Commonwealth Journal

March 5, 2014

Steak ’n Shake hires 100 in preparation for opening

Restaurant will begin serving Thursday, March 20

by Ken Shmidheiser
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —

While snow was flurrying outside, inside Somerset's new Steak 'n Shake there was a flurry of activity as the staff and management prepared for the resturant's opening Thursday, March 20.
“We've already hired over 100 employees are are still accepting applications,” said Kevin Cordell, operating partner for the London and Somerset Steak 'n Shake franchises.
Despite this week's arctic weather that slowed most of Pulaski County to a near standstill, workers have braved snow and ice to put finishing touches on Somerset's newest restaurant. 
Cordell, a retired air traffic controller, said location of Steak 'n Shake in Stonegate Centre on South U.S. 27 represents the culmi-nation of several years of planning.
“Six years ago we obtained franchises for Steak 'n Shakes in London and Somerset. Since then we have been working to see them materialize,” Cordell said.
“We have been holding training sessions on subjects like Food Safety for our new employees at the Center for Rural Development as we prepare for our opening.”
Cordell said Steak 'n Shake is still accepting applications, and prospective applicants can call 606-219-4880 Ext. 102 for details.
Steak ‘n Shake was founded in February, 1934, in Normal, Illinois, by Gus Belt, For more than 79 years, the company’s name has been symbolic of its heritage. The word “steak” stood for "steakburger." The term “shake” stood for hand-dipped "milk shakes."
To prove his burgers were exceptionally prime, Belt would wheel in a barrel of steaks (including round, sirloin, and T-bones) and grind the meat into burgers right in front of the guests.
The restaurant, known for its hamburgers, fries, and of course milkshakes, currently has over 500 stores throughout the Midwest and all the way into Florida, and throughout the Southeast. Steak 'n Shake also offers a full breakfast menu. 
Brook Ping, the developer behind Stonegate Centre, has been “very pleased” both with the progress on Steak ‘n Shake, and the overwhelming response Texas Roadhouse has received since it opened last December.
“The biggest impact to me is the economic impact of employing 170-plus people in this community,” said Ping of Texas Roadhouse.
He also says it helps in luring other potential businesses to the shopping center, located at stoplight no. 16A on South U.S. 27, next to Grand Central Place. 
“Business attracts other business,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that.”
Ping said he’s talked to other businesses that could eventually locate in Stonegate if things go well.
“Those are still on the table,” Ping noted. “There are some new opportunities.”