Pancakes and more to eat around the clock
in Pearl City has expanded its schedule to 24 hours a day.
"So many people told us that they wished we were open later or earlier, so we decided to just stay open all the time," co-owner Sarah Espino said in a statement.
She is president of Union MAK Corp., an IHOP franchisee with additional locations in Waikiki, Kaneohe and Hilo.
The expansion comes as many local businesses are finding ways to trim expenses and cut staffing, or close altogether.
"It flies in the face of all the economic news," said spokesman Austin Vali.
As a full-service restaurant, it is not as if "only the drive-through is open," he said.
He did not have an exact number of new hires, but said the restaurant has added a shift and that its overnight menu is "curtailed" but includes the restaurant's most popular breakfast, lunch and dinner items. It will be expanded in the future.
The area is "such a mix," of residential, light industrial, retail and other types of occupants by day and night, "that we're seeing different types of people coming in, people that we normally wouldn't see," he said.
Restaurant business publications have been reporting that some segments of the industry are groaning under economic uncertainty, higher gas prices and other monetary malaise.
"One of the reasons that enables us to do this is, we provide a great value for families," Vali said. "It's a great place for families to eat, it's affordable, there's a wide menu, a kids' menu, seniors' menu, so we haven't felt a real downturn in business ... because people still see us as a value."
The move is seen by the company as an investment and as a test for possible expanded hours at other locations. However, all may not go around the clock and no announcements for the other locations are yet planned.
Other locations might extend hours on certain nights of the week, for instance, he said.
Web site goal is lofty
A new Web site seeks to stimulate world friendship through travel, according to a news release for TasteHawaiiOnline.com
The site, by California-based travel company Taste Worldwide Inc., is promoting a "You Choose the Island" contest offering a grand prize trip to the Hawaiian island of the winner's choice.
Hawaiian cultural, historic and language information is on the site, as are recipes.
Most of the Hawaiian recipes appear to be Asian-based and it was not shocking to find a meat recipe that includes pineapple -- because everybody knows that throwing pineapple into a meat dish makes it Hawaiian. Yeah, that's the ticket.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com