COASTE | DEC 2016 - JAN 2017


Who was the genius behind the Doc Ford’s concept? Randy Wayne White was really the original genius. In 2003, our restaurant at Rabbit Road called the Island House wasn’t doing very well. We knew we had to change the format. At a meeting with my wife and others it was suggested we call Randy White. At the time, the only Randy White I knew used to play for the Dallas Cowboys (laughs). Anyway, the next day we met, and I learned that Randy already had a restaurant concept called Doc Ford’s — and boom, the rest is history. Were you surprised at the quick success of Doc Ford’s? Yeah, I was. With the Beached Whale, it was already an existing restaurant so our success and growth there wasn’t too surprising. Here, we took a failing concept and brought in something totally new, and in the process, between the mistakes and the investments and the launch, I probably learned enough to earn a Harvard Business School degree! We’ve been fortunate, but we’ve always had a great team. What do you think is the key to your success? People. People. People. People. People. People. Treat your people right, they’ll get up in the morning and want to come to work, and how good is that for your business? Sure, we have great chefs and a great menu, but it’s about hospitality. We treat our people with respect and appreciation for what they do, because if they’re successful, guess what, we’ll be successful. We treat our customers the same way: thank you for choosing to spend your money with us, I hope we’ve exceeded your expectations. What are your plans for the future, what are you working on next? Every day I wake up thinking about stuff, but one of the things I’ve learned over the years is I don’t take anything for granted. Just because I’ve opened a few restaurants that have been successful doesn’t mean the next one will be. I’ll spend years of research looking at a location, analyzing the demographics and being cautious. I’m always looking for opportunities, but I also need the people. So we spend a lot of time and money training our people to move up when the time is right. You don’t seem like someone who wants to slow down. I’m 68 years old and I don’t know how to slow down. I love building teams. If I see an opportunity to put people together and create something, well, that’s what I like to do. Slow down? Nah, not in my crosshairs.






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