Home-town feel is the meat and potatoes of restaurant
Q & A with Daryl Davis, co-owner of Leff-T's Steakhouse & Grill at 150 S. Highway 69, #12. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 632-1388.
Q: What drew you to this business?
A: "I started tending bar in Los Angeles in 1970. The owner of Lawry's restaurants kind of took me under his wing and trained me in all aspects of the business. I did everything. I worked with quite a few restaurants.
"When we moved here in 1990, we retired out of the restaurant business. We decided in 2006 to go back into the business and I opened Barbudo's Burrito Company Baja Mexican Grill (at 1042 Willow Creek Road) in Prescott.
"The opportunity came for us to get back in the steakhouse business and, in 2008, we bought Leff-T's."
Q: What is your best business advice that you've received and given?
A: "To tell people to try to put your best foot forward. Customer service to me is probably the number one thing. We get our employees to remember your face.
"When we purchased this place, I actually reduced the menu prices. We use fresh ingredients. If it doesn't meet my standards, I throw it away.
"The employees make the place. I wouldn't be here without my employees."
Q: What do you like most about owning a business?
A: "Of course being your own boss. If you fail, you have nobody to blame but yourself. I am my own worst critic."
Q: What is the key to your business longevity?
A: "Quality products at a fair price with people who can show a passion for what they're doing. And watching your costs. I think you can run any business if you just watch your costs and offer good customer service."
Q: What is something people don't know about you?
A: "Even though I live in Prescott, I was a surfer. I spent my summers on a ranch with horses and, during the school year, I surfed around Huntington and Newport beaches. Because I'm fair-skinned, I used to wear a cowboy hat while I went surfing."
Q: How many hours a week do you spend at work?
A: "We put about 50 hours a week into Leff-T's and another 10 to 12 hours a week at Barbudo's."
Q: If you could take a week away from your business, what would you do?
A: "Spend it with my children and grandchildren. And we do take a week away every year to spend time with family and friends."
Q: How are you rolling with the current economy?
A: "We've had to go back to the basics, watch costs, inventory, to create cash flow from within."
Q: What is the most unique thing about your business?
A: "I guess the most unique thing about us is the home-town feel people tell us they have when they come in here."