family values

Our Dining Room Circa 2015

We’re a family at heart

Memphis Fire Barbeque Company was founded on strong community and family values.  Generations of the Popp family have been hard working, get it done at all cost folk.  That is something that Steve and Lori are proud to not only maintain with our generation but in our kids and staff alike.

There is a saying around here, that anyone “long-in-the-tooth” understands, “We gave up on easy a long time ago.”

The one value we prize most is our sense of “Fairness”.  This extends to every aspect of our business.  We don’t ask more of our staff that we do ourselves, we compensate them with a work/life balance and time away from work that is above the industry norms and we provide a corporate structure that is above reproach, rooted in proper governance, accountability, and compliance.

why is the restaurant themed like a vintage diner?

It’s about a sense of belonging, value wise.

In the 1950’s good food was everywhere, all made from scratch.

As the years passed, until now, food quality overall has become mediocre and service has become disingenuous.  Back in the day, it didn’t matter where you ate, or what you ate, if you paid someone to make you food, chances are they actually cared about what was served.

That’s what we try and preserve here.  You’re not a customer, you are our guest.  You are respected, the second you come into contact with us, and we treasure that you chose to support us by eating here.

We might do things different than the rest, but we believe that sets us apart for the “right” reasons.

We’re not the cheapest place because we value our commitment to high-quality food made from scratch.

We’re not the “in” trendy place, doing the super modern food seen in magazines and on Pinterest, because that’s not who “we” are as Chefs.

We really like our staff, they’re great people and we put them first, way before our bottom-line.  We do this because they are our extended family.

Ethics before Dollars, Pride in the Craft before Convenience and Family Above All Else.

That’s why it’s a 50’s themed room, because

“When You’re Here – You’re Home.”


Respecting Your Fellow Guests…

From the day we opened, the guest experience has been at the soul of everything we do.

As the years past and our following grew, we struggled with how to ensure that we provided an opportunity to enjoy our food that was fair to everyone who wanted to come and eat. In the beginning, through year three, we took a few reservations and tried to accommodate large parties of more than 14 people.

As with most things in this modern society, a majority of our reservations “no-showed” or worse were hours late and expected us to keep a table for them.

As customers patiently waited and looked into a dining room full of empty tables they could be sitting at, it was clear to us as a family that we needed to stop taking reservations.

From that time on, we have graciously welcomed everyone who wants to enjoy our food to arrive and be sat as soon as possible.

No matter how many guests or how far they’ve driven to be here,

Everyone has the same fair opportunity to dine with us


The Popp Family’s Views on Alcohol and Profit

At Memphis Fire Barbeque Company we pride ourselves on putting community safety before profit.  Our R.A.S.P. policy contravenes every revenue strategy used within the restaurant industry, but we knew when we opened we couldn’t operate any other way.

Most, if not all, Full-Service restaurants do not limit the amount of alcohol they serve to customers other than by following guidelines laid down within the parameters of their liquor license.  Most restaurants rely on high-profit liquor and beer sales to keep their bottom line within their revenue targets, with the industry average being 25% to 30% of their total revenue coming from alcohol.  A bar adjoining the dining room is not being used just for guests to wait, it is the area of the restaurant that drives most of their profits.

Conversely, At Memphis Fire, we believe that the food we serve is the most important reason to come here.  Unlike other restaurants within our sector, as mentioned above, our percentage of revenue from Beer and Wine was 3% in 2015.

We know that if we served more alcohol, we would have larger profits, our business would be more secure and we would have investors looking to put a Memphis Fire in every major city. But at what cost?

We don’t believe in doing business that way.  We realize that eating at Memphis Fire costs a bit more than at our competition, and we hope you now understand why.

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