Chad Hunter didn't have any restaurant experience when his father-in-law, Tony Torchia, offered him the chance to run one of the family's steak and barbecue restaurants.
Chad Hunter didn't have any restaurant experience when his father-in-law, Tony Torchia, offered him the chance to run one of the family's steak and barbecue restaurants. The job meant moving from his home state of Illinois and embarking on a new career with his wife, Dawn, and her family. The couple accepted Torchia's offer and Chad spent eight months learning the trade. He worked in the kitchen and the dining room and said he had fun doing it. He took over operations at the Reynoldsburg location of the local chain in June 2011. Dawn helps out with marketing and other tasks. The couple said they're proud to keep the family business going. Chad, what's it like taking over your wife's family business? It's hard living up to the expectations. My father-in-law has been doing this for 30 years. A lot of the regulars have been with my father-in-law since day one. Dawn, what are some of your memories of growing up in the restaurant? I remember as a little girl taste testing lots of barbecue sauce and ribs. I remember my mom bringing my sister and me in so she could clean the restaurant. We would be so excited to get a soft drink. Dawn, do your boys (Noah, 4, and Quinn, 2) enjoy coming to the restaurant? They love it. They always get a sucker up front. They love the servers. Our servers have been with us for years. They're like family. Dawn, why is the restaurant a good option for families? We have a great children's menu. Parents can come in, have a steak dinner, enjoy a good glass of wine. It's not a place where you feel like you can't bring your kids. Chad, what have you changed since taking over? We've remodeled the restaurant. We put in new lighting and landscaping. We changed the menu just a bit.