Sinking plenty into the experience

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March 24, 2016 9:50 AM

Tasty K's employee Stacey Braun puts on the final touches as she serves up one of the shop's sandwiches Tuesday afternoon.

In these economic times it can be a roll of the dice as to whether or not making an investment in business operations will work out in the owner’s favour.
At Tasty K’s they do what they can to keep their customer base happy, even if they have to sink money and time into making the eating experience better for just one menu item.
“I just started making bread for our own subs and mixing dough for our new sub pan we got designed for a short-wide sub bun,” said Paul Callan, co-owner of Tasty K’s at 5008 39 St.
“Because our other sub bun, everything used to fall off the bun, so I actually spent quite a bit of money getting custom pans built for a short-wide sub bun.”
He was supposed to get an Italian bakery in Edmonton to do the dough balls and they were just about ready, but as luck would have it the place burned to the ground about a month ago.
It wasn’t customer complaints that prompted Callan to address the bun issue, he could see the sandwiches falling apart with his own eyes while people tried to eat them in his restaurant, so he took it upon himself to build a sturdier foundation for them.
And by the time the bakery in Edmonton burnt down, too many people were expecting the change, so now Callan goes into work early to mix the dough himself.
“It’s going pretty good — it’s a lot fresher product and you can’t beat fresh product, right? So I’m in at 5 or 6 a.m. to make fresh dough,” he said.
“It’s going well so I picked up some rye flour; we’re looking at doing a rye bread here to add to the sandwich menu.”
This is just one example of how the restaurant tries to go above and beyond for its customer base, who have been fairly steady despite the downturn.
Callan said things have slowed down though, but all things considering the donair and sandwich shop is keeping its head above water.
A pretty big customer base is one of the things he attributes to this as well as the length of time they’ve been in business.
Tasty K’s opened roughly 12 years ago after Callan and his family took over a Blimpie sub shop and converted it into what it is today.
It took a long time to get moving in the beginning and Callan said it took about seven years before they really even turned a profit.
It was the simple fact of not wanting to see the place fail that kept the shop going in those years as well as Callan’s mother, whose work he attributes to most of Tasty K’s success.
He calls her the Queen of K’s and according to Callan she’s worked six days a week since the very start, which has gone a long way in keeping the doors open.
“We just make everything fresh everyday; we cut all of our vegetables everyday and that hasn’t changed since we started,” said Callan, then added the old adage of the customer is always right.
“Listen to ‘em and if they want something, then give it to them; they’re always right as far as I’m concerned and if they say they got to have something on their sandwich, I’m not going to argue—just replace it.”
It’s important to exceed customer expectations, said Callan, because there are a lot of other options when it comes to dining out.
It’s the hungry public that keeps his employees working and he said if they aren’t treated like gold, things aren’t going to work out for the business.
As for his customers, old and new, Callan laughed and said, “Keep coming, try us out and we’ll try to make ya happy. If you have a problem let us know, we’ll try our best to fix it.”

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