More than a sandwich, Schlotzsky’s is a place to bring the whole family

By Peggy Laizure

The Moore American

MOORE — Moore High School graduate David Jones was working for PepsiCo in Texas when they wanted him to transfer to New York. He was homesick and ready to try something else.

“I came back because I love Moore,” Jones said.

Jones looked at Popeye’s and CiCi’s Pizza but couldn’t sell something that he didn’t think he could eat every day.

Once the decision was made, Jones worked at a couple of Schlotzsky’s for 18 months to “see what they were doing right, what they were doing wrong and how we can improve.”

Jones moved his family back to Moore on Dec. 11, 2010. He opened the Schlotzsky’s and Cinnabon at 631 SW 19th St. on June 4. He has employed 50 people in the area and will continue to grow this number as he opens five more stores in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Yukon and Midwest City. A percentage of coffee sales will go to the local Habitat for Humanity.

Chris Jones, David’s wife, works at the restaurant as do his three daughters and son.

“When you walk in you will see a family member,” David Jones said.

Jones has four children who attend Moore schools and the University of Oklahoma and wants to invest in the young kids of the area and help grow a safe environment for them to learn and develop. He displays high school art at the restaurant and has built a long hallway for the art.

“My children are learning the value of hard work and how to interact with people,” Jones said. “They are learning a skill and you can’t buy that.”

And he treats his customers like family and realizes there is more to running a successful business than great food. He said you also have to have a good atmosphere.

“Our customers are No. 1; associates, No. 2; and we are No. 3,” he said. “People don’t eat at home anymore. This might be the only time they will have an opportunity today to sit down and eat with their kids and family.”

And Jones believes in his product.

“Our sandwiches are so incredible,” he said. “You can’t replace the bread.”

Besides the sandwiches and Cinnabon, Jones sells made-to-order salads, cookies, soup, cakes and pizza.

“Our pizza is different because we make it with the same sourdough bread as our sandwiches,” Jones said.

You won’t find a sandwich warmer or already made up salads at Schlotzsky’s and Cinnabon. When a customer orders, the kitchen starts.

The restaurant opens at 10 a.m. but employees come in at 5 a.m. to cut vegetables and “bake the bread from the yeast up,” Jones said.

“You will never come to my restaurant and find prepackaged food,” he said. “I may lose some business because we’re not quick enough but that’s OK.”

His pizza goal is to have the drive-through order ready within four minutes.

“We want you to have an enjoyable experience,” Jones said. “We have a great product, wonderful atmosphere and wonderful employees. This is a designation, not just a sandwich.”

Source: The Moore American

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