The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen just won a Totally Awesome Award for Fabulous Family Eats in San Francisco. We recently spoke to them about their experience as a business owner, the best advice they’ve ever received and more. Hear what they have to say below!
Red Tricycle: Your community recently voted you “Most Fabulous Family Eats” – what do your customers value most about your business?
American Grilled Cheese Kitchen: We serve our community every day of the year, and deliver a beloved, quality – Grilled Cheese! – product made from scratch the way it has been since we opened our doors in 2010.
RT: What do you want people to know about your business that they don’t already know?
AGCK: We are entirely owner operated by a husband and wife team. Our ingredients are prepared in house, and we source locally and only use natural, organic, and preservative free products. We love what we do and are passionate about getting a smile from everyone who joins us for a meal.
RT: How did your business get started and what was the motivation?
AGCK: Heidi, our co-owner, was a national grilled cheese champion! She literally wrote a cookbook on grilled cheese (you can buy it from our website, at our store, or on Amazon or at fine retailers). Nate, her husband and co-founder, decided to help Heidi open her dream business, a grilled cheese focused restaurant, after the two of them lost their jobs in the great recession of 2008. We have built our business ourselves in San Francisco, and continue to operate it every single day.
RT: Tell us, what do you start your morning with: 1. coffee 2. tea 3. mimosa 4. water 5. all of the above.
RT: What is the most awesome thing a customer has ever done for you?
AGCK: They painted a picture of Heidi and Nate, in a magical world of grilled cheese and comfort foods. They framed it and gave it to us!
RT: What is your biggest pet peeve as a business owner?
AGCK: When other similar businesses use marketing, apps, and gimmicks to create demand; when what they actually do/ deliver does not meet what they say/market/promise. It hurts the industry, and true mom n pop operators.
RT: How do you keep your stress levels down?
AGCK: We exercise regularly, spend time with our family, and time with our dogs.
RT: What’s your secret superhero power as a business owner?
AGCK: Cleaning! We love cleaning every crack and corner in our restaurant. It’s essential when you’re offering a unique and inviting experience to keep your restaurant pristine.
RT: Tell us, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received (as a parent or business owner)?
AGCK: Trust your children, trust your staff. Give them the chance to make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes.
RT: How about the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
AGCK: A grilled cheese restaurant is a bad idea.
RT: Is there a special offer you’d like to include for Red Tricycle readers?
AGCK: 10% all orders! Just tell us you found us on Red Tri.
Check out their website here.
Photo credit: The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen