‘It was the most depressing day’: How Joe’s Gourmet Foods became a viral hit
A few years ago, Joe’s gaurantee foods would have been an outlier.
A popular restaurant chain with a massive online following, the eatery was established in 2009 by three brothers, Joe and Michael.
But over the last decade the company has taken off in ways not seen before, thanks to its wildly popular celebrity chef, James Beard Award-winning chef Joe Gourmet, and its own line of gourmet products including burgers, sandwiches, pies and even hot dogs.
Joe’s has now earned nearly $100m (£63m) in revenues, according to its latest financial results, with sales of $7bn in 2014.
The company also has a strong presence in Australia, where it operates a food centre in Port Macquarie and has a presence in New Zealand.
The chain’s celebrity chef is James Beard winner and winner of a Peabody Award.
Its signature product is its burgers, a classic American hamburger topped with mayonnaise and pickles.
“Joe’s Gourmands brand is all about great burgers, great food and great people,” said James Beard award-winning cook Michael Beard, who founded the company with his brother Michael in 2012.
“The restaurant business is a business where you have to get that first step right.”
It’s been a tough couple of years for Joe’s, with the chain seeing its market share drop from 75 per cent in 2014 to around 12 per cent now.
But the brand is still growing.
In the first three months of the year, sales of its gourmet burgers increased by 17 per cent.
That’s an impressive figure considering Joe’s had just two years to figure it out.
“We’re just trying to keep growing and getting more customers,” said Michael Beard.
“It’s been hard on the guys.
I know it’s hard on our business and our business is not good.”
The brothers said they have always been big fans of their family-owned restaurant and have always worked hard to keep the business growing.
“When we started Joe’s we had one burger and one chicken and a half, and we were able to do that in five years,” said Mr Beard.
And while they have made some changes to the way they serve food, the brothers insist they still treat their customers with respect.
“There’s no secret recipe.
We’re not hiding anything,” said Joseph.
“I don’t care if you think it’s great or not.
I don’t want people to get upset.
We want them to be satisfied.
I’m not here to make you happy, I’m here to feed you.”
What is the company’s business model?
“Joe is the family business.
We take care of our food,” said Joe.
“Everyone is in on it, every employee is in it, we all get paid the same amount.”
Joe’s says its burgers are served to people in all walks of life, with customers from all walks and ethnicities.
It offers a range of foods, including burgers and sandwiches, from a range.
It also sells frozen pies and frozen pizzas, which are also served in the freezer.
The brothers say their restaurant is family-friendly.
“Our food is always family-first,” said Jacob.
“If you come to Joe’s and you want to have something, that’s what we do.
We don’t make you feel like you’re making yourself.”
But for the family-run business, there are other challenges.
“One of the challenges is how to pay our employees.
Our staff make about $15,000 a year, but the pay for our kids is $15 an hour, so it’s really difficult,” said brother Michael.
“That’s really hard on them.”
“They do get a lot of the things that we do, but it’s just hard to pay them,” said his brother Joseph.
But even with the challenges, the family has kept the family ethos intact.
“What we do is a family-based business.
Every day we have a meal together,” said their father, Michael.
For many customers, it seems, the difference between Joe’s burgers and their local chain is not a big one.
“In some ways, the Joe’s burger is better,” said one customer.
“They’re a bit bigger and have more cheese and pepper,” said another.
But many others say they don’t mind.
“You can have a Joe’s with a Big Mac,” said a customer.
And, in fact, one customer who stopped in on their lunchbreak said she did not mind.
But, she said, “it doesn’t taste like Joe’s.”
But the brothers say they want their customers to know their family business is family, too.
“As long as we’re good, I think we’re all good,” said Matthew.
“So, yeah, it’s family.
We love the family and