Sunday, April 13, 2008

Here's Johnny!

It seems that Johnny Anderson over at the Bulletin doesn't seem to care much for my diner. He recently visited and commented on a variety of our food one of which was the taco salad. He first complained that it was all iceberg lettuce. I do use a Romaine Iceberg blend and have red cabbage and carrot mixed in with the blend. He commented that I had mushrooms and pinto beans. No mushrooms are used unless requested and I was kind of surprised at the fact that a food expert such as Johnny did not note the difference between pinto and black beans but oh well. Then he went on to mention that the taco seasoned ground beef affected his stomach after he went home.

He commented that their was still no atmosphere in our room but did not look at his table to see the table tent regarding the up and coming room makeover that we are about to have happen.

What bothers me about his articles is not personal (although I will admit that it does hurt to have this kind of thing put out in print) but how it affects the 40+ people in my crew and on our ability to give back to the community.

Our regular customers will not be affected. They eat here all of the time and know of the care that is put into the plates that are placed in front of them. But it is the potential customers who might read his article and from his words decide to not give Jake's a chance. Every business needs a steady stream of potential customers merely because of the change in the community. A great example of that would be the fact that many Bend residents have no idea what Jake's Truck Stop was since they have moved here within the last 3 to 4 years.

I constantly preach to my crew that we have to work harder since we are not on the main road. Our location was considered the worst in town and many felt that we would not last over 6 months in this location. We have now been here three years and have no intentions of going anywhere else.

I hope that in the future that John will look beyond his own bias and see the business for what it is as a whole. How it operates, how it treats it's employees, and most important how it treats it's community.

My crew works hard and they are very stable. I have a couple of them who have been with me since the 80's. They are like family to me. And as far as restaurants go, I firmly believe that we give back more to the community per our income than any other. I don't normally toot my own horn but in the last year, we have given thousands of dollars, food, and services to numerous organizations and needs in this community. Just ask Habitat for Humanity, Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, Vietnam Veterans of America, American Legion, Volunteers of Medicine, The Hospice Center, The Red Cross, Sheppard's House, Salvation Army, and so many more that I have not mentioned. Or the bowling teams, baseball teams, soccer teams, and basketball teams that we have sponsored.

If Johnny's words adversely affect my business, then they will also affect every one of these organizations in one way or another.


Keeneye said...

I was bummed when I read the review, too, Lyle. My husband and I loved dining at your place when we lived in Bend! Don't let it get to you.

Elise Michaels Media said...

Go get 'em, Lyle!! You are one of the most generous, compassionate business owners in our community. And it's not just the food that people come in for, it's you and your crew and what you are all about. You rock.

Bend Oregon Restaurants said...

I wonder how many people actually listen to Johnny. Sure his articles are read but do people actually listen to him? I have not had one commentor or email that thought his opinion was worth anything.

I know your menu is huge, but are you known for your taco salads? I go to Jake's for the Burgers if I want lunch or for a massive omlette or pancakes for breakfast. I would be willing to wager that the Taco Salad is one of the least purchased items.

This is the kind of crap that really pisses me off with so called restaurant reviewers. You don't go to a truck stop and order a flippin salad. What a tool.

You know that I'm a fan of yours Lyle, not just because of the food and service but because of all that you do for the community. I'm in awe and how much you and your crew give back. I can't wait to see the new digs on the 26th.

Keep your head up and don't sweat Johnny, no one else does.

Bend Oregon Restaurants

Bend Oregon Restaurants said...

You know what else ticks me off Lyle, that the bulletin has the amazing looking burger of yours next to an awesome breakfast plate right. Well, they use that same photo of your burger in the intro to JC's bar and Grill. That annoys the mess out of me. Do they even use plates at JC's? I know the burger I got from there was served in a basket.

Johnny!!!! ARRRRGH!!!


Anonymous said...

"Journalists" don't care about silly things like "facts" and "accuracy." Even psuedo-journalists like food critics.

I wouldn't fret too much--Jake's is an institution. Everyone knows it and everyone knows the high caliber of service and food quality.