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Culver’s co-founder gives community business leaders words of advice

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 11:51 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 12:06 p.m. CST
(Dave Hon/Daily News)
Mandy and Curt Herbig, the new owners of Culver's in Newton, were given the honorary spatula at Tuesday's ribbon cutting. In addition, the restaurant also sold five burgers for $5 and large drinks and sundaes for $1 each all day on Tuesday.

At Culver’s, service isn’t just about the food. It’s about the people.

The Wisconsin-based restaurant chain, most famous for its butter burgers, held a guest appreciation day and ribbon cutting on Tuesday. All day, customers could buy five butter burgers for $5 as well as large drinks and sundaes for $1 each.

During the ribbon cutting, Craig Culver, one of the co-founders of Culver’s, made a small speech and presented Curt and Mandy Herbig with their Culver’s Spatula.

“I don’t know how you guys have been flipping burgers without it,” Culver said.

Culver said he’s been in the restaurant business since he was 11, helping his parents with their A&W. Before the ribbon cutting ceremony, Culver told all in attendance about the hard work that goes into the restaurant business.

“I swore I’d never stay in the restaurant business, working with my parents in it over the years, watching my parents work the restaurant business,” Culver said, “because it’s early in the morning to late at night, seven days a week, and I swore I’d never do that. Well, guess what? I did it, and you know what? I couldn’t be happier. I love the business.”

Several prominent community business leaders were at the ribbon cutting at Culver’s to enjoy a good burger, celebrate a Newton business and to hear the wisdom of a successful businessman.

“Honestly, what I love so much about our business is we get to make a difference with other people,” Culver said. “We get the opportunity to put smiles on faces, and each one of you gets that same opportunity regardless of what business you’re in.”

Culver’s now has 485 restaurant’s open nationwide, and Culver said they will hit the 500 mark next year. Curt first met Culver when he was 12 years old and said that he means a lot to him and his wife. He also said the entire Culver’s business feels like a family.  

“This is something that we always wanted to do for a long time,” Curt said.

In his final statements after the ribbon cutting, Culver stressed the importance of interacting with the public and leaving them with a good experience, no matter what business a person is in.

“What we really serve is people,” Culver said. “You’ve gotta have great people to do that. Our job is to put smiles on faces. Our job is when somebody walks into our place of business, and when they leave, we want them to be smiling. We’re in the people business, every one of us.”

Staff writer Dave Hon may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at dhon@newtondailynews.com.