You all know very well by now that we love our fellow small business owners. Worth Takeaway is a restaurant located in Mesa, Arizona, that serves up scrumptious craft sandwiches. Their Instagram account caught our eye and left us hungry with every new post! We talked to the folks behind Worth Takeaway to find out more.
To start off, tell us about how Worth Takeaway came to be.
My husband and I had worked in the food and beverage industry for a long time and after selling all of our belongings and traveling for five months, we decided that we wanted to work for ourselves. We were good at hospitality and knew that we most likely wanted to open a restaurant. And the small downtown area near our neighborhood was in need of some revitalization. We found a 900-square-foot building that had once been a restaurant, and after pulling together some resources, opened Worth Takeaway on a bootstrapped budget. It was all about community, hospitality, and some pretty awesome sandwiches.
We love to read the clever letter board messages up in your restaurant! Is there one mastermind behind all the punchy phrases, or is it more of a group effort?
Definitely a group effort! Inspiration comes to us randomly. If someone shouts out a clever idea during lunch service, there's a good chance it will find it's way to the board. Our phrases usually have something to do with whatever special we are running, which is a fun way to incorporate our food and engage our guests.
How would you describe your brand message, and how do the messages on your board reflect the overall brand of Worth Takeaway?
Our brand message is simple: we want to be the Cheers of sandwiches! Said another way, when you come to Worth, we want to learn your name, connect with you, and serve you some bomb food. A lot of hard work goes into what we make -- from our farmers and partners who provide us with amazing ingredients, to our team that makes it all from scratch and cares about your experience. I guess that's how the letter board connects: it's the first part of your experience, something clever or funny that has a positive impact on your day before you even get your order in.
What's the most rewarding part of running a restaurant like Worth Takeaway?
The people! First off, we have a team of ballers, a small group of very skilled individuals who really care about their jobs and the impact that they are having on our lives and the guests' lives. Our community is amazing. We live within walking distance of some heritage neighborhoods, and all of the people who live around Worth have been so supportive from day one -- not to mention we have people who drive from neighboring cities regularly to come get Worth.
How has Worth Takeaway's food menu evolved over time?
We started with a small list of six sandwiches and a few breakfast items. It was just me and my husband developing the menu, with some help from our chef friends. Now we have an executive chef, sous chef, and super talented cooks who all love being creative. We have grown our menu to include 12 sandwiches, additional breakfast items, a burger, a weekly sandwich, brunch and dinner specials, house-made sodas. . . . I could keep going. We always have something new going on, which is why our letter board has been so impactful!
What are you most proud of about Worth Takeaway, and what makes you unique from other restaurants?
We are so proud of our team. We feel privileged to be able to create jobs and a workplace where people are excited to be and where they can come and make a living and support their families. Because of our team, we are able to have fun with the menu and create new dishes, whether they be sandwiches or not, to keep our community excited. They execute everything so well, so much better than we could on our own, and that's what keeps people coming in. Sometimes when people call Worth a "sandwich shop," we almost cringe because we think that description doesn't do the food justice -- we're not afraid to color outside of the lines when it comes to that label (we've served everything from pot pies, to steak to ramen), and we want people to understand that they are going to get a unique experience that "sandwich shop" just doesn't cover.
What is currently the most popular menu item? Does this differ from a staff favorite?
Our most popular menu item is the Crispy Chicken Sandwich. In fact, the staff will jokingly answer the phone, "Worth Takeaway, home of the Crispy Chicken, how can I help you?" when we call. It includes mayo, house-made sweet and spicy pickles, crispy chicken breast, honey sriracha drizzle, bibb lettuce and a soft ciabatta roll. The staff may not always admit it, but the Crispy Chicken is definitely a guilty pleasure. They also like to indulge in the specials we run or make up their own menu items.
Where do you see Worth Takeaway five years from now?
A lot of our guests ask if we'll do another location, and for now we feel that too much goes into making this spot great to try and juggle a second location. We have looked at other buildings in our downtown area, nearby, to potentially move to and expand. Our 900 square feet feels like it's busting at the seams at times. We typically have a line out the door and limited seating, so a larger space would help us to accommodate, but also to reach some new goals. We'd love to expand our menu, provide a full dinner service, have a full bar, and increase our ability to act as a hub for our Downtown Mesa community.
Lastly, we always like to ask: what is currently up on your letter board?
We just celebrated our two year anniversary, so the board says "730 Days and Counting."
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