Two-well kitchen sink

Margarita / Slushy machine

Bar sink

Two microwave ovens

Six-well steam bath

Food Processor

Two blenders

Cloth napkins

Chips baskets

Three freezers



6-burner stove with griddle


Two-well gas fryer

Two 17” color televisions with DirecTV service

Karaoke music machine

Amplifier, DVD, facility wide speakers with integrated sound

Glassware, cookware, flatware, silverware

One Refrigerator / Freezer

Potted plants and decorations




Licensure and Banking.


Corporation.  Juanita's Mexican Bar and Grille, S.A. is a corporation presently owned equally by Paul Clift, San Juana Cranford, Michael Cranford, and myself, Paul Collar.  The corporate identity number (Cedula Jurídica) is shown here.


Liquor License.  The liquor license for both domestic and international beer, wine, and spirits was issued by the Municipality of Golfito in 2001 and is renewed annually in February for an annual payment of around $100.  The liquor license is in my name and cannot be transferred to a corporate name nor to another locale.  The business sale includes a continually renewing lease in which the liquor license is included for continuous operation. 


Health Permit.  Annual inspection and permit issuance.  See here.


Banking.  Juanita's banks at Banco Nacional de Costa Rica using a colon checking account in the corporate name.  The business has a credit card pay machine that incurs a 7% banking fee that we pass on to the client.  We make all of our purchases through online banking deposits and no longer issue checks to any of our vendors or employees.  Our banking records for the past several years are available upon request for review by interested parties.  Approximately 15% of our monthly expenses are paid out in cash.  We make night deposits of cash revenues in the bank on Saturday and Sunday mornings to reduce the amount of cash that we have at any one time accumulated in the safe. 




Anyone interested in this business will logically want to know why we are selling the business. 


The original partnership has splintered, with everyone going off in their own direction.  Two of the partners were married, and after the first year of business, they divorced.  Sanjuana Cranford, who from the start was the managing partner, stayed in that position for a single year before moving back to the United States.  A second partner soon moved to another part of Costa Rica and has since returned to the United States.  The third partner focused increasingly on expanding his other business interests in Costa Rica and abandoned personal contributions to the welfare of Juanita's.  I was left saddled with the responsibilities originally divided among the four of us and was compensated with a modest salary of $500 per month for myself and $400 administrative assistance contract for CafeNet El Sol.


While this was okay in the early years when my other business interests were restricted mostly to CafeNet El Sol next door, online reservations services, business consulting, web site design and hosting, and occasional engineering services, in the past two years I have expanded my real estate and engineering and construction businesses dramatically.  As a result, I do not have the time to put into Juanita's and therefore prefer to focus on real estate, construction, and development.


While it’s sad in one way to pass on the Juanita’s torch, it simply doesn’t make sense for me to make a non-trivial  investment to buy out my partners for the vanity of having my own restaurant, a commitment that would inevitably divert my attention from higher-paying work.  Nevertheless, my loss can be your gain, if running a mom-and-pop business in Paradise is your idea of a worthwhile gig.  Please note that despite our interest in selling the business, I will remain in the area and continue to pursue my remaining businesses and still expect to have a work-a-day relationship with the new Juanita's ownership, both in the capacity of landlord and also to provide support during the transition period.


To discuss further, feel free to call me at my office number 735-5702, cell phone number 898-8694, home phone number 735-5515, or inquire directly at the Juanita's phone number 735-5056 or CafeNet El Sol's main number 735-5719.






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