A Family Affair
By Tim Leeds
The owners of Andy's Supper Club and Lounge have tried to keep two things constant at their restaurant over the last 26 years.
"The quality of the food and of the service," Joyce Sande said.
Other than adding to the menu and redecorating, nothing has changed, and nothing is likely to change, said her son, Jesse Sande.
"We try not to change anything, 'cause if it's not broke, don't fix it," he said.
James and Joyce Sande bought the restaurant from Andy and Grace Bay on April 1, 1976. The operation became multigenerational immediately. Their daughter Dorothy, who had graduated from high school a couple of years earlier, and twins Jesse and Judy, who were juniors, started working in 1976.
The operation is now a three-generation business. Jesse's daughter, Jessica, and Judy's daughter, Candice, also work at Andy's.
The Sandes have redecorated by installing eight fish tanks about 10 years ago and have done other remodelling.
The quality of the menu has improved, Jesse said. The restaurant uses the best beef, chicken and other ingredients, and more selections have been added over the years.
One thing that's changed is how difficult it is to find good workers, the family said.
"The worst part is no help. Nobody wants to work," James said.
Having Candice and Jessica available has saved Andy's many times, James said. When a shift suddenly needs to be filled, they can be counted on to come in.
"And they can do anything," Jesse added.
Training the second and third generation of the family, and the other workers, to take care of the customers has always been a priority, Joyce said. Customer care is a main reason for the continued success of Andy's, she said.
Caring for the customers makes perfect sense, Judy added.
"That's who pays for everything here, is the customers," she said.
Part of the success of the restaurant comes from the relaxed atmosphere that goes along with its fine dining, Jesse said. Power company workers come in directly from parking their work trucks to eat a five-course meal at tables with fresh linen tablecloths, he said.
"It's always been a pretty relaxed atmosphere," he said.
The increase in the number of restaurants has made it harder to run the business, James said.
"There's only so many meals in your pie. If they take one away it's going to hurt," he said.
The status of the economy and the job market also makes business harder, he added. Many people are raising children, paying mortgages, school loans and monthly bills, and having a tough time even with a two-income family, he said.
The reputation of the restaurant has helped, he said. People eating a steak at Andy's have a full sensory experience. As it comes out of the kitchen still sizzling, they hear it, then see it, then taste it, James said.
"It's awfully impressive," he added.
Andy's is still successful despite the economy and added competition, he said.
"Actually, we can't complain, period. It's been good to us for 25 years," he said.