Bud’s Chicken & Seafood is a restaurant chain headquarter in Palm Beach County, Florida but make no mistake this family run business is built on Fine Food Served Fast with a family friendly service that has keep customers coming back 56 years.
Regular readers know we have twice before featured Bud’s Chicken & Seafood in articles by our GrocerantGuru™ and on Foodservice Solutions® blog here is how The Palm Beach Post tells there story:
As a teen-ager, Mark Brinkman smelled like chicken as he spent his high school years heading straight to work after school to help out at his father’s take-out restaurant. Now at 54, Brinkman is one of the brothers in charge of Bud’s Chicken & Seafood, a Palm Beach County family-owned restaurant chain that has been serving chicken and seafood to Palm Beach County since 1957.
In the late 1970s, the Brinkman brothers — Mark, 54, Mike, 62, Tom, 57, and Tim, 52 — took over the chain after their father and founder Bud Brinkman passed away. “I think it was expected of us,” said Tim, who started working with his brothers at the age of 12. “You knew what you were going to do.”
And for five decades, the three generations – founder, sons and now grandchildren — have cultivated a profitable business that has outlived other restaurants and economic crisis. Today, Bud’s has seven locations. “The size of our restaurant has changed, the layout has changed, but people keep coming back for the food,” said Mark. Larry Kimball, 70, has been going back once a week for 55 years.
“I remember that store like it was yesterday, small, crowded and hot because they cooked right behind the counter,” said Kimball. “I have loved their chicken since the first day.” Rachel Alberto, a customer of 30 years, said the restaurant has something more than just great food. “It’s family oriented,” said Alberto, 46, who had her first job at Bud’s as a cashier. “They are good people.”
The company has decided to keep the chain local and not expand outside of Palm Beach County or beyond their control to be able to retain consistent food and personal service. “We like to be able to go to any restaurant any day of the week and visit [our] employees and customers,” said Mark, who has turned down offers to franchise and still uses original recipes and most of the same suppliers.
Bud’s has been making the same cocktail and tarter sauce from scratch for more than 50 years. And while the price of goods goes up and down regularly, Mark prefers to maintain their quality. Staying true to its menu remains a priority for the family business that started off selling four-piece chicken dinners for $1. Today, that same dinner is $8.49.
“The temptation is always there to go to cheaper product or ingredient to save money,” he said. “But we don’t want to mess with the bread and butter of the business. Fifty years later, that’s the reason they still come to Bud’s.”
Success does leave clues and Bud’s is one of America’s restaurant success stories. When locals are Ready-2-Eat or they head to Bud’s Chicken & Seafood. Bud’s is an example professional a family run company can be. With consistent quality, customer relevance edified with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food served with a family friendly focus works.
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