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Business // Roundtable
MidWeek Staff

Family Is Good For Business

By Lyle Matsuoka
Executive Manager of Operations, Ruby Tuesday Hawaii

When I took over as executive manager of operation for all Ruby Tuesday Hawaii locations and GyuKaku at Windward Mall, I took it on as a supreme challenge. It is my feeling that the most important aspect of running a national franchise in Hawaii is keeping the local family-run feel while maintaining customer service at the highest levels.

I have had the good fortune to grow up in the restaurant industry. My family owned a couple of local favorites while I was growing up: Pearl City Tavern and Little George’s. My introduction to the food industry began from the back of the kitchen, working my way to the front of the house.

I am proud to say we still have some original workers with us since we opened our first Ruby Tuesday in Mililani nearly a decade ago. Although we are a pretty large-scale operation, I try to instill the values I learned from working in my family’s business. Good atmosphere and good food only get you so far in this business.

Since taking over operations, I have worked with our local ownership to create an even better dining experience and to become more efficient in what we do. We have the best of both worlds by having nationally recognized brands along with ownership that lives here and is part of this community.

This year, we will open our sixth Ruby Tuesday location in Kapolei. We have been able to expand by creating something special for not only our customers, but our workers as well. We consider them our family. Without our great team, we would not be where we are today, and that brings me full circle in the business.

In the end, the most successful businesses are the ones that can keep the family-run feeling. We hope our customers agree.

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