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Aubrey’s owner to open another restaurant


Randy Burleson, owner of Aubrey’s Inc., takes great pride in serving his customers quality cuisine.

This pride translates into success, one of the reasons his company is experiencing growth.

Burleson is building his fourth Aubrey’s Café at the intersection of Northshore Drive and Papermill Road and has purchased land in the Cedar Bluff area for a future venture.

“There’s a lot of room for growth in the Knoxville area,” he said. “We’ll keep expanding here before we look at going outside the state.”

Burleson said the new Aubrey’s is being built near Landmark Center Towers. It will employ at least 100 people, most of which will be recruited from the community.

In addition to Aubrey’s, Burleson owns Edison Park Steakhouse in Farragut, the Sunspot Restaurant in Knoxville, Barley’s Tap Room and Pizzeria in Knoxville and Stefano’s Pizza in Knoxville. He has 550 employees with a $5 million annual payroll, but he said his restaurants are projecting to do more than $20 million in business this year.

“We have been very blessed in our success,” he said. “It’s due to the great people I have working for me and, of course, our customers.”

Burleson said his customers are the heart of his business, so he is making a slight menu change in his restaurants to better serve them.

“We’ll be serving all organic natural meat,” he said. “This is free-range, grass-fed beef.”

Burleson said in the current meat-producing climate, any sick cattle are treated with antibiotics and still used as beef. His new meat supplier sends sick cattle off to another facility, so their beef is not filled with artificial chemicals.

“The meat just tastes better,” he said.

The higher quality meat may mean a slight cost increase to customers, he said. Burgers may go up 25 cents and steaks, depending on the cut, may increase slightly as well.

Burleson started his restaurant career with Aubrey’s Café, built near Farragut Town Hall in 1992.

“I chose that location because there wasn’t anything out here at that time,” he said. “In a lot of ways, Aubrey’s has grown up with Farragut.”

Over the years, with the growth of Farragut and the growth of other restaurants, Burleson said he has always managed to stay ahead of the competition.

“I truly believe having good people working for you has been what has keep us going through the years,” he said.

He said the quality food at reasonable prices also keeps customers coming back for more.

Burleson said he never started out with the intention of going into the restaurant business. His undergraduate degree was in political science with a business minor.

“I was attending classes to earn my M-B-A, when one day it hit me,” he said. “A restaurant is its own little economic market.”

Burleson said the kitchen is the manufacturer of a product, servers are the transportation of the product and customers are the market.

“The best thing about this business are the guests,” he said. “They are what makes it fun and worth coming to work every day.”

 

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