Photo by Gord Goble
RESTAURANTS HELP SERVE UP COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Photo by Gord Goble
Stephen Krawchuk, owner/operator of the Ladner and Tsawwassen McDonald’s says now more than ever, residents have to support their local businesses.
Photo by Gord Goble
Darren Gates knows the need for survival and business success is providing customers with a first-class experience every time they walk in the doors of Mario’s Kitchen in Tsawwassen.
Quality food made to order and a loyal clientele have made Bombay Joes a fixture in Ladner Village.
Photo by Gord Goble
PART FOUR OF A FOUR-PART SERIES
ocal restaurants are not just serving up quality food and service — they are also serving up a healthy dose of community support and a commitment to their customers. Supporting local eateries is just another way of shopping local in Ladner and Tsawwassen. By doing so, you are not only taking advantage of the many wonderful restaurants close to home, but you are helping those restaurants employ local folks, who in turn also spend their dollars locally. But restaurants can’t just sit back and expect a hand out or support. You have to earn that trust and support by offering quality food, quality service and a modern restaurant that will be pleasing to diners. It’s a philosophy that Randy Kaiser and his staff at White Spot are looking to achieve everyday. “What we have to do as a group of business owners, especially here in the centre of Tsawwassen, is we have to look at how we take care of our customers. We have to continue to improve how we do things, our customer service has to be better, and we have to have a clean and renovated restaurant,” said Kaiser. “We’ve been a bit complacent to be honest with you and that is something we can’t do right now. To get Tsawwassen to grow and to succeed we have to be on top of those things.” Kaiser, like so many business owners, also feels that supporting local charities, sports groups and service organizations is just part of being a good, communityminded citizen. “We have to be proactive and give back to them because they have been loyal to us over the years,” he said. “The new mall has opened up and there are new restaurants in the community, but we have to do something — we have to give back. So we are doing
A great family atmosphere and giving back to the community are just a few of the hallmarks of success for White Spot Restaurants.
a renovation and going to clean up the restaurant, make sure our service is A-one and our food quality is second to none and take care of all those things. That’s what we are all about — families and giving back and it’s why White Spot has been around for 87 years.” Darren Gates, who along with his wife Liz, own Mario’s Kitchen in Tsawwassen. They moved to the community to open their business and raise a family in a great community. They are invested in the community to try and provide for their family and feel very connected. “Our industry is very interactive and connected to your customer base, so you have to have that feeling of community,” he said. “We are in the business of providing what the customer wants. If there is a relationship behind the transaction that enhances the quality of it and the likelihood of that transaction continuing.” With 65 employees, all local, and many long-term, Gates knows the need for survival and business success is providing customers with a first-class experience every time they walk in the doors. “I don’t think up until now people have had to make conscious decisions to keep money in the community, but that is usually the out-
come as the landscape has changed. I think part of the experience of local business is you feel good about the environment because there is a relationship and a familiarity to it,” he said. McDonald’s Restaurants in Ladner and Tsawwassen proudly gives back to the communities they serve. Whether it’s a local sports group, helping athletes or assisting non-profits, McDonald’s is always giving back. “I support as many things as people will pick up the phone and ask for,” said owner/operator Stephen Krawchuk. “My hope is that these new businesses will support the town in those ways too. People just participate in things here, which makes living out here quite unique and I would hate to see that change.” And because the business landscape is changing, he said now more than ever, residents have to continue to do their part by shopping local. “One thing my wife and I have talked about is that we will go out of our way to support the local merchants to ensure that they don’t fail. We will probably support them more than we did before and that’s a way that we can support the local community,” he added. Bombay Joes has been in
business in Ladner for six years. They have been a success due to fresh, made to order dishes, quality service and a loyal customer base. “No question we would not be here without our local customers. They keep coming back every day,” said Ranjit Sidhu. “It’s a safe, warm and welcoming community and that’s huge. The community has embraced us and we are a success because of the community.” Listening to customers, sourcing local products and offering a real hometown feel are just a few of the hallmarks for success for Louise Greene and the RiverHouse Restaurant in Ladner. “Supporting local means sustainable, vibrant communities,” said Greene. “My employees are all local and all give back and we encourage them as well to shop local and support small business. I think it’s important that we are all supporting each other and keeping our small businesses in business. “Ladner is still a community — has a real community feel and I think most people that are here would like to see it stay that way, so anything that you can do to support local business is a great idea.”