Maggie Kendrick didn’t envision herself owning a restaurant, but after opening up the new Barberitos in downtown Kingsport, she knows this is exactly where she needs to be in her life.
During college, Maggie worked in the restaurant business where she had a chance to assess different management styles. She knew the type of owner she wanted to be, one that treated employees like family and gave the same respect she would want someone to show her own son.
Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Catinas' commitment to serving only the highest quality tacos, nachos, quesadillas, burritos and salads in a quick-serve fashion resonated with her personal interests and style.
After a lot of research, Maggie approached the Barberitos franchise owner armed with lots of information and statistics on why Kingsport would be the perfect place for a Barberitos. The Kendricks frequently visited the one in Johnson City and knew Kingsport residents would embrace the quality food and atmosphere.
The Kingsport Barberitos is the largest one to date and offers a spacious area designed to meet a variety of customer needs. With seating for well over 100 and a large patio including custom cornhole boards, Maggie hopes Barberitos will be a destination for great food and fun.
One driving force behind her decision to bring a Barberitos to Kingsport is the fresh quality of food that she feels confident feeding to her own son. All of the ingredients are fresh, the meat is never frozen, and the produce is always top quality. No antibiotics or genetically-altered food is ever served and everything at Barberitos is made from scratch daily. The only exception to that is the fat-free balsamic salad dressing.
Barberitos also offers catering for as few as 10 people up to hundreds.
“We supply everything and deliver to your location. We make it as easy for the customer as possible,” Kendrick explains.
They offer seven meals under seven grams of fat and provide gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian meal options. Kendrick is excited to bring these options to Kingsport residents and she has received many positive comments from customers with dietary needs.
Kendrick is quick to admit that the devoted and caring employees at Barberitos deserve the credit for making the past six months so successful. The general manager, Ethan Robison, worked in the Johnson City Barberitos during college.
“I couldn’t have found a better manager. Ethan’s work ethic is unsurpassed and his management style mirrors my own. He cares about the work he is doing and for the staff. He loves our customers and they see the pride he takes in the restaurant.”
“The entire staff takes pride in their work, selection of food and customer service. The staff respects Robison, along with his management style,” Maggie said. “It shows in the their attitude and smiles at the end of the day. “
“Customers have called me about occasions when a staff member has gone above and beyond their normal duties to assist them. I want to foster that environment by taking care of my employees, so they in turn take care of the customers,” said Kendrick.
Downtown Kingsport was always the desired location for the restaurant, as Maggie knew that the downtown community was supportive and caring of local business owners.
“The Downtown Kingsport Association has been instrumental in our success. I have been so impressed with the way downtown has embraced us and helped get the word out about our location. I love the feel of the downtown community in a city this size and the support we have received from other downtown businesses. I want Kingsport to know this is their restaurant and we are here to give back to the community and pay it forward,” said Kendrick.
Part of that is the “Bigger Than The Burrito” fundraising opportunity offered by Barberitos. Any non-profit organization interested in fundraising is welcome to get more information on the fundraising events that give back 10 percent of sales during a designated time period for the non-profit.
“We want Barberitos to be a destination in Kingsport. We offer a great meeting space and have had everyone from mission groups meet, to serving as a race packet pick-up location.”
Kendrick is excited about the future activities planned for kids and pointed out that kids under 12 eat free with the purchase of an adult meal on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. until close.
Barberitos is located at 300 Clinchfield Street, Suite 220, in Downtown Kingsport. To contact them, call 423-343-4511. For more information on events taking place at the Kingsport Barberitos and to enter contests, “Like” Barberitos Kingsport on Facebook.