This Midwestern Burger Joint Continued Treating Customers Like Family While Reopening During the Pandemic
We here at GOBankingRates want to help get our nation’s small businesses back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic. To do that, we’re highlighting readers’ favorite small businesses around the country, and shining a spotlight on what makes them special to their customers and their towns.
In this edition of our Small Business Spotlight series, we’re featuring Lu Lu’s Kitchen, a breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant known for its burgers, steaks and ribs, located in Bucyrus, Ohio. Here, we chat with co-owners Kim and Ryan Stamper about how they got their start as restaurateurs, why they take pride in being “old school” and why it’s vital to treat your employees well.
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Was there a particular moment or experience that inspired you to start your business?
When the place I ran closed unexpectedly due to the owner passing away, I had two regular customers call me and tell me to go open my own place — they wanted to invest in [it]. So that’s what I did — and [I] hired the whole staff from the previous restaurant.
What did you take from past experiences or jobs that you knew you wanted to be a part of your new business?
The simple old-school serving. It’s the kind of place that works as a team [and] you get treated as if you are family!
What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a business owner?
The most rewarding [aspect] is being able to give back to our community and employees.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
We closed for a month and reopened with a drive-thru window until they let us reopen.
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How can people continue to support your business during this time?
Stop in for some great food or buy a gift card.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
Treat your employees like family [and] always try to be understanding — they make your business.
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This interview has been edited for clarity.
Last updated: July 1, 2021