By: Ryan Guitare

As Small Business Month comes to an end, the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to feature The San Franciscan Restaurant, a longtime Chamber member. Established in 1963, this local family-owned establishment has been a cornerstone for exceptional dining experiences in our community. Led by Owner/Manager Merrill Failla, The San Franciscan has been named South Bay’s Best Steakhouse by the Daily Breeze 12 years in a row. This article highlights the recent achievements, unique offerings, and challenges faced by The San Franciscan, showcasing its enduring commitment to the community and exceptional dining experiences.

What’s a big achievement your business has had recently? What lessons did you learn?

Surviving the COVID-19 pandemic is probably the number one achievement for us food service businesses, as many did not survive. We are fortunate to have been able to hibernate, so to speak, and then once we arose again, we had a lot of loyal customers. A huge customer base, three generations, as a matter of fact, returned, and just about 90% of our employees. The key to a business surviving is the employees. The employees are a big part of this business.

What unique products or services does your business offer that make Torrance a better place?

We offer one of the greatest dining values in the South Bay. We provide high-quality meats, exclusively from Newport Meat Company, one of the biggest meat companies in Southern California. We buy high-quality products and offer them at a very reasonable price, which is a great value. Value is what people are looking for and is one of the reasons we have a lot of return customers. We offer consistency and value.

What are the main challenges and opportunities for your business in Torrance, and how are you handling them?

An opportunity we have here at The San Franciscan is the chance to grow. No matter who you are or how long you have been around, you always have a chance to grow. The industry is always changing, and we must grow as a business to stay competitive. As for challenges, we all know what has happened to prices in the last 3-5 years, from groceries to meat, and labor. Keeping up with that is a challenge. Interest rates have also skyrocketed. We haven’t had any claims in 12 years, and our rates just went up 65%. There’s only one way to handle that. You have to sharpen your pencil, watch what you do, and ultimately raise menu prices. Although you don’t want to, in order to stay around, you have to do what you have to do. If you are paying more for everything, so are we.

The San Franciscan Restaurant continues to be a cornerstone of the Torrance community, offering exceptional dining experiences and unwavering quality. By balancing the challenges of rising costs with the opportunities for growth, Merrill Failla and his team demonstrate resilience and dedication to their patrons. The Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to support and celebrate The San Franciscan, an award-winning steakhouse, during Small Business Month, recognizing their contributions to the local economy and community spirit. For more information about The San Franciscan visit,

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