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GUEST COLUMN: Famous Dave on Celebrating 30 Years of Famous Dave's

By "Famous" Dave Anderson

Posted on Facebook


Celebrating 30 years of Famous Dave's and my mistakes, failures, and a whole lot of “Oh Sh#ts!” Tonight I am in Tacoma Washington visiting a reopening of a Famous Dave's that needed to be refreshed and was suffered during Covid…The team today is pumped and this reopening is cause for celebration. As I was dining with a friend—Abe Ruiz he asked me if there was one thing that stood out in my 30 years of Famous Dave's—while there are many moments of celebration, incredible achievements, and successes—I think what stands out immediately in my mind is that we’ve survived a lot of dumb stuff that we done to shoot ourselves in the foot many times.


YES, we have a great concept, the best award-winning barbecue, a great team, and the most loyal fantastic customers any business could ever hope for—but for me is the fact—we changed a lot of lives in a positive way. We’ve always been a company that thrived on being winners and we celebrated our teams hard work to make the best barbecue we could—every plate for every single guest. With that being said, I believe that our greatest achievement is helping our team grow through the tough times and the mistakes we often made. I think so often businesses fail because they are afraid to be quick about recognizing when the wheels are careening off the cart and no one wants to be held responsible.


Life is not happy camp. This is why constant support in helping the team grow is so necessary daily. You don’t grow when things are running smoothly—you grow both as a person and a business when you learn how to survive the toughest of times. We are a company where there are many long-term employees who have been with Famous Dave's almost the entire time of our existence—I feel it is because they know “we care.”—if all you did was CARE, then you understand the importance of putting yourself second to the general well-being of others first.


I think Famous Dave's success isn’t just about Great Tasting BBQ more than it is about being a positive difference in the lives of others. I further believe that the greatest lesson you can teach your team is how to be supportive of others to help them in the most positive, nurturing ways during the most difficult times of tough challenges. When I look back, its not—”look at what I have achieved”— but look at how many lives are better because we never gave up when times were tough and Famous Dave's almost didn’t make it. We’ve made it 30 years because the team made it happen because “They Believed!” and they never gave up believing… Yes, they were drinking the Rich & Sassy BBQ Sauce! Famous Dave's has never been about me more than it is other people’s happiness. My motto: “My whole purpose in life is just to make you happy!” ~Famous Dave

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