Kendalls' cooks up persistence, customer service (and burgers)
Q & A with Kendall Jaspers, owner of Kendall's Famous Burgers & Ice Cream at 113 S. Cortez St., Prescott. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. For information, call 778-3658.
Q: How did you get into this business?
A: "I began in the food service industry in 1964. I had a job cleaning up the bar and meeting room early in the morning at the old Elks Lodge when it was above the Elks theater.
"I worked for several large companies doing college and university food service and returned to Prescott in 1986. We opened Kendall's in 1987."
Q: What service do you provide in the community?
A: "Kendall's provides made-to-order hamburgers and other sandwiches and entrees. We cut our own French fries and batter our own onion rings. We feature Thrifty brand ice cream in the old-fashioned soda fountain."
Q: What is the key to your business longevity?
A: "Treating our customers and staff the way I would like to be treated. Also persistence, Kendall's will be 25 years old in March. I am not sure if that shows great persistence or lack of imagination."
Q: What's something unique about you?
A: "I have a guest check signed by Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher complementing us on our onion rings."
Q: What is the best business advice you've given and received?
A: "The best advice I have ever gotten is that people tend to work up to your level of expectations. If you expect the best, you will get a good effort. If you expect the worst, that is what you will get.
"The best advice I could give someone starting a restaurant is to be consistent in your food quality, your business hours and your marketing."
Q: How many hours a week do you work?
A: "I work about 35 to 50 hours a week."
Q: If you could take a week off, what would you do?
A: "If I had a week off, I would probably go visit one of my out-of-state children."
Q: What's something unique about your business?
A: "We serve our food immediately when it is prepared, no holding or precooking. We offer a condiment bar with 15 items to top your sandwich."