After a myriad of international adventures in food and travel, restaurateur and hotelier Tara Lazar returned to her hometown of Palm Springs, CA. Fueled by an unrelenting passion for homemade breakfast and good old fashioned hospitality, she opened Cheeky’s, which became an overnight success for its weekly changing menus and “made from scratch” ethos. This marked the beginning of the remarkable journey of F10 Creative.
Over the past decade, Tara and her team have grown F10 into the leading hospitality group in the Coachella Valley. She has inspired innovative and creative hospitality practices, relying on her hands-on approach to the development of every aspect of the F10 properties from crafting the menus, cooking on the line, designing the environments and touching tables nightly.
Tara’s love for Palm Springs is displayed in her generous contributions to the community: cooking programs for children, showcasing local artists through cultural programming at her properties and her support of community organizations and charities. As a mother, a leader, and an entrepreneur, she values the important role that food and hospitality have in fulfilling the potential communities.
Q: What's your work background, and what are you working on?
I was in finance, worked on the stock exchange, and then day-traded. I hated it. I lost a ton of money one day and said, if Im going to lose money I might as well lose it doing something I like doing. I always loved being around food and my family begged me to not get in the restaurant industry. I obviously didn’t listen.
Q: What motivated you to get started with F10 Creative?
I loved breakfast and I wanted to take my friends out to breakfast when they came to visit. There was nowhere to take them in Palm Springs, so I had to open my own restaurant. Simple as that. I obviously got the hospitality bug and now cannot turn down the idea of opening a new restaurant if a fun opportunity happens to make its way to me.
Q: How have you grown your company?
We have had to grow and contract a few times, but the best thing we have constantly fine tuned, are systems. From custom training platforms that are done online to standard operating procedures, we can create consistency. Having multiple restaurants, consistency is the hardest thing for me maintain so these systems help me know that our team have the tools to help them succeed.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
Id like to have the brand recognition that if its something I am a part of, guests can be confident of its quality. We hope to keep opening concepts whether they be food or hotels- or anything to do with good old fashioned hospitality.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you've faced and obstacles you've overcome?
Recently, labor. With our housing market getting more expensive, our staff cant afford to live near so we have had a really hard time with staffing. We have invested heavily into creating a great working culture so our team is inspired to stay and come to work. The less turnover we have is our litmus for how well our company culture is doing.
Q: What's your advice for female founders who are just starting out?
I preach this until I am blue in the face. Don’t start doing work (especially manual work) that you can pay other people to do. If you have taken the leap to be an entrepreneur, your company needs you as a visionary and a big ideas person. If you end up running to Staples or doing the bookkeeping, you are wasting precious resources on the wrong task.