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By in Restaurateur of the Quarter

Gerald Bugas and Louis Kimball both attended Cornell School of Hotel Administration and overlapped a couple of years together, but did not know each other then.  Several years later after they both graduated from Cornell Louis was the Director of Food and Beverage at the Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco and hired Gerald as Banquet Manager.  Consequently they decided that a quick service high quality restaurant was needed as there were no quick service quality food service operations around other than the hoffbrau service format which had a limited menu so they founded Pluto’s in 1995. Pluto’s opened its first restaurant in the Marina District in San Francisco and currently has an additional location in San Francisco plus locations in Palo Alto, San Jose, Davis, Sacramento, Roseville and Chico.

Pluto’s, appropriately named for the outermost planet, provides “fresh food for a hungry universe,” and features a revolutionary concept in dining satisfaction. Like its namesake, Pluto’s strives to be truly out-of-this-world via the food station, as advanced as the space station of planetary exploration where you get what you see and see what you get. Pluto’s fills a much-needed niche in the vast nothingness between fast-food and full service restaurants.

Its mission is simply to offer great-quality, American-style fresh food at unparalleled value with friendly but efficient service in an inviting setting. Pluto’s has a special “neighborhoodly” quality and serves as an extension of your kitchen.

Guests of Pluto’s enjoy the best of all worlds. Instead of having to cope with all of the uncertainties of wait staff, guests will be served at individual food stations where they make their selections and oversee their preparation in a refreshing one-on-one process between Pluto’s staff and the guest. Guests dine at their own pace (a selection of daily newspapers is available for those who wish to linger) and partake of that good “neighborhood” feeling. At Pluto’s, guests do not have to deal with the annoyance of poor service, unidentifiable entrees, the added expense of tipping, and most of all, the prices that are part of the full-service restaurant scene.

And, unlike fast-food establishments, Pluto’s is absolutely committed to wholesome fresh food, low fat ingredients where possible, and the use of the latest healthful cooking techniques in its food preparation, such as steaming, char-grilling and roasting.

Restaurant Realty recently had the opportunity of completing a transaction with Pluto’s and we wish Louis and Gerald continued success in all of their future endeavors.

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About The Author
Steven Zimmerman, CBI, M&AMI, CBB, FIBBA

Steve is the Founder, Principal Broker and Chief Executive Officer of Restaurant Realty Company. Steve has personally sold/leased over 1,000 restaurant, bar and/or nightclub businesses and many related commercial buildings totaling 2+ million square feet of commercial space, collaborated with over 2,000 clients and completed over 3,000 valuations since 1996.His real estate experience also includes sales, acquisitions, management and ownership of numerous properties throughout California including restaurants, hotels, apartment buildings, single family houses, an office building and a multi-use retail building. Steve is also the author of Restaurant Dealmaker – An Insider’s Trade Secrets for Buying a Restaurant, Bar or Club available on Amazon. Prior to starting Restaurant Realty Company Steve had over 20 years of restaurant experience and was President and Chief Executive officer of Zim’s Restaurants, which was one of the largest privately owned restaurant chains in the San Francisco Bay Area. READ FULL BIO | HIRE EXPERT WITNESS - LEARN MORE