Today I am going to be doing things a little differently, instead of baking a new recipe, I decided to interview one of my closest friends, Sue Kurschner, who has tons of experience in baking and restaurant management. I hope you enjoy the interview, I definitely did!
I know that you owned Upper Krust, can you tell me a little about the atmosphere/culture you tried to maintain at your restaurant?
Once customer told me, “I feel like I can come in, take my shoes off, and sit down” and this is exactly what we were aimed for in our café. We made food that you would find in your grandmother’s house, all homemade food with nothing coming frozen from a bag.
Were you by name a Christian restaurant?
We were a Christian company by name in that we had a statement of faith for our company. We held to a strict no smoking rule and we never served alcohol even though we were asked many times by customers to serve it.
In order to maintain this culture, did you hire only Christians? If not, how did you work to be a witness to your employees? How did you go about being a witness to your customers?
In order to maintain the culture of my company, most of the employees we hired were Christian, in fact, 95% of those working outside with the customers were Christians. We did not hire them because they were Christians, those were just the people attracted to our company. We had a “family” culture at the restaurant, because of this, we were about to represent Christ to many of the unsaved employees and customers at Upper Krust. Some of our employees and even some of our customers came to know Christ through our restaurant. We also invited many of our employees to functions at Calvary Baptist Church.
How has your management style changed upon switching to working at MBU?
To be honest, my management style really hasn’t changed since my switch to working at MBU. I have worked many other places as a manager (Adrian College, Hope College, Clearwater Christian, Colorado Springs, Glens Catering, and Upper Krust), so switching to another school wasn’t much of a change. My management style is me.
What have you learned about yourself and God through your management at Two Sisters and MBU?
I have learned that I love people, especially college age kids, and organizing. I have learned that God has a plan for all of us and that he will reveal it as we need to hear it. I moved all over the place and it was always clear where I would go next. I have learned that it is important to keep up a prayer life especially if I want to maintain my testimony in front of unsaved coworkers. I have also learned that even though as a manager I make mistakes and do wrong, it is important for me to ask forgiveness. Apologizing and admitting faults is something that unsaved people never expect.
What advice would you have for a Christian headed into a non-Christian leadership role?
I would tell them to go for it, but not without lots of prayer and careful consideration! It is important to be humble and willing to take criticism wherever needed. In the end, it is all about how you are showing Christ to them, not how good you look to them.
Also, Check out this short video that was based in a small restaurant in Watertown!