|Affable Restaurateur, Brooksy Smith, One of the|
5 Partners that own and operate Jerry Built Burgers
When my son Jason and I paid the visit, they were putting the finishing touches on their marquis sign and getting their last round of staff training done. I was able to see their larger dining room (5500 vs. 4500 at their Holcombe location), and get a feel for some of the knowledge Brooksy Smith, Jerry & Chad Glauser and the rest of the gang had learned over the past 6 weeks.
Every Thursday it Gets Better
|Blueberry Skinny Lemonade|
A Dr. Oz Inspiration
In my experience, what usually gives a good local place like Jerry Built traction is a mixture of Word of Mouth and good press. Jerry Built has gotten both, but thanks to social media, blogs and Twitter, the word of mouth has been a thousand fold. There has also been a direct mail campaign where I've seen many a customer coming in with those black Jerry the Bull mailers to try a burger. Every one of those customers has said they would be coming back. I've also seen a fair number of Medical Students mixed with Rice University Students and Soccer Moms with full broods from West University Place.
|Industrial bins and crinkler|
at Jerry Built Burgers'
Brooksy also shared how they'd vastly underestimated the volume they'd be selling on their french fries. They had to buy industrial-sized bins and an industrial-sized fry cutter. These aren't the ones they use for restaurants; they're the ones that Ore-ida and McCain's potatoes use for making the stuff they freeze and sell to the public! Brooksy was also good enough to admit that this was a nice problem to have in the restaurant business.
New Products and working up the learning curve
Customers have proven helpful to Brooksy and company on 2 levels:
|Jason enjoying a Jerry Built dog|
in front of blueberry skinny lemonade
and Ginger Bull Shake
Another customer suggested a way to make sure day old Ginger-Bull cookies weren't wasted: take yesterday's Ginger Bulls, crumble them up, mix them in a Vanilla shake and you now have their #1 shake at Holcombe: The Ginger Bull shake.
|Fried Egg Tomato Grilled Cheese|
note the inverted bun!
Dr. Oz also served as another inspirational source for a product. Brooksy indicated that he'd heard Dr. Oz that blueberries are one of the superfoods we should all eat due to its antioxidant properties, and so he crushed them up and mixed them in with his fresh squeezed lemonade (regular or skinny, made with Splenda™).
I was given samples of the Ginger Bull Shake and the Blueberry skinny lemonade to try and I can say they are both very, very good and will probably have one of them the next time I swing by the Holcombe location.
Willing to Consider good ideas from Customers, within Reason
One of the main points I felt Brooksy made to me was that despite the challenges starting up a restaurant like this from scratch has been, he's been willing to listen to good ideas from customers that are within reason. And if he's not able to go with an idea, request or suggestion, he's not ever going to say "I don't care." He's going to explain the nature of the restaurant business and the considerations he has to make regarding food, cost and waste issues. That's not something that a lot of restaurateurs would do, which goes to show as I've said before, Jerry Built Burgers is NOT just another burger joint.
|Artwork inside the Woodlands location of Jerry Built|
As an Economics Professor in my main life, I very much enjoyed a chance to talk about this business with one of the partners. There were many insights I gained that I can use in my teaching and I was glad to get more info to share in the blog.
New Location in the Woodlands Opens March 31st
Saturday, March 31st, it opens. It has the same great features of the Holcombe location: the windows to watch the process, the in-house ground and crinkled fries, the in-house baked buns, the hand-jacuzzi washing station, but on a slightly larger scale. I advise all my Northside Friends, Family Colleagues and Coworkers to pay them a visit at:
|Same Jerry the Bull,|
but Woodlands signage
restrictions make it a tad
1335 Lake Woodlands Dr.
The Woodlands, Texas 77380
Sunday - Thursday 11:00AM – 9:00PM
Friday - Saturday 11:00AM – 10:00PM
Go there and
EAT HAPPY, Y'ALL!!!