60 Seconds With Casey Smith

by Clay Neely - clay@newnan.com


Casey Smith, Owner, Redneck Gourmet

To what do you attribute the longevity of The Redneck Gourmet?

We’ve adapted to what goes on. We haven’t shoved our concept or our idea down anyone’s throat. We originally started as a little gourmet food store with a deli in the back. My dad once read that if you had a deli, it would increase foot traffic. But honestly it’s just an excuse to feed his buddies. If we try something and it doesn’t work, we try something else. It’s never our way or the highway; it all comes down to what sells. I think we’ve been able to adapt to the clientele and the atmosphere around us. We enjoy what we do but we need our customers to enjoy it too. We have fun with it.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The things I like, the majority of restaurant people probably don’t like. Opening a restaurant is 10 percent food and 90 percent other stuff. Crunching numbers, partner revenue, logistics, taxes, payroll - that’s what I like. That’s the fun part for me and I don’t think that’s fun for a lot of restaurant owners. Of course I enjoy that I get to mingle and talk to the folks but I love to sit behind the desk and deal with vendors and banks.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way as a business owner?

How about my most expensive lesson? Bigger isn’t always better and never listen to your own hype. I jokingly say the regulars pay our bills, but it’s the other people we make our profit on. We’re so grateful for our repeat customers so we do as much as we can to let them know how important they are. We’re very thankful for what we have. Do what you know and know what you do.

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