Despite Harsh Economy, Restaurants Are Turning Profits

Related Story

MID-MISSOURI - The restaurants Rocheport Bike & BBQ and Cravings north of Columbia have a few things in common. Both were established this year and are managing to turn a profit, despite the harsh economy. But they have different methods they use to stay in business.

For Rocheport Bike & BBQ, co-owner Randy Blackburn said that the restuarant owes a great deal of its success to being located 50 yards from the Katy Trail.

"It's been pretty easy, because of the trail. If it were somewhere else, it'd probably be a lot... we wouldn't do it anywhere else. The trail traffic is its own captive audience, so that's why we decided to do it right here," said Blackburn.

Cravings owner Barbie Baumler says that the economy had a harmful effect on her business when it first opened, so she had to start small.

"That's why we started with the smaller menu, so we could build as we went so we wouldn't have to carry as much inventory as far as food," she said.

Baumler also said that the cafe started out as a bakery and catering service, and that still helps keep their business in the black.

"With our baking and catering bookings, it kinda keeps us afloat and kinda leaves that to fall back on as far as keeping us going. The cafe, we kinda added it because we had space here, we initially were looking for a location for the catering and baking. And then we added the tables, which... actually, we've gotten a lot more foot traffic than we first thought we would," said Baumler.

According to an article on, one out of 10 people in America works in the restuarant industry. That makes the restuarant industry the second largest private employer with nearly 13 million individuals on the payroll. Restaurant jobs also increased by 2.9 percent on a year-to-date basis in August, more than twice the 1.4 percent increase in overall U.S. employment in the same stretch of time.

Both Rocheport Bike & BBQ and Cravings are looking forward to the holiday season, which generally helps to increase their profits. Randy Blackburn is planning to limit business at his restuarant to Fridays and weekends during the holidays and is also planning to switch up the menu to reflect the weather.

"In the wintertime, we're still going to do barbecue and we might do some chili and lasagnas and stuff like that. Crock-pot type food," said Blackburn.

Barbie Baumler plans to increase selection during the holidays and also take advantage of her catering service.

"We continue to increase our menu as we figure out what it is that people are wanting out here. We're looking forward to the holiday season because we also do the catering," said Baumler.

Rocheport Bike and BBQ is located at 103 Pike Street in Rocheport. Cravings is located at 8650 Highway VV north of Columbia.

To read the article, click here.