March 05, 2013

Business Spotlight – Bomber's Burrito Bar

      Bomber's Burrito Bar was founded in 1997 by Matt Baumgartner. With locations in Albany and Schenectady, Bomber's is most famous for their giant burritos and award winning wings. Whether you're dining in, ordering take out, wanting delivery, or catering, Bomber's has it covered! They also offer gift cards, and plenty of daily specials including Wing Night on Mondays, Trivia on Tuesdays, Bingo on Wednesdays, Acoustic Guitar Night on Thursdays, and $5 Bloody Marys until 4:00pm on Sundays. Be sure to also check out their happy hour specials every day from 11:00am-7:00pm which include $3 beers, $3 well drinks, and $5 margaritas!

Q: How long have you been in business?
A: We first opened on Lark Street on October 3, 1997.

Q: Describe your business.

A: Bombers Burrito Bar is a casual, full service Tex-Mex restaurant offering counter-service, delivery, and a full service bar & dining room.

Q: How did you come up with the name for your business?

A: My nickname all through high school and college was “Bomber” because of my last name (Baumgartner). We also thought that using a “Bombers Girl” type theme with the name “Bomber” would be a winning combination.

Q: What do you think makes your business stand out from others in the area?
A: I think that our customers come to Bombers first for the delicious food, but also come for the overall experience. The atmosphere is fun! The drinks are tasty, and most importantly, the burritos and other menu items are at a price point that is appealing to people on a budget.

Q: Since opened, what has been your biggest success that your business has had?
A: I measure success in terms of how much is able to give back to the community. I feel that our biggest success is that we have been able to regularly donate to all the local/regional charities that have needed help.

Q: As a small business owner, what are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced?
A: Our biggest challenge as a small business has been to find a way to keep prices down while food costs continue to increase.

Q: What is your favorite part about running your business?
A: My favorite part of running a business has been meeting all our customers over the years and developing friendly relationships with everyone. I hadn’t felt like an active member of the community until I opened a business.

Q: Did you have any education or experience in the industry prior to opening your business?
A: No, I did not.

Q: How do you see your business growing in the future?
A: We are hoping to expand our Franchising division of Bombers Burrito Bar. We have our first Franchise opening in Troy in 2013, and a 2nd location hopefully opening in New Paltz, in 2014.

Q: Looking back, is there anything that you would do different?
A: I prefer to look forward rather than through the rear view mirror, and I am grateful for where I am currently in my life. So, I would keep everything the same.

Q: Tell us about that lucky $15,000 hand of poker back in 1997.
A: I was dealt a Royal Flush playing a game called Let It Ride. I was a broke 20 year old, and the money was a fortune to me at the time. I am proud of the fact that I didn’t spend it on something foolish and, instead, invested it into Bombers Burrito Bar because it has proved to be a good choice.

Q: Besides burritos, Bomber’s is famous for offering a giant margarita to customers on their birthday, how did you come up with this idea?
A: I just figured that everyone wants to feel special on his/her birthday, and not many bars were giving away anything for free on that special day, so we decided to capitalize on that. Now, it seems like every bar in Albany gives away a large drink on your birthday.

Q: Tell us how you came up with the ideas for some of your award winning wing sauces.
A: I like to utilize the talent that we have in the kitchen, and most of our best sauces came from one of our employees experimenting in the kitchen.

Q: What is your favorite burrito on the menu?
A: My favorite burrito is the BBQ pulled pork.

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