A few months ago, the folks who run the Austin franchises of Rudy’s BBQ stopped by our office to give a presentation about their business practices and culture. I have to admit, my jaded ass was and is pretty skeptical of any such presentation. But I came away a convert. The key moment for me was when someone from frog asked them a question related to cost. The main man’s reply: “All that matters to us is excellence. Making money is not important to us if we’re not achieving excellence.”
Talking about “excellence” may sound like typical corporate boilerplate, but there aren’t many corporations that would be willing to truly trade excellence for profit. They instantly earned my respect. I was willing not only to give Rudy’s a second look, but also their other creation: Mighty Fine.
If you’ve ever read this blog before, you may think I eat nothing but cheeseburgers. Lately, that’s not far from the truth.
One of their big things is cleanliness. Check out the burger supply room: it’s like an OR.
For some reason, all of their marketing refers to “quality,” but when they were talking to us, it was “excellence.” For some reason, I like excellence better. And in other news, I’m going bald.
This is the hand washing machine they have at both Mighty Fine and Rudy’s locations. It’s like a hot tub for your hands.
Milkshakes might be the perfect food. There’s nothing that tastes better going down, or that makes you feel worse after. But every bloated second is worth it.
The goods. It’s actually much bigger than it appears here. These burgers just scream fresh. Or maybe it’s that view of the back room that screams fresh. Either way, this stuff is good.
I want to love the crinkle cut fries. They make a big deal out of the fact that they’re fresh cut. Apparently, that’s rare for crinkle cut fries. And don’t get me wrong, they’re good. I just wish they were a little thicker.
It’s impossible to argue that this place has the Austin charm that I fell in love when I moved here. It really does feel like a chain, even though these guys are adamant about not franchising (because it would compromise their excellence, naturally!) But I absolutely love this place. True, I may have never even visited had I not met the people who run it, but after meeting them and actually venturing in to the place, I’m willing to get past the chain vibe and just enjoy the excellence.