People Eat W/ Their Eyes Tommy Stojak and the Restaurant Business

About This Episode

Tommy Stojak of Sombrero’s of Walker, Louisiana as well as Uno Dos Tacos of Denham Springs and City Wings of Walker joins Local Leaders the Podcast host Jim Chapman to discuss his amazing life in the restaurant business. From his travel to America, this Croatian-born businessman shares some great information!

Transcript (Beta)

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hey everyone and welcome back to another edition of local leaders the podcast y’all may notice i have a christmas hat on and that is because hopefully it is christmas eve and you’re watching local leaders of the podcast and we are in the holiday spirit around here when we set out to do this episode there was one gentleman in particular that i thought would be perfect for it and that is the guy sitting across from me mr tommy stojak how are you sir i’m doing good how are you i am great excited to sit down with you it has been a journey for me i’ve i’ve really wanted to talk to you for several years i actually uh uh met you in passing at a chamber event where we were both honored in 2019 you were entrepreneur of the year i was working for farrell calhoun paint at the time and we got large business of the year at that chamber event so we were actually on the same card i guess you could say or whatever at the chamber event and ever since man i thought that is such a nice guy i’d read about the things that you do for the community and uh and here we sit a couple years later across from each other and i’m tickle pink man i’m like i’m excited yes sir me too so uh you are the uh owner of with a partner sombreros yes sir buenos dos tacos yes in my best uh spanish accent and uh city wings yes which is your newest venture and i’ve actually had the pleasure of eating at all three of those places great food here first of all which everybody if you know tommy you know anything he touches when it comes to food is going to be good but great food i do want to let you know that right from the start but we’re going to kind of get into those restaurants and really break them down let people know what the concept is of each of those yes and all of those sorts of things now i want to talk a little bit about you personally uh you’re from croatia yes sir and uh and the first thing that stood out to me was a shoebox story that i read about uh in regards to you and the red cross can you kind of tell us that shoebox story i mean i got a shoebox because we were like in a refugee camp yeah and uh and i i got one and always after that whenever i got that one i always wanted to give back yeah and the shoebox actually whenever i got it i got good stuff but it still made me happy i got a shoebox yes and uh after that moment i got the shoe received the shoebox always since i was like proper six seven years old wow always wanted to give back yeah how much i could and stuff like that yeah you turned to your brother i believe it was and told him you know i want to give back to others yes i told my brothers i want to give to the artist and that’s what we can do and stuff like that because it touched my heart yeah huge thing in your life and you know you were young yes six seven years old wow wow and it’s amazing how those little parts of life can really uh uh make such an effect on somebody that it kind of cha you know it changes maybe your outlook on life for the rest of your life so uh yes sir what what an amazing thing now uh after you evacuated croatia you ended up in germany yes sir and how long were you there seven years seven years and your your father he rented a construction company he avenue construction yes sir okay awesome now after seven years in germany somehow you ended up here in the united states some 5 000 miles away yes sir tell me about that my parents made a decision you know that we applied to come to the united states i came here as a refugee too because i was a refugee started in germany yes and one of the best decisions my parents ever could make come to united states because might be born in croatia i love irrespective but this is my country and i love it and yes and the opportunities opportunities are front of you every single day and one of the best decisions i made because for my brother my sister and myself too yeah amazing and and how were you at that point i was 14 whenever i came to united states 14. do you kind of remember i mean i couldn’t imagine of course you know from a guy that’s never i mean i’ve never been really anywhere else i couldn’t imagine uh just the excitement and and wonderment you know it’s a whole new place a whole new world pretty much it was a lot different on beginning first six months he took a little be honest with you to get settled because yeah i had so many friends in germany yeah and i was in uh involved in a lot of sports okay whenever i came here i could not uh because here you needed a transportation everything over there you got a bus you got that six months here without a car you couldn’t do anything because i was only 14 years old wow and first six months was kind of tough but after six months you start finding new friends and everything yeah it became easy and stuff like that fantastic what sports did you play i used to box oh look at you don’t mess with tommy and i used to play soccer yeah being a golly and basketball running track and stuff like that oh so you were an athlete you just did it all like i’m a workaholic now whenever i was a kid i used to like being sports 100 percent like now with work and stuff like that i can relate yeah and it’s it’s funny um i’m i can remember when i was a kid i was like you 100 into sports and and to this day i’m a total confessed workaholic um but i think that that work attitude came from how much i worked in sports to be better i believe that 100 percent yeah anytime i get someone come and let’s say they play sports i usually have one of the best work attack yes because when you are you work hard in your sport and then means even if you come to work you’re going to have to work at the camp yeah and i think it also teaches you that the harder you work at something the better you get at it exactly yeah yeah well that’s amazing something i didn’t know about you there tommy was a boxer y’all so uh so you’re in the united states and and uh did anybody in your family speak english or pretty much none of us wow but my brother actually picked out really quick really yes sir wow and that look it’s hard it’s hard to learn another language y’all it ain’t easy i took english in germany yeah i already learned how to speak german yeah speaking croatian little russian and stuff like and i said i don’t need another language i didn’t know we’re going to come yeah you know i passed a great but i didn’t really try to right then we decided to come here and but my brother did learn a little bit but that’s why he picked up really quick interesting and i i took german and uh i think it was middle school or maybe high school i took german one semester and that’s a tough language to learn guts and talk i remember that an expression yeah but that was a tough one for me i don’t know and everybody said you should have took spanish and i wanted something different than everybody else was learning i believe german is harder to learn english because some of those awards i pronounce it yeah yeah hey ladies it’s pete with idaho lane spawn boutique located in walker we offer all things skin care hair care makeup spray tan lashes and more and we have a full selection of clothes and we also do private events from birthday parties bridal showers and more so stop by today and get your queen on making every woman a queen see you soon you ended up here and and the workaholic that you are what’s the first thing you do you go to work and you went to work at benny’s car wash yes sir i went to bed this morning okay yeah that’s kind of a staple in baton rouge been around forever and and uh work there and here is where kind of the transition took place for you and you you moved to another job which you would eventually make kind of your life’s work and that is the restaurant business you started at uh was it uh las palmas yes sir okay yeah for las palmas for six years yeah wow i was like 15 years old stop working for them unbelievable and start out at the very bottom you were a dishwasher a dishwasher and a busboy and then foot runner and then became aware and then i became a shift manager they figured it out yeah they were like tommy yeah he’s a worker and and uh wants to learn and and off you went and you know you’re world famous for for working there because people who i i mentioned now the name tommy stojak they say you know you used to work at a los palmas years ago people still remember you from there yes i i mean water every day and

i met a lot of good people there oh awesome and and probably kind of cut your teeth in the restaurant business there maybe learn some lessons and things that you took with you i learned a lot yeah because that was big education wasn’t just a work for me it was my hobby because i like to work but yeah it’s a big education learning how to do everything that’s how i’d learn how to cook and i was working there for six months stop working the kitchen by myself didn’t even ask me because i wanted to learn i always wanted to learn something if you’re willing to educate yourself that’s how you’re gonna learn if you’re not willing to educate yourself you never will know that’s exactly right 100 and it touched my heart yeah and after that i kept just saying i’m gonna open my own one day and a lot of friends were laughing and then and i was young asking opportunities people told me i’m too young and then my partner he told me yes i give you opportunity i was 19 years old we started looking for locations and i was 21 when we opened in walker yes yes yeah 21. you know uh and you opened in walker but you started looking for the location at 19. so you you had your eye on the ball very early into your adulthood i guess you could say yes sir um i know what i wanted to do since i was kid yeah yeah working with mom and grandma in the in the kitchen right yes sir yeah uh it really pleases my heart when i see people that are doing exactly what they want to do in life and what what they were meant to do because so many people get stuck tommy in those in those positions and jobs in life where it’s not a passion it’s just something to put food on the table and we you know there are times you have to do that and whatever it is to feed your family you do to feed your family but it really really warms my heart when people are in their passion and and every day that you wake up you know you’re doing something that makes you happy right exactly it’s not waking up just go to work for me it’s my hobby yeah that’s my fishing i really i i love people i love uh being uh creating new stuff and i enjoy what i do yes and i do it with my heart all day long love it man love it now uh let’s talk about that location in walker because it took you a couple of years kind of to find what you i guess would classify as the perfect location for you and it you know looking back on it now in the growth in walker it was a genius call i mean that was a great call tommy that because walker has really grown up and come a long way exactly yeah um why walker like we were looking everywhere but then my business partner’s a friend who had a restaurant there he approached us and say he wants to get out yeah and we went and looked at it we said that’s great spot and we took it over and made us some beers fantastic and i honestly i have businesses in different areas yeah but i love walker yeah people are great amazing and i i i’m glad i started in walker first because it’s home it’s home it’s home it was the first one um it is a staple there i can tell you uh i can’t tell you the amount of people that uh that speak so highly of of sombreros and walker um it doesn’t matter where they live even i mean they got people i live in denim i drive to walker to get us some prayers all the time i love it um it’s not only the food although the food is amazing it is the the atmosphere for me is what i like the waiters and waitresses there are nice knowledgeable you can tell they love what they do so it’s kind of a whole package for me it just makes me happy when i go there yeah we had like a little big like one small big family yes yes absolutely and you have a sister so does she run she’s my gm and she’s my left hand right hand at that place yeah sometimes i don’t know how i could do it without her because she’s so amazing yeah wow that’s how i get to go to the other locations or do the charity events or catering because she can be there and helping me in that and she’s she’s amazed she’d been with me that since she was 15 years old no kid and she’s she’s about to be 30. wow yeah our whole life pretty much uh amazing and and you know you bring up a good point in that people are are really the lifeblood of what what you do right yes sir yeah and i’m blessed i really have an amazing great team behind me you know we work good together and without that team what i have in walker it will be sometimes hard yeah do what i do every day to be able uh to do catering charity work and if i wouldn’t have that kind of team i would be stuck there every single day but the reason i get to uh be able to do this other stuff because they’re amazing yes i can depend on them yes so important to the to the business person uh you can have the best concept in the world but if you don’t have people in there buying into it believing in in it that you’re taking care of and and are like family to you um the concept won’t go anywhere because you don’t have anybody to implement it you’re one person you know you can be amazing at what you do and but you can’t do everything by yourself but if you have great team behind you that makes it much easier yes it really does and like i say that is you have a great team there i’ve always had great service at sombreros and i’m sure you know so many people that are listening this right now have as well

tiffany c card with homekey mortgage combines the experience and knowledge you need to make your mortgage loan a smooth stress-free process reach out to tiffany for more information on the vast mortgage programs available in the livingston parish area tiffany c card of homekey mortgage a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast um but let’s talk about sombreros and kind of what you do for those that may may not be familiar yet um it’s mexican fair primarily and uh you have options galore i’ll tell you two of my favorites the shrimp acapulco i love and also the seafood chimichangas yum really love those uh but everything there is good what would you say is the most kind of more popular dishes that you have at suburbs i mean we use all high quality fresh ingredients yeah things made there everything’s amazing but karnazade is one of those big hit yeah everybody loves that but even we have a lot of non-mexican ideas sirloin and that’d be popular too yeah i’m a mexican restaurant hamburger steaks fried shrimp fried catfish chicken alfredo that’s right popular too over there yeah and very important and i’m glad you mentioned that because you know some people they uh everybody has different taste and food as far as what they prefer like or maybe they feel like a steak one night and they’re like i don’t i don’t want to get mexican food tonight well you don’t have to at some prayers what i love about your place is you have options you have a lot of options so if you don’t if you won’t feel like a steak or a filet um no problem you got it if you have a family member once mask and you don’t feel like perfect place to come back that’s right a bunch of options exactly right one thing what makes us different from a mexican cuisine are fair beef in louisiana uh defeated bbus nobody in louisiana can get it except us only your group and his age 21 days and is marinated for 24 hours to 30 hours and it’s totally different it’s really tender it melts melts in your mouth when you eat it i want something right now tommy i’m getting hungry already yeah and and i i will definitely vouch for that and i’ll tell you one of the things about your food uh that is that i not only noticed but is said often is it’s always fresh ingredients you can taste there’s a difference between fresh and not fresh ingredients you can taste make a difference yeah and we do the highest quality freshest ingredients almost every day we got a produce truck comes to the door and everything’s fresh yes and you also do catering as well as as your restaurant you can you can cater events yes sir we do catering events uh weddings parties graduation parties baby shower we offer mexican yup and we offer none a traditional wearing food or non-mexican food and we do all of it perfect and of course on at the end of this video uh in the description section i’m gonna link the website and all those sorts of things so hopefully a bunch of people are going to want to check this out after we’re done and they can just scroll down to the bottom click that link it’ll bring them right to your website where they can see all of the things as that we’re talking about right now on the show and i’m also going to make some things like your catering menu pop up and as we’re talking kind of like the news but not as fancy

now uh you’re rocking and rolling with uh sombreros and incidentally you have a neat little uh truck that uh is wrapped with the sombreros one of those tacos yeah um taco yes which i saw i actually saw you at um at the wine event in the downtown district uh antique district and chef knight yes man that was some good food my wife is still talking about the soup you had chickens yeah she loved it um but you had your vehicle out there and it’s cute y’all have all seen it but uh but tommy’s out you know he he’s out there serving and uh and serving the best soup you’ve ever had in your life and and loving every minute of it talking to people really enjoying that how was that for you it was amazing i’ve been part of the event for a couple years and i love it yeah if i have the time when we do those kind of events i like to do it myself because it makes it more feel special yes 100 and you know it’s interesting about restaurant guys i had big mike on here previously and and uh i was talking to him about it is it’s the only industry where y’all aren’t really like enemies with each other you’re like yo i’ll get along y’all all like each other i love big mike yeah he’s a great guy yeah and and uh i was asking him on the show i said you know do you ever get mad at these other he’s like no man i got to eat somewhere else i you know i i eat in other places too it’s not just big mics that i eat at and so he’s you know he supports other restaurants just just like they support him same at me yeah supporting local you’re local and it’s amazing thing and you know you build a relationship with them too that’s right i like to get to know everybody i like to be friends with any other for me it’s not competition for me it’s a neighbor yeah and i want to be friend with them if that if they need something they give me a call i have it they got it yeah perfect perfect and i love that about about your industry uh specifically so you do the catering at sombreros of course you have any type of food really they would want there on the menu which we’re going to link uh we’re gonna link to this video and uh and so now i wanna i wanna get into your next restaurant which was unes dos tacos which you opened in 2019 i believe yes sir and i was actually at that ribbon cutting i remember i was excited i was like man this is denim springs you know tommy brought one to denim it was there was a lot of talk about uh you bringing a a place to denham springs but before we get into that i want to talk a little bit about uh your giving back nature and uh and all of those sorts of things so you’ve you’ve done a lot for your community which is i believe is important and a great sign of a leader leaders in my opinion are servant leaders would you agree yes i agree and you’ve passed out free turkey meals at one point uh you have fed people at the red cross 400 something people i believe it was i remember reading you fed schools uh and teachers and all those sorts of things i believe you know if you’re part of the community you do those things but even if i don’t have a business whenever i didn’t i used to love to do those things because i do it from my heart yes and i think i don’t think it’s big thing i do i think it’s a small token out of my heart and i love doing it and the more i can do it i love to do it and because i think more people should be part of those things yeah not because i guess something back is because i think it’s the right thing to do 100 you know and especially those people who are in need or what’s going on it’s just i love to be i think sometimes when something happens and i’m right i think is faith because i’ll be able to help someone that’s one of the best feelings ever i have two little girls yeah i teach them now there are five and seven to give back to give that time because i think that’s one important thing to do yeah i agree and and um you know especially i mean i’m sure you feel the same way i do but when you when you reach a point in life where you’re able to do that you you feel so fortunate that you’re even at that point uh you came from humble beginnings i came from humble beginnings and uh we work work work and we get to a point in life where we’re able to do those things and so we want to do those things and and uh it is is really uh a beautiful thing what you do man and and uh and your concept behind it is is what i love the most and that is i just want to do it whether i owned a restaurant or not i’m still going to be out there passing passing out turkeys or whatever and whenever i do most times i never even like put on facebook that i just do right if someone needs it you know they call me if i can help them i will help them yeah yeah great man that’s awesome that’s the best way to put that now let’s talk unos dos tacos so you opened that in 2019 and i was excited i was at that ribbon cutting and let’s talk the concept first little different than sombreros it is literally different we wanted to do the concept for a long time yes and we actually started the first one in baton rouge yes 2019 in march okay and then 2019 in october we opened in ghana yes and actually then i could we started the baton rouge first but that the baton rouge took longer and that’s why it took for denim to open a little bit longer because we didn’t want to open boot at the same time gotcha but the concept is fast food mexican with high quality fresh ingredients it’s not considered just fast food food you get it’s actually higher quality now most of full service uh dining is giving you uh and that’s why that because it’s high quality fresh ingredients everything is made in the kitchen and it’s one of the maybe high quality what you would got it somewhere in a full-service restaurant yeah but he just wanted to do a fast high quality and fast high quality fresh ingredients yeah and and it’s exactly what you get i’ll never forget the first taco i got from there and i bit into it and i’m like oh this is good and you again you can taste those fresh ingredients it it it’s like a party in your mouth it’s just great people when you think about unos dos tacos think about i guess restaurant quality food but in an atmosphere where you can get in and get out and go about your day but that taste is not like a fast food type restaurant taste you know it’s not yeah it’s it’s really just um unbelievable stuff very good yeah we open for breakfast every day and then yeah we’re open for breakfast uh the kitchen comes in makes breakfast but the meantime that’s when they’re prepping over to making the rice be beans fresh the ground beef uh marinating the meat yeah ever the case so they make everything fresh like this by 10 30 when you open they were doing breakfast and the lunch menu is ready too 100 and you know i used to go there when i was still at the paint store i’d go there in the mornings and and get just a ton of breakfast uh burrito type stuff and bring it to the store and those painters would tear that up in about 15 minutes man they’d walk i think they’d come in just to get the food whatever brings them in tommy i’m all for it yes bj pawn and gunn and denham springs wants to buy your wanted gold jewelry gold coins and gold bullion with 30 years of experience operating in the livingston parish area bj palm wants to be your source when selling your gold so stop by bj pawn today for a no obligation offer bj pawn a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast and i want people to notice that diamond so that was 2019 2020 something happened that we’re all familiar with that would affect all of your businesses and that was coveted right yes sir what were you thinking i mean day by day just you know go with the flow yeah be positive be creative and try your best and that’s what we did yes and that word creative is is a focus word and i tell people all the time on this show that you know it’s hard to find kind of a silver lining with covet but if you one thing it forced all of us to do as business owners was kind of innovate what we were doing and come up with a way there’s got to be a way we can still operate and you did that and what did you do during coven i mean we did a lot of different things but first thing i would love to say we are so thankful we have so many supporters yeah they really really came and support us uh especially at a walk location and yes we are so thankful and i want to say thank you to all of them yeah because that touched my heart my family are my employees they came to care my waitresses that came to care help the business and honestly we are blessed to say we don’t have to lay off no one we had all staff kept on we were offering to neighborhoods uh to drop a point pick up with our mini main sombreros yes and and really worked pretty good and then we had the food truck we bought it for catering services yeah but in two weeks and like four or five days into that we put the food truck go to neighborhood to neighborhood and it just it was doing good you know we were contacting neighborhoods facebook pages and uh to see if we can if they want to order five minimal households and uh pick a drop off point pick up and we deliver to them the family packs and that’s a great thing we had the family packs from get go because we created the family packs 2016 when the flood happened to help the victims and we had the same family packs same prices and that we hear that some people knew about it and we put on facebook and we were like so many like family packs where we had four different family packs yeah it was good you know and we were glad we could done that too yes yes and and um you know one thing i remember from that time and of course two industries really got hammered more than any other one was the food industry and the other was the hair dressing industry i mean you know it was tough it was this was tough yeah and one thing you just said which i think speaks to who you are as a person is the first thing you said was we didn’t have to lay anybody off and that’s somebody that’s concerned about their help one thing people need to keep in mind that is is that as business owners you know you care about these people they they they rely on you for paycheck to take care of their family maybe a lot on them too yes because it goes together yes love it golly man i’m learning a lot today i love it yes and it really does and i remember seeing facebook post uh i’m gonna be in xyz neighborhood today and people would people would be fired up man they’d be ready for some food and that’s how you were serving it you were going out there in the food truck and just parking in the front and and uh these people were coming and they were supporting and they were excited to see you um you know coveted was a very strange thing in the in the beginning none of us knew none of us knew you know am i going to breathe on somebody and and you know two weeks to flatten the curve and all these things and tommy just had a positive attitude about i mean you know governor was you know tough yeah but at the same time was a big education too he learned to appreciate everything that you have and how to deal with and you never know when you have something appreciated because you never know when can go away that’s right he can go in in a minute i’d appreciate that because you never know when it can be taken away and that’s a great attitude to have man um so unos dos tacos is is uh how is that restaurant now is it is it uh doing great one of those tacos doing great you know yeah i’m very happy with the concept is he’s doing good could i ask for more you know yeah yeah very good and and it’s for those of you that may not be sure where it’s at it’s it’s by home depot kind of on a russian road right there by starbucks and chick-fil-a crusher free down seafood yeah yeah and uh and just a beautiful building the inside of it very open but uh you can dine in or or you can go through the drive through drive through pickup catering to catering yes just like sombreros and caterers yeah breakfast lunch or dinner breakfast lunch or dinner your ingredients they are good breakfast brisket burrito with egg and cheese i have some picada yummy oh yeah 100 percent

hey everyone it’s jim chapman with local leaders the podcast just want to wish all of you the merriest of christmases and a safe and happy new year we look forward to bringing you the best in content in 2022 from all of our local business owners

you know tommy just like every driven business person you didn’t stop there uh recently you opened city wings in walker yes sir i have been there and i’ll tell you this the first time i went there and i sat down and i bit into that food i thought this is definitely owned by tommy stojak it was good i started having a different partner yeah a local business owner too in walker and me him got together and we started a concept in walker yes and uh we’ve been open three months and we got a young guy running it and he does a really great job fantastic and a little different than what you had done in the past as far as food is concerned tell us about that it’s a little different but over the years i’ve been catering fried chicken you know chicken wings and i do actually do have another restaurant called bayou boys bubble swings and open since 2019 but a lot of people don’t know i did not know oh it’s a uh it said in baton rouge next to or one of those tacos there okay yeah and uh and then we started as i have that with my original business partners yeah when i wanted to start with some barriers and city i mean buy boys public swings by city inside i have it with somebody else and and i like all kind of food me too when you have a passion about what you do uh and you know how to cook you can create any other minions and i like challenge i like to create other items and see what we can do and over the years you learn from experience how you doing man i can do that too and i like chicken wings you know especially watching lsu game chicken wings or basketball game it’s a great place and i said let’s just do one that’s what we did and it is phenomenal uh the response i i remember uh you had put a date on when you were gonna open kind of you i believe you spoke before the city council and you said look we’re gonna be open by this date and i think you even beat did you beat that plan to date or you got close we were going to open the monday i think was uh but we opened a soft opening on a saturday day before hurricane yes but without open sun just open and start opening but we actually did pretty good without open sound without putting on facebook phone calls kept coming and people kept coming in but then a hurricane hit yeah and then we didn’t have to wait till uh we got the power back yeah product and then that’s when we started yes yes and look the buzz was going uh i heard you know several months before you opened that you were opening up another restaurant and and uh i was excited and traveled you know i traveled to walker for several things but uh primarily for me it’s to go eat at your restaurants and now you have two of them and so it don’t matter what kind of mood i’m in i can get a walker and eat thank you and uh just wonderful food the atmosphere there it’s it’s more of a winged style place and and they got kind of high high-tech bar i guess style tables yeah like yeah and and very very fitting for that type of food and small you know dining yep but i always have plenty of room for everyone yes yes i’m right in the heart of walker it’s it’s not far from sombreros just on the other side of the road right not even a mile yeah yeah so uh i definitely recommend of course everybody check out uh city wings and of course just like your other restaurants fresh food right yes so fresh food are actually one makes what makes us different from the boneless drinks a lot of wing places by bone swings frozen pre-cooked we don’t we better them ourselves and we don’t even batter them till you order them same thing with a chicken tenders fried chicken sandwich and a boneless wings it’s fresh made all products fresh now frozen and it’s made everything is done there and here’s the amazing thing uh when you go in there and you kind of realize that when you place your order you know it’s not like they’re dipping out of a thing and it’s it’s ready and here’s your food they’re cooking it there so it’s open kitchen you can see it for yourself yes everything is fried there and everything’s made there and it doesn’t take like forever to get your food that’s the great thing you know people go in there they’re hungry they sing in the food and then they’re like yeah the timing is perfect so it’s it’s uh it’s not like you’re waiting forever for those wings because they got to batter them and do all those sorts of things it’s reasonable amount of time uh so no worries on uh on getting hangry while you’re waiting for food is hey we have an online option too you can do your online weathering in all concepts one of those tacos by uh one of those tacos somewhere errors or sittings we have online ordering you can order it and you get a text message when your foot is ready actually you get text message three minutes before your foot is ready because it gives three minutes to five minutes to pack the waters i love it man that’s great yeah and someone like me i’ve always enjoyed online ordering uh because i can just walk in and and pick it up and you have a choice to pick up curbside there you go curbside service as well because tommy’s always innovating if y’all can’t tell

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very good sir now i want to read a couple of things um that i had asked you in your questionnaire and the first was i asked you what’s what would be something people may struggle to kind of understand about your business and i thought what you wrote was was perfect so i want to read it kind of word for word and you said how much effort we all put in it it’s not a nine to five job it’s constant uh we try to cater to all taste we don’t just do mexican food and we talked about that earlier that if you want that steak you can still get that steak at sombreros no problem matter of fact i’m probably going this weekend and getting the steak but that to me is a huge part of the restaurant business because it’s everybody has different tastes nowadays you know everybody does husband wants mexican the wife wants a steak you know the kids want uh mexican so i mean you can all all get at the same place you don’t have to go five different places love that um another thing i want to read is uh i asked you about leaders and and what your definition of a leader would be thought this was great you said someone that leads by example and is a team player someone who is understanding and advises you to do the best the best and make you feel welcome someone who teaches others what they did before they become a leader i think that’s the key it’s almost like uh you know you’re you’re kind of teaching them your road to becoming a leader and so they have sort of a map there of of uh i used to tell guys that i would manage in my stores i used to say i you know i’m not asking you to do something i would never actually do anything i wouldn’t do and or still not do yeah and or still not due i used to call it find your broom you know leaders find their broom uh i i would sweep those floors just like everybody else if so i still do if i have employees running around even if it’s not packed yes i let them do their job and the floor is dirty i’m going to go pick them myself yes it’s just and that’s a leading by example they’re going to say wow he could do it next time you’re not going to even have to ask them to do it they’re going to do it themselves that’s right that’s right because when they see you do it they’re going to say man if einer’s doing it i mean how can i complain you know what i mean uh so uh i could not agree more with that statement now you have some specials going on i want to mention that are important uh you have a from december 1st to december 24th which this is aaron on the 24th so i’m going to put this i’m going to put this as a after w after you leave today i’m going to put this as a post but uh you can purchase a 50 gift card and you’ll receive a 10 gift card that’s great um and people can always use those gift cards for gifts um i love to give out restaurant gift cards as gifts to people so i’m sure i’ll be there for yourself yeah there you go if you purchase 100 gift cards you’ll receive a 20 gift card that’s exactly what i don’t know and you also have family night every tuesday important to mention tell me about family night family nights we started that since we opened you know families get together two kids eat free for one adult entry dine-in only and we do it all day it’s not just like four to eight or nine yeah from 10 30 in the morning till we close two kids

yeah available you know it’s really nice it’s especially my kids and my wife come on tuesday night even if i work yeah you know and it’s nice to see a bunch of different families together yeah it really is i love that and so there’s still some places out there that you can bring your whole family have a good time get some great food and uh of course your restaurants are are definitely one of those and you you don’t just have the sombreros and walker where where are your other locations do you have a samaras in lafayette we have the summers in alexandria yeah and we have a summers in covington but we had damage yeah through the hurricane right now it’s closed okay in the meantime okay okay but it’ll be open at some point hopefully awesome awesome and how did you come up with the name sombreros i’m we were looking different ideas me and my partners yeah and then we said they had some better it’s perfect actually we started with lots and lots but then we over the years when we started our it was a fourth location yeah 2011 we took the loss off and just made it some bitters because it made it more simple easy sometimes just had a loss and that’s when we just i love it and your branding is good and now we actually you know used to call tex-mex now we have some various mexican kitchen container yeah and you know it has a little bit and that’s something future coming soon he doesn’t know about it but we’re not gonna say it yet something coming amazing in walker i can’t wait well when it comes i will promote it all you want my friend i’ll be happy to do that so look for something amazing coming in walker soon uh one last question so social media um you know it’s kind of become a big deal period no matter what business you’re in but i would imagine for your business it’s really been a tool you can take advantage of yeah you can take advantage of it you know especially your daily uh promotions and we put on facebook or instagram yeah and it helps to remind the people what we have going on because life’s so busy and you forget about it but if you post that daily you remind people to come and then at the same time people share for you and that you get another ones who just moved to the area they don’t know about you and then they come and try it and taking pictures you know and posting it is and gets people to come into the door and stuff like that and facebook and instagram is one of those is is it is you know he helps to just to remind consumers what you about what you have going on because people forget they do they they forget and what you do can be very visual you know you show a good plate of food on instagram believe it or not the number one clicked on image in history of social media is food people click on food and look at it you know sometimes what i tell my cooks it’s not i say people don’t eat with their stomach people eat with eyes first and if that play doesn’t look good they’re gonna think it’s not good already because it doesn’t look good that’s why you always have to make a presentation very important same thing with the picture if their food looks good they’re going to start eating with eyes before they start eating with the tummy that’s man that’s a good one people eat with their eyes and you’re exactly right it has to look appetizing before they before they try it and uh what does your food look advertise appetizing i mean a lot of people do that you know like if if it doesn’t look good i already think it’s not good yes but it’s good but that’s why presentation is really important that’s right and if they see a picture and it looks unbelievably amazing what’s what are they gonna do i gotta have that i wanna go try that you know and and uh man they click on the food pictures and stuff like that so and you do a great job with your social media really getting it out there um and tommy brought up a good point and that is let’s let’s share those posts and because when you share something people that aren’t uh on the say sombreros uh facebook page they’re still gonna have access to that because you all of your friends listeners are gonna see it and some of those may not be on the submarines page so they may never see that if you don’t share it yeah so we we love it when you share uh and it really gets the word out there and helps helps everybody so uh man thank you for coming on and just telling us a little bit i could go on for six hours with you brother

this is why i do what i do i honestly i’m honored honored that you came on and uh i’m honored you invited me to the show thank you so much thank you so much for the invitation but can i say one thing absolutely icelanders or city rings or one of those tacos we really truly care when we say that we don’t just say it we really really mean it and if anybody ever has a issue please let us know that’s only how we can make it right that’s right that’s exactly right merry christmas yes merry christmas and this is everybody you’re watching this on uh december 24th uh christmas eve uh hopefully with your family i wanted this to be an episode where it was kind of an uplifting thing of someone with a lot of positivity and that is who tommy is i think i couldn’t have come up with a more perfect guess to have on there and and really just elated that he came on uh so thank you to all you listeners we’ve had a great here great year here at local leaders of the podcast and it has absolutely nothing to do with me it has everything to do with the guests we have on this show the businesses we have and all we try to do is strive to bring you more information on all our local businesses so that you can make an informed decision on on who these people are outside of their business because some they’re really amazing they’re really amazing people uh there’s nothing in this world like business owners and uh in all the things they do so please check out any past episodes uh as well and we appreciate you for watching this one i want to thank all my sponsors i could not do any of this without all of them that’s that is the facts of that i would i am forever grateful for that so thank you very much to all my sponsors and until next time i’m jim chapman reminding you love your community support local businesses like all the restaurants tommy stojak has and keep leading thank you very much stephanie berthelot and the crew at sr enterprise can handle it all from sheetrock to texture to paint give stephanie a call at 504-432-9284

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