Skaets Steak Shop Receives Small Business Award
Thursday, June 03, 2021
Skaets Steak Shop has been in business for 71 years as a small neighborhood family style restaurant now serving the 6th generation of customers. It was built in 1949 by Norman Deshene with the idea to be the first fast food restaurant in Hutchinson. After closing for a short time in 1974, Donna Bartholomew re-opened the business and in 1996 Karen LeShure purchase the land and building. Donna and Karen have been running the business together ever since.
Many items on the 1950’s menu still exists today, which includes proprietary homemade garlic and blue cheese dressing, daily fresh cut French fries, breakfast served anytime, and daily homemade specials. Skaets cuts and processes 2,000 lbs. of Idaho potatoes every month just for their French fries. The signature “moonburger” was named in 1969 after the first man landed on the moon and is still the best-selling item at Skaets. Working side by side with employees, as well as the long-term relationship they have formed with their customers and generations of families, has turned Skaets into a local Hutchinson icon.
Through their many years of operation, one of their biggest challenges occurred in 2015 when a minor fire started in their kitchen and shutdown their charcoal pit for close to one-year. However, through guidance from the Quest Center for Entrepreneurship, they were able to develop an action plan and learn how to overcome the challenges in front of them by turning them into an opportunity. COVID-19 brought forth all new challenges, but by using lessons they have learned over the years they were able to quickly develop a new process for taking call-in orders and providing curb side service, as well putting up a tent outside to provide extra dining space for social distancing.
Over the many years, both employees and customers have built a genuine family environment at Skaets that seems to be contagious. Everyone comes to work happy to start the day and together the team has developed a process to ensure the customers are taken care of in the timeliest way possible. When visiting Skaets it is common to see a cashier helping the cook or a server helping the dishwasher. Also, do not be surprised when a customer helps by taking the coffee around. They often say that going to Skaets is not so much as going out as it is coming home.
Skaets is a long-time member of the Hutch Chamber and Karen also currently serves on the Visit Hutch Advisory Board. They donate to many local groups and civic clubs, school sporting events, and local church event, and are also active with many non-fair events that take place on the Kansas State Fairgrounds. Over the years they have gotten close to groups that return to Hutchinson each year. All employees at Skaets are well versed about things to do in Hutchinson and are happy to help visitors with any questions they have. Skaets is proud to be a part of Hutchinson and is dedicated to providing quality service to their customers during good times or bad.
Thank you for all you do for our community.