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East Texas restaurant one of few fully staffed

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Some East Texas businesses continue to have problems finding employees, especially restaurants, but one Longview business has overcome those obstacles, and the odds of opening during a pandemic.

While most restaurants still have employee shortages, Judd’s Downtown Cafe’ in Longview is fully staffed, and is drawing good crowds every day.

“The food was delicious, I enjoy dining outside,” said one customer.

The owner-operator opened at a time when you wouldn’t think he would have, in August 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. Owner Judd Burns decided to throw caution aside.

“Yeah, a lot of people thought we were a little bit nutty. We opened right in the middle of COVID. Not a great idea, but it has worked out well for us,” Burns says.

Then after opening, finding employees became difficult.

“It’s still difficult. We do have full staff in the front of the house,” Judd says.

He offered no signing bonuses, rather a chance to get in on the ground floor of a business he knew would succeed using a simple approach.

“I’ve always said it’s not rocket science. We have a good product which is good food. Great service. We consider ourselves just a small family. We just want them to be happy here,” said Burns.

And the risk paid off. With his volume of business, everybody is prospering from the top down.

“It’s been fantastic. The city of Longview has really blessed us,” says Judd.

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