It’s been a little over a year since limping Michigan-based chain Olga’s Kitchen filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. In November, local franchise owners TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants took control the brand with a $11.25 million buyout. Since then, Schostak has been strategizing ways to revive the company and make it profitable. The Detroit Free Press has the first word on the new plan, revealed this week, which calls for updates to company’s logo, renovations of operating restaurants, an expansion, a return to classic recipes, and retraining of employees.
For many years Olga’s cut corners on its recipes, replacing the original ingredients with less-expensive, lower quality products that altered the flavor of dishes. Portion sizes were also reduced.
“If you could buy in bulk a feta cheese which was cheaper and was not the same tasting or not as good, you'd say 'Well, people are never going to realize' and you mix it with other things," says Kenneth Dalto, a court-appointed receiver involved in the bankruptcy. “But they did realize.”
Spanakopita and orange cream coolers will return to their original recipes introduced by restaurant founder Olga Loizon. Meanwhile Schostak plans to open between 10 and 12 new restaurants. The renovations of existing Olga’s locations will be completed within the next 2 to 3 years.