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Recipe for Success From a Restaurateur Dad

Recipe for Success From a Restaurateur Dad

We’re celebrating and toasting to all the father figures out there this month. From the dad flipping burgers in the backyard on a sunny afternoon, to the dad tucking in his kiddos, to the dad teaching ABCs and 123s, we have a lot of gratitude to send their way!

Chris Simms, our CEO and fearless leader, recently became a dad for the fourth time. The proud father is a rock star for overseeing our restaurants and also making sure his kiddos receive plenty of hugs and cuddles. Trust us, there’s A LOT of them.

While we’d like to think that sugar, spice and everything nice creates the Chris we know, his family history is the cherry on top of his journey from restaurateur to restaurateur-dad. He truly learned from the best. Chris has been involved in the restaurant biz all his life, coming from a line of restaurateurs who were dads too. We can only imagine all the great advice they had to share.

So, what does it take to be a super dad who was inspired by a lineage of other super dads? We sat down with Chris to learn a little bit more…

Your father, Tom Simms, started Mimi’s Cafe, which quickly expanded to 150 locations. What’s your favorite piece of restaurant advice he ever gave you?

My dad used to take me to work at Mimi's Cafe when I was little. I would wash the dishes or be a busser. His biggest piece of advice was that in the restaurant business, you can learn something from every person in the company.

The first thing he would do when he walked into a Mimi's was immediately go to the dishwashers and say hello and ask them if they needed anything. From there, he would work his way through the kitchen and then through the front of the house, checking in with every teammate. He always walked away with new insights and ideas. It taught me such an incredible lesson about how important each and every person is to running the restaurant.

What’s something your grandfather Arthur J. Simms used to say, that your dad now says?

My dad used to tell me that when somebody comes to work every day, they have the intention of doing great things. We should just let them do their job and encourage and support them along the way. So many people discount their teammate’s ability to do great things, but my grandfather was a huge believer in the power of the person and their goodwill. I would say that's probably a big similarity between my grandfather and my father.

You have three daughters. What is your favorite part of being a girl dad?

Oh my gosh. My favorite part of being a girl dad are the hugs and the cuddles. 100%. It’s the best thing ever!

You also have a newborn son — congratulations! What advice would you give to someone about to become a first-time dad?

The biggest piece of advice I can give is to not take any of the time with your children for granted. I’m watching my oldest daughter, Molly, go off to college this year, and at the same time, I've got a new baby boy. It’s so crazy how time flies. Make sure you're there, make sure you're present and make sure that you just appreciate every minute with your kids.

What is your favorite way to spend the day off with your kids?

I love cooking with my kids. We spend time baking and BBQing together…so much fun! We also love going to the beach and just enjoying the time together.

What is the best part of working with your dad?

It’s really the relationship that we’ve built over the years. You know there’s this father-son relationship that you have when you're younger. When you start working with your dad, that relationship is shaped into an incredible partnership. I think my favorite part is just how incredible my relationship with my dad has been over the years.


Quick Fire Answers

Favorite family activity: Cooking

Favorite family movie to watch together: Elf

Favorite movie character dad: Clark Griswold

Favorite go-to dad drink: IPA

Favorite family vacation: Jackson Hole

Favorite sport to play together: Volleyball

They say any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad. So, this blog goes out to all the dads and father figures who are always there for us, loving us and teaching us how to be extraordinary just like them.

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