Actually not today nor tomorrow, but this past Monday was Zippy’s grand opening of their first neighbor island location in Kahului, Maui. The question many folks are probably asking is, what took so long? I can’t answer that, but speculation would have it that logistics and quality control had lots to do with it.
Whatever your opinion of them, there’s no denying Zippy’s takes quality, service and consistency very seriously in their business. Order your “regular” dish at Hawaii Kai, and then another one in Kaneohe a week, month or year later, and it’s almost guaranteed it will be identical every single time. With such standards being their reputation here on Oahu, it’s no doubt upper management and their planning committee took apart every single detail before finally jumping on the canoe heading to Maui.
That spaghetti chicken mixed plate shown above is a perfect example of their quality control and consistency. Look at this one, then look at the one they have pictured for their Vegas Trip promotion on their website. Almost identical! From how toasted the french bread is, to how golden-brown the fried chicken is, right down to the location of each item on the plate. This is just part of what makes Zippy’s so successful today.
Not surprisingly, I hear the menu prices across the board at the new Maui location are higher than Oahu. For example, A Zip Pac here on Oahu is currently $7.85 (ouch), while on Maui it’s $8.85 (OUCH!).
According to this news article, their impact on Maui’s existing businesses stirs sentiment of both pros and cons. Cravings Bakery is benefiting by picking up the contract to produce select cakes and pies for Zippy’s in-house Napoleon’s Bakery. While the owner of Tasty Crust over in Wailuku, which is a similar local diner style eatery, is taking a wait-and-see, yet concerned outlook.
The owner of Kujo’s really had the right attitude by saying his saimin and Hamburger Steak was mo’ bettah. If the “small guys” can find their niche and offer signature dishes that you can’t get anywhere else, they shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Especially if they can be competitively-priced; an issue Zippy’s sometimes disregards.
While I haven’t personally walked into the Kahului location yet, another virtue Zippy’s offers is a clean, cozy, comfortable establishment. I haven’t been in one location on Oahu where I thought otherwise. I’m sure this NEW Maui restaurant is spartan and well-designed as well – if not to an even higher standard.
Another thing Zippy’s has mastered with experience is responding to local tastes. For example, feast your eyes on this Teriyaki Pork (not beef) Sandwich Combo Plate….
Brilliant! Looks ono to me! Actually, this was Diner E’s plate, to which he gave it a solid 3-SPAM Musubi rating (minus 1 point for price). That Spaghetti Chicken Combo Plate was Diner A’s plate, to which he gave it a solid 3-SPAM Musubi, with kudos to exceptional value. While none of these are going to win points from the doctor, it does wins points from the opu!
If any of you Maui folks have been to the new Kahului Zippy’s, let us know what you think! Also, what other Oahu or neighbor island establishment do you have on your expansion wish list? Teddy’s Bigger Burgers is on their way, with a new location opening up in Kapolei. I bet they’d do really well on Maui.
While on the subject of Maui eateries, I’m itching to get back to Alexander’s Fish ‘N Chips in Kihei. I understand they’re under new ownership, so wondering if they’re still as good as I remember them to be. Great batter.
images courtesy of Google Earth & Zippys.com
OK, now that Oahu has given Maui a Zippy’s Restaurant, it’s time for Maui to reciprocate and give Oahu a Tasaka Guri Guri shop. PLEASE! ONEGAISHIMASU!
15 Ho’okele St. (and Mokulele Hwy.)