Cathy’s Kitchen plans to reopen its dining room next Friday, July 16, on a high note.
For the grand reopening of Ferguson Restaurant, singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge will welcome guests and host part of her subscription streaming platform, Etheridge Television, starting at 17h. The Grammy-winning, Oscar-winning artist will also perform one of his hits.
Plans have been in the works since last month, when Cathy’s Kitchen co-owners Cathy and Jerome Jenkins, who are friends with Etheridge, attended the singer’s concert and birthday party. When Etheridge mentioned she would be visiting Missouri in July, Jenkins recalls, the singer suggested filming from the restaurant.
For Jenkins, the reopening will mark an important milestone after a difficult year during the pandemic. âWhen I tell you it’s a wrestling and juggling game, it really is,â Jenkins says. Between the rising costs of food and labor, as well as the prevalence of delivery services, owning a restaurant has become increasingly difficult.
âCathy’s Kitchen is a family business, and right now it’s really a family business – myself, my husband and my kids, we literally do all the work. We would just have been overworked to open earlier, âJenkins explains.
When the dining room reopens, the restaurant will have a new menu (which will be unveiled next Friday) and a simplified ordering and payment system. Physical menus will be replaced by digital menus accessible via a QR code, as well as an electronic payment system.
âWe try to make everything fairly self-serve,â Jenkins explains, noting that this will allow the restaurant team to focus on the kitchen and process orders quickly. “It will be a totally different experience than it was before.”
Such changes are necessary to survive in the restaurant industry, Jenkins says. “You don’t want to be sucked into this undercurrent – you really want to be on this wave and think ahead, so you can stay afloat.”