by Karen Hailson Bouvier | Photo By Jessica McCafferty
Issue: May 2022
For fresh-baked rolls ready for honey cinnamon butter hot from the oven every five minutes, steaks chilled to 34 degrees (never frozen) cut by hand on the premises, made-from-scratch sides, salad dressings, and croutons — even the bacon bits are made fresh – ice cold beer, Legendary Margaritas and the crowd favorite — the Big Ol’ Brownie (also made in house from scratch) you need to check out Texas Roadhouse. Combine great food with a family friendly atmosphere and if you haven’t yet donned your best bib and tucker and got a wiggle on to the Roadhouse (or if the pandemic has interfered with your ability to dine in this renowned restaurant), there are even more ways to access its delicious meals.
Since its start in 1993, Texas Roadhouse has served an average of 300,000 meals per day across over 650 locations in the United States and six other countries. That’s impressive considering they only serve lunch on the weekends.
Describing herself as an “Original Roadie”, Local Site Marketer and Training Coordinator Sasha Marsh has worked in the Plattsburgh restaurant since its opening in 2011. Other Original Roadies are meat cutter Nate Kelly and kitchen managers Tony Williams and Nate Southworth. Other members of the management team are Service Managers Jessica Sarraf and Nick Kinsey. “I have a background in several industries,” disclosed Marsh, “so I feel like I bring a unique, comprehensive perspective to the job. By taking a creative approach to every project that comes my way, I am able to use this to inspire the staff and make sure we deliver the best food, atmosphere and service to every one of our patrons.”
Managing Partner, Matt Kelsey has been with the company for 14 years and shares Marsh’s commitment. “I grew up in the restaurant business and fell in love with it early on. The constant hard work and passion prepared me for this amazing company. We have the best culture here built on passion, partnership, integrity, and fun,” he said. “We put our whole heart into everything we do. To quote our founder Kent Taylor, ‘We are a people-first company that just happens to serve steaks.’“
Both Marsh and Kelsey describe their management style as one of coaching. Both take a “hands on” approach to help their employees grow and develop personally with long-term goals in mind. “I lead with respect and motivate, inspire and appreciate our team as much as possible,” said Kelsey.
Coming out of the pandemic, Texas Roadhouse, like nearly every other business, is looking to hire friendly, hardworking and dedicated people to join its current local staff of over 100 employees.
THE PANDEMIC CHALLENGE
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, Texas Roadhouse, like other restaurants, was forced to shut down. “During the months when we could not accommodate diners in-house, we revamped our entire process to provide our guests with the same legendary experience they would have received if we had been open for dine in,” said Marsh. Some of the innovations involved a revamp of the web site, use of cell phone technology and mobile apps, and a remodeling of its physical space. “Even though we are open for dining indoors now, we still do about 14% of our business as curbside,” she observed.
While Texas Roadhouse always offered takeout, the newly designed web site allows patrons to order online and choose a specific time for pick up. Takeout meals are packaged carefully with hot and cold items separated and are placed in the redesigned To-Go Corral. Customers call when they arrive in the parking lot and orders are brought to their car by a Curbside Host. The Plattsburgh parking lot has 12 spaces labeled for Pickup. There is also a Takeout Window where patrons can walk up and order. A text message will notify them when their meal is ready.
While the Roadhouse still uses traditional pagers to summon patrons when their table is ready, a system called “Text Wait” has been instituted. Patrons who prefer to wait in their car while a table is prepared can receive a text message when it is ready.
ONLINE ORDERING: NUTRITION PORTAL
When ordering on line you will find a selection of easy-to-use tools on the Roadhouse’s Nutrition Portal. The Nutrition Calculator allows you to build a meal while showing calorie count and nutrition information. A special menu allows you to identify any allergens (peanuts, soy, fish/shellfish, eggs, sesame, wheat, milk, tree nuts) you need to avoid, and then directs you to safe menu offerings. Gluten Free displays food items that do not contain the protein found in wheat and other grains.
All menu items are pictured and the web site is intuitive to anyone who decides to use it. There is a mobile phone app for cell phone users as well.
An outdoor dining area, currently under construction, will have patio seating for 44 available by the time the weather warms up. Indoor seating can accommodate 240.
Texas Roadhouse partners with various non-profits and charitable groups as well as schools, businesses, churches, and local heroes for various fundraisers, donations and activities. Dine to Donate and Gift Card Fundraisers are the most popular.
Asked what she loves best about her job, Marsh responded, “I love our community. The Plattsburgh and surrounding North Country folks really are the best. Being able to give back and be involved in various community events really is wonderful. “
“We are a family restaurant,” said Kelsey, “and we believe every member of our North Country community is part of our extended family. It is our goal to give back to those who helped shape Texas Roadhouse in Plattsburgh and play an active role in the events that impact the lives of the people we live and work with. “
356 Cornelia Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901