I had the great pleasure of interviewing power couple Pat and Gina Neely for The Suit Magazine! They are so nice and wise! The Neely’s dish about their booming business and what it’s like to work with your spouse 24-7. Check it out below!
The Restaurant Business
TUESDAY, AUG. 21, 2012 – BY MONICA LINK
Family is the secret ingredient to the success of restaurateurs Pat and Gina Neely. Like many hopeful entrepreneurs, the Neelys began with a small family-owned business, but they eventually turned it into a seven-figure dream come true. The Memphis-based couple has built their love for food and cooking into a growing chain of barbecue restaurants, a popular line of cookbooks and a top-rated TV show on the Food Network, “Down Home With the Neelys.”
The Neelys opened their first restaurant in 1988. It started out with Pat and his brother. Pat learned about the business by working for his uncle as a teenager, and by working for McDonald’s after he graduated from college.
He met Gina for the second time at his 10-year high school reunion. The two had gone to the same high school, but had never known each other very well. Shortly after the reunion, they began dating and got married. Once they began having children (two daughters), Gina began working at the restaurant.
“It was hard for us to get time off at the same time and take vacations,” Pat said. “We thought, hey, maybe if we work together, we can attend events with our children and be more involved in their lives,” When Gina, who previously had worked in the banking industry, came into the restaurant, and she bought a fresh perspective to customer service, catering and administration.
As an outsider in the restaurant business, Gina had first underestimated how much hard work was involved. “If you’re thinking about going into the restaurant industry, be very sure that’s the industry you want to be in,” she said. “The first two weeks, my back and my feet were killing me. I was used to sitting at a desk. Being on my feet and walking around all day was a huge adjustment for me.”
Read the full article HERE: http://www.thesuitmagazine.com/top-stories/21788-the-restaurant-business.html