Friends of Schedulefly

Tad Peelen
Owner at Joe's Real BBQ - Gilbert, AZ

I am proud to be a Friend of Schedulefly because they care about independent restaurants in very much the way we care about our employees and our customers. In many ways we are friends with Schedulefly because they remind us a lot of ourselves. When you call our restaurant and need to speak to someone, whether it is an owner or anyone else, you get a human. No phone tree. No long waits with bad music. We like the simplicity of the product, and the caring nature of the staff that makes it all happen. ~ Tad Peelen

When we opened in 1998, we didn’t know exactly what to expect being the first lunch/dinner restaurant in downtown Gilbert, Arizona, but we had quite a few goals. One was to make enough money to treat our employees well. Another was to make our downtown area a destination. We desired to become iconic enough over time to be thought of as the go-to place for special events… that place you simply must take those visitors when they come to town. We have had plenty of failures over the years (BBQ breakfast wasn’t evidently a priority for many), but we managed to score on some of the other fronts. Our insurance broker shakes his head each year at renewal when we tell him we really want to continue to offer a $500 deductible health insurance plan for our full timers. Offering 401(k) with matching was exciting because it let us give a great benefit to our part time and full time employees alike.

I still get excited when I see people celebrating a special event with us every day. Of course it helps that we offer a free birthday meal (we gave out over 29,000 last year), but we also have the pleasure of seeing anniversary celebrants, reunions, and groups big and small getting together to enjoy each other and good food.

As we look ahead to our next 20 years, we are making sure we keep moving ahead rather than resting on our laurels. We are doing all we can to source locally. We got all of the MSG out of the building, and all of the high fructose corn syrup. We loved being a “Coke” restaurant for many years, but love more being able to serve delicious soda with no HFCS. Where we couldn’t find a suitable replacement, we just learned how to do it ourselves. Marshmallows, for instance are nearly impossible to find without HFCS. So we make our own from scratch now. Those little red hot candies that used to add color and flavor to our homemade applesauce can’t be found without HFCS. So we got creative and after we peel a box of apples we now add an organic natural cinnamon for flavor, and a secret organic farm-grown ingredient for that great color. Vanilla prices have skyrocketed, so we’re learning how to make our own. We have some Madagascar beans right now spending time in a bottle of Tito’s and a bottle of Maker’s Mark to see which one might produce the best vanilla for our cookies. Not having to answer to corporate leadership allows us the freedom to experiment like this as much as we want. That’s why we love what we do!

In many ways we are friends with Schedulefly because they remind us a lot of ourselves.

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