Darren Warth
Darren Warth

Last week, I told you why we decided to open a business and why we feel it’s been successful. Evidently, the formula is working. Our main restaurant north of Des Moines has grown 25 percent from 2010 to now. And our catering business has just exploded. It grows from 30 to 50 percent every year and we’ve actually had to expand twice because of that in our current location. We added another 2,000 sq. ft. of kitchen and more banquet space to seat an additional 90 people.

About our Clientele
Our claim to fame is high quality food, served very quickly. We don’t put anything on our menu that can’t be served in four or five minutes, from the time it’s ordered to the time it’s delivered to the customer’s table. Weekends are a little different, like when you have one person order for 10 people, but if we get up to 13 or 14 minutes, we’re having a total conniption, because people just don’t have time today.

One might say we have a blue-collar clientele, because we have more pick-up trucks in our parking lot at noon than anywhere else in the city, but I think our casual atmosphere appeals to all kinds of people. We’re a fast, casual place where customers can get good quality, economical food.

Harley Riders and Grandmas
We an interesting mix of people! We might have four Harley riders sitting at a table next to a grandpa and grandma with the grandkids, and everybody just meshes together. We joke about it. We have a friend who is a chef. She says, “Smokey D’s is the best place to go for a first date, because I know if it doesn’t work out I’ve got Darren and Shad right there to take care of me and I feel safe. And another advantage if it doesn’t work out: there are enough pick-up trucks in the parking lot that I have a good chance for a second one!”

We hope you’ll stop in and see us if you’re ever in Des Moines – we’d love to meet you! Next week, I’ll tell you what I enjoy cooking the most.