DESTINATION LITTLE ROCK
In today’s complicated landscape, what type of opportunities do you see moving ahead?
We see opportunity in doing what we know best—surpassing guests’ expectations. Whenever another restaurant fails to care about food quality or guests, they create an opportunity for our brands to differentiate themselves. We care a tremendous amount about the quality of experience our guests receive.
Kindness is on a surge for those who must work. We have also seen that late night business is probably going to take a while to fully recover. Menus need to reflect a variety of price points in order to capture the largest audience, which is why we have options ranging from Delta Style Tamales and frog legs, to Redfish Pontchartrain and filet mignon.
Are you optimistic about how the marketplace has responded?
What’s the secret to creating a “must visit” restaurant environment in today’s competitive landscape?
What’s your growth plan?
What’s today’s consumer looking for in a restaurant?
We are very optimistic and humbled. The response we have received for this restaurant has exceeded what we thought would be possible in this landscape. We will grow organically and only expand as we find opportunities that we know we can execute with excellence. We try to focus on what we’re doing one restaurant at a time and not get too far ahead of ourselves.
What trends are you seeing?
People over the course of the year have seemed far more willing to tip servers well to thank them for working during this time.
We are still trying to figure that out every day. For us, the secret to our success has been imbedding ourselves in the community and doing everything possible to help advance the restaurant scene in our area.
They want a nice ambience, great food, great service and a unique experience that makes them feel better about whatever the price is they pay. We try to deliver all of that with a smile and a thank you.
Tell us what makes your brand so unique?
We strive every day to become better than we were yesterday. We love our people and they love our guests. CK
ONE-ON-ONE WITH... Tyler Lenners, GM, Cypress Social Describe a typical day. There is no such thing. We all have our specific duties and everyday tasks to accomplish, but the most important thing about approaching each day is to have a clear head, a good center and a positive attitude. Every shift brings different challenges and joys, but the one constant is checking in with staff to be sure they’re happy, healthy and set up for success. Also, lots of emails. What’s the biggest item on your to-do list right now? To roll with the punches. Keeping everyone safe and working is our No. 1 priority. Finding new and creative ways to offer delicious food and exceptional service while being flexible and accommodating in a safe and controlled environment— whether our guests are dining in or picking up to go, is on the top of the list.
COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — DECEMBER 2020
What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Being able to provide an emotionally healthy and financially stable work space for a group of fantastic people who feel passionately about not only food and drinks, but standards and quality. We also love to make our guests feel special and don’t miss opportunities to celebrate. What’s the best advice you ever received? Occasionally, the food and beverage industry feels impossibly difficult. At the end of the day, people go out to eat for the experience—for the fun. And while the margins are small and the challenges are mighty, “We’re just serving food and drinks.” Take a second, look at the bigger picture, make the guest happy and move on to rock another day. What’s the best thing a customer ever said to you. “You all are my family.”