Help Big Guys Reopen

You may have noticed we’ve been closed for the last week. Staffing issues came to a head and I had to decide to fulfill catering orders or open up for retail business. Now a week later I still can’t open up. My manager and chef are both out from surgeries. Without them I’m now down to one staff and he and I are doing maintenance and cleaning while I hold interviews.

Over the last ten years this has been the most challenging year of business. More stressful than launching with 2 babies and an 8-year-old, harder than operating for a year while battling cancer, and worse than 2 years of COVID. Today's increasing cost of goods and labor are insurmountable for our current business model. Margins are at a point where there is no emergency fund, things have broken down and we’ve taken on debt. Business debt that I thought I would never again accumulate after years of finally operating debt-free.

We have deferred maintenance. The most pressing is our HVAC, where we can’t operate in this old building when it gets this hot. We have equipment that needs replacing, and everything has doubled in price.

But we can fix it. We've always been scrappy here at Big Guys and we can get through this too.

The business has to pivot right now. Our menu has to shrink and become more efficient, faster, and we need to reduce errors. We’ve been trying to do too much! With today's labor market we need to focus on doing one thing really well, and the thing we absolutely sell the most of is cheeseburgers. When we reopen we will be a burger-focused restaurant while keeping only a couple of the classic sausages. If we do this right, and make those few items as good as they can be every time, I know we can succeed and continue to serve the neighborhood for another ten years and beyond. But we need your help to do it.

We need a capital injection right now. Shutting down unexpectedly is insane, we have no revenue as the bills pile up.
Donating any amount will help us make necessary improvements, retain our beloved longtime staff, and roll out a new delicious and efficient menu.

I don’t want to flush ten years of hard work down the drain. I don’t want to file for bankruptcy. I don’t want to look back at the weekends and holidays I’ve missed and say it was all for nothing.

I want to serve your kids’ kids cheeseburgers. I want to make burgers that you brag about when you leave town. I want to stay in business in the place I call home.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for any and all help, Brendan
  • Tawa Mitchell 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Joan Davis 
    • $500 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Stephen Gelman 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
See all

Organizer

BRENDAN OCONNOR 
Organizer
Berwyn, IL